Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
It may be winter and cold outside but a cosy weekend away by the seaside could be just what you need. For a weekend away you don't want to have to travel too far, all of these options are within easy travelling distance from Melbourne's CBD.
You may be thinking, why would I want to stay near the sea when it's freezing cold and terrible beach weather?
I say it's a great time to go with open fires and no crowds; a great way to relax and enjoy what the towns have to offer without the need to step out in a bikini. Enjoy the restaurants, local attractions and maybe a brisk walk along the beach as the waves pound the shore, or use it as a great opportunity to lounge around in front of an open fire and snuggled up with a great book. The other great thing is you can get great accommodation at reasonable prices.
Lorne on the Great Ocean Road is a popular spot year round. There are plenty of choices of accommodation from B&B's, resorts and hotels with options to explore surrounding areas.
Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula is a great choice as it's close to Melbourne. The shopping area is protected from the wind off the water and offers many eateries and designer shops. Nearby you will find the Peninsula Hot Springs, wineries, golf courses, horse riding, cinema and much much more.
Torquay is the surfing capital and if you are keen to take a dip make sure you take along your winter wetsuit to keep you warm. Being the surf capital it's also home to Australia's best surf wear factory outlets, with every surf brand available here. If you're not into surfing then there are plenty of things to do and lots of nice accommodation to choose from.
Queenscliff on the Ballerine Peninsula is a great place to go if you're looking for somewhere peaceful to get some rest and relaxation (unless, of course, if you are staying at the Big 4 Beacon Cove with the kids.) As for activities there is the Blues Train, which calls for an entertaining evening. The Maritime Museum is great for kids and offers hands on experience, and there is also the Queenscliff market held once a month, steam train rides on the Ballarine Railway and Fort Queenscliff, along with some great shops in town.
Phillip Island is famous for it's penguin parade and if you are taking small children you will appreciate that penguins come ashore just after sunset and during winter, nice and early. Have a look at Churchill Island whilst you're there, a historic working farm which holds several different activities throughout the year. There is also a chocolate factory, the Nobbies, markets and other attractions than can be viewed here.