The Mornington Peninsula is a place I had only been to once as a child and definitely didn’t give it enough credit, wow this is one beautiful area! The water is so blue, the beaches are just amazing and there is so much to do.
Recently I went on a one nighter and stayed in Rye as part of some time away with my Mum and Dad – plus we bought Mum a Hot Springs voucher so she picked me to go – unlucky to my brother hey?
Although it rained heavily on the Sunday, it was so nice and definitely opened my eyes to how amazing the Peninsula was, and it is only an hour drive from Melbourne.
We have such a beautiful beach paradise and it is actually in our backyard.
Depending on what time of year you go really depends on how much accommodation can be. Christmas time is super busy, and Schoolies so we found out, but you can still stay in fairly cheap accommodation, just be organised.
A house or apartment is great if going with a fair few people, but if you just want somewhere to rest your head in between exploring, stay at a caravan park! If glamping isn’t your thing, most places have units.
When I recently went we stayed at Kanasta Caravan Park, Rye in one of the new Jayco units and it was actually really nice! A short drive or walk to the shops and clean accommodation it was good for the night and with all the kitchen facilities it would even be ideal for longer stays!
With a gate to shut off the park at night – you are given a remote to get in and out – it is super secure and safe. If you have two cars you might have to park out on the street, but my car was fine overnight!
A quick Google search and you will be able to find the best prices on accommodation on the Peninsula.
Food is definitely super important to me, so when I’m going anywhere I also search the good places to eat. Usually on TripAdvisor, you can get a good honest opinion. Brunch is my favourite so that was definitely the first thing I searched.
Buckley’s Chance in Sorrento was the first place we tried on the Saturday morning. A cute cafe on the corner of the main street, they have great food options. I had the Banana Bread and it was yum! Not too sweet and not too much food on the plate, it was really good! Also their Matcha Latte wasn’t bad either! A good spot if you’re in Sorrento and looking for a good breaky or lunch. Great food presentation too.
Captain of Rye was my favourite for the weekend. Located on the Nepean Highway it is just across the road from the beach and is a super quirky cafe with a bit of a preppy eclectic style. They have great street art on the exterior and heaps of really great menu options! I got the power bowl and it was so yum, so many different foods on the plate that were all so good. It did take me a long time to choose my meal because all the options sounded so yum. Good coffee here and friendly staff!
Steam is a modern Asian fusion restaurant in the main street of Rye. They are known for their fresh oysters and have a massive range of different small and large dishes. It was a really nice restaurant inside with a nice view over the road to the beach, the staff were friendly but it seemed like a few of them were new so drinks and meals were very slow.
As a family we never know what to eat so we went with the banquet choice. It was pretty good, some dishes we didn’t like and others we loved so we had mixed feelings about the whole meal. They did say it was a new menu so hopefully they make a few changes.
We got loads of food which included:
- Tomato and togarashi shooter, fresh oyster – wow this was way way too hot! Mum and Dad actually nearly had a heart attack trying to eat this, very embarrassing and dysfunctional so a standard night out with them (love you guys)
- Choice of any Sashimi plate – we chose the scallop sashimi and yum! Definitely brought us back up on a high
- Betal leaf with sticky pork, tamarind caramel and pork floss – never had these before, the texture of the leaf was odd but still it was nice
- Squid, furikake seasoning, Yuzo mayo – one of our favourites, so tender and the mayo was yum
- Pork and vegetable gyoza – also very yum, can’t go wrong with a gyoza or 10
- Prawn and crab salad, Laksa flavours, crispy noodles – nice a refreshing, but a lot of coriander, and I’m one of those people who don’t think it tastes like soap and it was even too much for me
- Crispy duck leg, Balinese Rujak salad, hot and sour dressing – love duck, this was yum but it has more bone than meat
- Slow cooked beef short rib, Penang spice, fresh lime – very rich, but loads of flavour I thought it was a good way to end, Mum wasn’t sure and Dad was falling asleep at the table! The meals did take a while and in his defence he had been drinking since midday and up since 4am, classic Wayno
Because I’m a huge dessert fan we opted for the $5 a head dessert extra and got two desserts, which were:
- Vietnamese coffee creme’ brulee, vanilla dates, chocolate and date fudge – probably the best out of the two, love brulee so good, didn’t love when dad thought there was more than one brownie and put the whole thing in his mouth, yeah thanks
- White Chocolate and raspberry parfait, Sunny Ridge strawberry salad, yuzu curd – a nice dessert but wasn’t anything amazing
Overall I think the food was pretty good, but when you go to restaurant like this outside the city you need to not compare with the likes of Chin Chin or any other amazing restaurant in Melbourne or Sydney.
Personally I didn’t go to Veraison but I have been told this place is amazing! Versison is a fine dining restaurant and wine bar across the road from the water near Rye. I have also been told the Aerated Parfait with violet, white chocolate, honeycomb, persian floss and meringue crumbs is a must try!
Now you have somewhere to stay and places to eat, what can you do? Well the Peninsula has so much to see and do, from amazing beaches and walking tracks to the beautiful well known Hot Springs. TripAdvisor will definitely be able to help you with more to see and do, but for now I’ll share with you what I did on my quick trip away.
The Peninsula Hot Springs is a place I had been dying to go to for a long time now, everyone loves it and it is such a beautiful place. So the voucher we got Mum was for a pizza lunch and entry for two, but when we got there they advised us that they changed it to weekday use only. It was pretty annoying that they didn’t notify me on that, but they made up for it with their beautiful natural hot springs.
We hired two towels and a locker, which was fairly cheap – you can also hire robes if you want to be a little fancier. So there is a map at the start, showing where all the different pools are. I was given advice to go to the top and work down, so we headed up to the top. Wow that view was amazing, it was fairly busy but we didn’t wait long before we got in.
There is only so long you can stay in each different pool before you get too hot, you can sit on the edge as well just to take in all the amazing views and tranquil settings.
We made our way down, trying all the different temperatures and the foot spas along the way. I also tried the turkish sauna, which was too much! Being closterfobic it was not ideal for me, I latest a few minutes.
My favourite was the foot spa you walk across which massages your feet and helps with all different areas of your body, I also loved the hydro pools – super relaxing.
Once we had enough of turning into prunes we headed to the cafe and got a pizza anyway. We had the BBQ chicken one and yum it was so good! The cafe has all fresh juices and I’ve heard the red skin sorbert is amazing, but they had sold out.
Overall I loved the hot springs, it is a nice day out to feel relaxed and to unwind. They have heaps of packages on their website and even have the spa centre you can pay extra for! It is such an amazing natural wonder we have in Victoria and it definitely worth checking out. Plus it is good for your body and a detox so it is a win win really.
Arthur’s Seat Eagle is a great Peninsula attraction with a chair lift that goes from the top of the hill to the bottom that allows passengers to enjoy the amazing blue water views of the peninsula to the distant city in the background that you would definitely get a great view of on clear days.
When we went unfortunately it was raining heavily and the chair lift wasn’t operating, but we drove to the top and took in the amazing view! They also have lookouts all the way up. Once you get to the top they also have a cafe with an incredible view!
Arthur’s Seat is a beautiful look out that will give you breathtaking views of the Peninsula as well as Melbourne as a distant backdrop.
Overall, I loved the Peninsula! All the towns that make up the Mornington Peninsula have cute boutique shops, nice cafes and friendly locals. They have beautiful beaches and walking tracks that I will definitely go back to explore. Plus they also have wineries that look amazing. Good food, loads of wine, hot springs and beaches – you don’t need much more!
Want to discover more areas of Victoria, check out my blog on Gippsland: