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.
Published January 13th 2014
Make the most of your visit
Photo courtesy of Peninsula Hot Springs
1. Peninsula Hot Springs, located at Fingal ( near Rye) is a must to visit if you love relaxation. You will find outdoor thermal mineral pools that vary in temperature between 36 and 43 degrees Celsius . If you want a bit of pampering the Spa Dreaming Centre offers a private bathing area, massages, facials, and other spa treatments. Bathing rates vary between peak and off peak. Peak rates for general admission are $35 adult, $20 child (5-15), $5 infant (1 month to 4), $95 family (2 adults 2 children) $30 concession. Early bird and evening sessions are a little cheaper. I suggest you take your own towel to save on paying extra to use one of theirs. For more info click here.
2. The Enchanted Maze is fun for all, whether you love gardens and picnicking or want to get the kids lost in the mazes (just for a little while) or wear them out on the tube slides down the hill. There is lots to do at the maze and will easily take up half a day. Prices are $29 for adults and $19 for children ( under 2 free ) which adds up quickly with a big family but you can get an annual pass for $60 an adult and $40 for a child which is excellent value. To find out more, view their website here.
3. Tree Surfing is a part of the Enchanted Maze but it deserves it's own special mention. You do need to be over 135 cm in height to do the Grand course or over 100cm to do the Nippers course. It's heaps of fun and is challenging but safe. The Grand Course costs $59 adults, $39 children. Nippers course is $39 adults and $29 for kids. For more info click here.
4. Point Nepean has history, breathtaking views and many walking tracks to discover. Now that National parks have waived fees, it's free to enter. If you have limited mobility or enjoy going as a group there is a shuttle bus that goes from the information centre to the end of Point Nepean stopping at various areas to let people on and off to explore the different areas within the National Park . The shuttle operates daily departing regularly between 10:30am - 3:30pm and costs $10 adults, $7.50 children. Bikes are also for hire from the information centre. More info is available here.
Boardwalk with Cape Schanck lighthouse in the distance
5. Cape Schanck Board Walk and Lighthouse will get you out of the busy seaside towns and back to nature. Enjoy a stroll on the boardwalk with the ocean roaring down bellow. If you can justify the expense take a guided tour of the light house, adults cost $16.50, children (5-16) $10.50 and family $44. If you're feeling a bit more energetic a walk to Bushrangers Bay is quite scenic. To find out more about the lighthouse and boardwalk click here.
6. Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm is a pick your own strawberry farm but you can buy them freshly picked from the cafe to give you more time to enjoy a strawberry Sunday, chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry wine or anything strawberry related really. Strawberry picking costs $8 adults and includes 500 grams of strawberries in the price and $4 for children and includes 250 grams of strawberries. Under 3 y.o is free. For more information click here.
7. Craft Markets are held regularly around the Peninsula and provide customers with fresh produce, hand made and home baked goods. You will find them at Red Hill recreation reserve on the first Saturday of the month, Mornington Racecourse on the second Sunday of the month, Balnarring Racecourse and the country Boneo Primary School market on the third Saturday, Tootgarook Primary School market on the 4th Saturday. For a comprehensive list of these markets and more, click here.
8. Farmers Markets are held at Mt Eliza on the 4th Sunday of the month and Mornington on the 2nd Saturday of the month and have lots of fresh produce to select from. Keep it fresh and keep it local. For more info click here.
9. Ashcombe Maze at Red Hill is the oldest of the mazes on the Peninsula and possibly Australia. This mature garden covers 25 acres and has a lavender garden, rose garden, woodland area and mazes. There is also a cafe and gift shop. Admission costs $18.50 adult, $10 children, $52 family of four, 0-3 free. To find out more, visit their website here.
10. Trail riding on the Mornington Peninsula is very popular. Choose between beach rides at Gunnamatta, bush rides at Arthurs Seat, dune rides at Ace Hi or horse back winery tours through Red Hill. To find out more click here.
Some other places of interest are McCrae Homestead, which is one of the earliest surviving buildings in the are and is apart of the National Trust. The homestead was built in 1844. Admission cost is $20 family, $10 adult, $7 concession and $4 children.
Heronswood Homestead and gardens run by the Digger's club is a gardener's garden with heirloom plants and vegetables grown in style overlooking the bay. Heirloom plants and seeds are available to purchase in the gift shop. The cafe here is very popular with the vegetables in the garden used in the menu, it is a little pricey though. Entry to Heronswood gardens cost $10 adults, free for children. Please note that the homestead is only open during festivals.
Moonlit Sanctuary at Pearcdale is a place I haven't been to yet but is on my list to do. It's an Australian wildlife conservation park that is well known for it's night tours when the animals become active. Tours cost $40 adults, $25 children and $120 family. Day entry is cheaper at $45 family, $17 adult and $8.50 child.
Hey Lorraine, Are they your own photos. Love the flower. I take it that the course was helpful. Which one did you do ? I am considering doing one.
Very interesting blog. I usually find something to put on our Field Trip list for East Gippsland Photographic society.
Great article - I can say that the hot springs is fantastic and in winter I recommend you take the kids on a quiet mid week day - they will have a ball and after spending a few hours hopping around the baths the kids slept so well that night! Also tree surfing is BRILLIANT - kids loved it and the challenge of doing this was brilliant for us all!