Mornington: A Sophisticate’s Playground
Relaxed luxury is the name of the game in Mornington, a stylish waterfront village an hour’s drive from Melbourne. Set along the Mornington Peninsula, the quiet but chic town is nestled between the equally upmarket villages of Mount Eliza and Mount Martha and offers an expansive foreshore as well as over 370 shops and cafes along the kilometre-long main street. Travellers who enjoy the finer things in life and couples on a romantic getaway will find a home that parallels their needs in or around Mornington. They can choose from private houses, luxe cottages with ocean views and hinterland rentals close to the Peninsula’s vineyards.
From Farm and Vineyard to Table
Mornington Peninsula is a haven for foodies and budding sommeliers. Restaurants are proud of their fresh, local produce and the area’s 50+ vineyards showcase award winning bottles which you can sample onsite or take home with you. Ten wineries are within easy driving distance of Mornington. These include the family-run Hickinbotham of Dromana with its cellar door, restaurant and weekend entertainment and Dromana Estate, known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as a gourmet menu changing monthly.
If you’re after a meal in town, stroll along Mornington’s Main Street, where you’ll find a variety of cafes and restaurants. Grand Hotel Bistro is a local highlight, set in a heritage-listed building in the heart of the action and serving seasonal produce. If your rental has a kitchen, you may prefer to do your own cooking, so make sure to incorporate the second Saturday of each month into your trip to take advantage of the Mornington Farmers’ Market. The farmers’ market, held at Mornington Park, is a favourite amongst locals and visitors. Walk past stalls selling fresh produce and baked goods as live entertainment plays in the background.
Mornington’s Scenic Golf Courses
Just as the Peninsula is known for its food and wine, the Mornington area is famous for golf. You don’t have to go far to enjoy an 18 hole course, with the Mornington Golf Club. Challenge yourself on this cliff-top course as you take in bay views all the way to Melbourne. A short drive from town is the Devilbend Golf Club, located within a natural reserve. If you aren’t a pro but still want to spend some time playing, head over to nearby Mount Martha Golf Course. This setting suits beginner to intermediate players and also affords prime water views.
Health, Wellness and Indulgence
With so many spas to choose from along the Peninsula, it is no surprise that Melburnians flock to the region for their health and wellness fix. In the village of Mornington, the Main Street is lined with spas, so visitors can select anything from organic treatments to 5-star luxury experiences that last anywhere from an hour to the entire day. While you’re here, visit Peninsula Hot Springs, Victoria’s only geothermal hot springs. The Springs are famous well beyond the Peninsula and offer over 20 thermal pools complemented by a range of beauty and health treatments. The terrain is divided between a Bath House for families and groups and the quieter Spa Dreaming Centre for a private experience.
All About Horses: Riding or Racing
Visitors who like to bet on horses or ride them have plenty of options in and around Mornington. First of all, there’s the Mornington Race Club, acclaimed as the best country race club by three different publications. Go to races held over the summer months or, if you’re in town in February or October, look into Mornington Cup or Peninsula Cup tickets.
Perhaps leisurely horse riding is more your style. Various operators on the Peninsula offer winery tours. There’s nothing more quintessential than riding through a Mornington Vineyard before tasting some local wine. Alternately, go for a gallop on a secluded beach. Tours can be organised to suit your party’s needs, so contact either Horseback Winery Tours or Gunamatta Trail Rides for more information.
Holidays in Mornington
Restful holidays with a hint of lavishness: that’s what you get in Mornington, a relatively laidback coastal village with good food, good wine and good entertainment a stone’s throw away. To get pampered some more, venture further afield and visit one of the region’s vineyards or spend the day at the Peninsula Hot Springs. But don’t overlook the three beaches that stretch out on either side of Mornington Pier, jotted by creeks, headlands and rock formations. And if you fancy a shopping spree, simply walk up and down the boutique-clad Main Street, before stopping at a cafe for a quick bite. In one sentence, Mornington holidays let you escape the havoc of a metropolis without foregoing the pleasures of a big city.