Weekend roadtrip in the Mornington Peninsula
After months of being stuck at home sick I was finally able to go exploring the wonderful Mornington Peninsula. Located only an hour away from the city centre of Melbourne, the Peninsula is the ultimate weekend escape for those wanting to enjoy beautiful rugged beaches, picturesque wineries, boutique accommodations and insanely good produce!
I had booked a night away at the luxurious Lindenderry at Red Hill as a Christmas gift to my partner. We both live very busy lives so the chance to sneak away for a night of wine and relaxation seemed like a sweet gift. Unfortunately when the time came to go on our night away, I managed to get myself hospitalised (dang it!). Luckily the kind staff at Lindenderry happily moved our stay for another time when I was fully recovered. So come attempt two I was so excited and rearing to go! As I was in Instagram mode I decided to post images from each spot along the journey, as a way for my followers to see the natural beauty of the Mornington Peninsula. But a IG blurb can only tell you so much, and there are so many details to share with you!
Here’s how the weekend ended up!
We packed up our little car full of weekend essentials and started on the journey, which thanks to recent road developments took easily under an hour to get from the city centre of Melbourne to the lush green hills of the peninsula.
First stop was the Mornington Peninsula Cellar & Pantry for a lunchtime pit stop. This is always one of my favourite spots to check out in the area. It’s part supermarket, gourmet food store, local wine cellar, coffee shop and cafe. All the foodie essentials you need for a weekend away you will find here. We enjoyed a quick-lunch and cup of coffee before heading to our accommodation, but not before I spotted a sticky-date pudding kit with the pudding and butterscotch sauce that was too tempting to walk away from!
I had chosen Lindenderry at Red Hill for its easy to access location, its reputation for excellent wine and it’s boutique styled accommodation. My parents had stayed there last year and raved about it, so I was very excited when we drove on the property along a long drive way surrounded by grapevines all heavily burdened with fruit. Our first response was to be impressed by the landscape of vines that stretched out across the property, but also the style of building. It looked like it was built as a conference centre, but now is a thriving wedding venue, restaurant and boutique accommodation. I will write a full post on my stay here, but the highlights were sinking into a bubble filled spa bath and selection of yummy items at the breakfast buffet!
After a few hours relaxing and exploring the hotel complex we decided to venture to find dinner. I had in mind a particular restaurant in Red Hill, but when we arrived there was a wedding in the main area so they had moved diners to their cafe area and were only running a limited menu. Luckily there was another restaurant nearby that’s menu looked impressive. As we slipped into our table at the Long Table in Red Hill I was excited to see their menu focusing on local produce. My partner ordered the veal cutlets which I was slightly jealous of, but I was content with my order of pan-fried duck breast, roasted parsnips, grilled cabbage and topped off with a plum chutney. We also shared sides of Marinated cucumber, cherry tomato & salted peanut salad, as well as sweetcorn topped with kaffir lime & brown butter. Yum! The highlight of the meal was the dessert, where we had a dreamy apple pie with an insanely good salted butterscotch ice cream.
After a restful sleep we ventured off in our little car in search of a) coffee and b) unplanned adventures. We grabbed a map and off we went! The afternoon involved checking out the view from Arthur’s Seat, wandering through a native flora nursery and weaving our way through the back roads of Red Hill.
We had planned to stop for lunch at Montalto winery, but when the time came to wait for a table the place was packed with families, hens lunches and large groups of friends. There would be a long wait, and I was still overly full from breakfast at the hotel! Content to skip the luncheon we instead decided to walk their Sculpture trail. Amongst the grape vines, lake, olive groves, natural scrub land and fruit orchid you will discover a gravel path which leads you past their collection of sculptures. There are over 20 permanent sculptures on the grounds, but during the months of January to May you’ll find additional pieces that forms that years Sculpture Prize collection. My favourite piece was the oversized spray bottles, and the array of circular bulbs which light up to appear like stars on the hill once the sun goes down!
Back on the road we meandered through Shoreham and Flinders until we took a pit stop/ photo stop at the lighthouse at Cape Shank. This iconic lighthouse is now a key tourist site, with regular tours and accommodation available. As we were walking back to the car we spotted an echidna devouring insects in the termite infested tourist box. It’s a real treat to see one in the flesh!
By this stage my appetite had returned and I was keen to sample more local produce. The Peninsula Pantry is a popular spot for excellent food that prides itself on using locally made produce. Craving some fresh veggies I decided to have a giant plate of mixed salads from this killer selection. This accompanied one of their house made chicken pieces, which was one of the best pies I’ve had in a long time! Special mention must go to the beetroot salad and the tomato one too! Both were insanely delicious!
Earlier in the year my partner had gifted me a voucher for the Peninsula Hot Springs, and this seemed the perfect opportunity to use it. I’d been here once before, but was excited to see that they had opened up more pools. The property houses an impressive amount of different bathing experiences beside standard bathing pools, these include a Hamam Turkish steam baths, a cave pool, saunas, reflexology walk and a 360 degree Hilltop pool with stunning views over the Peninsula. The pools are filled with hot geothermal water which has been pumped from 600 metres below ground. This unique bathing spot is hugely popular and therefore it is essential that you pre-book to secure your spot. I loved slipping into the different pools and having some quality quiet time to chat with my partner. After a few hours soaking in the waters I was wrinkly and relaxed.
(Note: This image is taken from the Peninsula Hot Springs website. I was too busy soaking and relaxing to bother taking any shots myself. And let’s be honest there was a real risk of me dropping the camera into one of the pools! Woops!)
We ended up staying at the family beach house at the tip of the Peninsula in Portsea after our soak at the springs, but returned to the city the next morning. I felt rested and grateful for the chance to get away. Sea air/ fresh air really can do wonders for your health and soul.
Where is your favourite weekend getaway spot? I’d love to hear from you!
Disclaimer- in the spirit of honest travel blogging there are some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you do decide to make a booking using these links, I will receive a small commission – but that comes at NO extra cost to you. I only make recommendations that I have personally experienced and would suggest to my very closest friends!