The best things to eat, see and do in Victoria's Mornington Peninsula region.

With its beaches, bays, national parks, wineries and top restaurants, the Mornington Peninsula, just an hour from Melbourne, is maritime and culinary playground. And, with a seemingly never-ending list of new breweries, distilleries, hands-on experiences and more, this part of the world is the ideal place to kick back, unwind and discover something fresh. Here’s our pick of new Mornington Peninsula experiences to put on your bucket list.

Take the Arthurs Seat Eagle gondola to a mountaintop

We know that flying is always great, and Arthurs Seat Eagle delivers a different type of flight – to the highest viewpoint on the Mornington Peninsula, measuring 314m at the summit. This is a great place to start your peninsula adventure: hop on the Swiss-designed gondola, which opened in 2016, and you’ll soon be effortlessly climbing up the peak.

At the summit, enjoy a coffee, ice cream or snack at the café or take your own hamper of farmgate goodies to enjoy at one of the many picnic spots amid the towering eucalypts. Sit back and take in the vast views of Port Phillip Bay – on a clear day you might even spot Melbourne’s skyscrapers.

Experience wine, fine dining and exquisite art

The Grand Arch, Pt Leo Estate, Image credit Inge King

The Mornington Peninsula has recently really raised its game thanks to two truly noteworthy luxury food and wine destinations – Jackalope and Pt. Leo Estate. The latter brings together all the finer things in life, including a vast sculpture collection that is guaranteed to delight. Two new additions to the already impressive Sculpture Park are the striking three-metre-tall kinetic piece Ipomoea from New Zealand artist Phil Price and Jubilee IV by the late British artist Lynn Chadwick.

Pt Leo Estate is also home to Victoria’s most highly awarded fine-dining destinations, Laura. Here culinary director Phil Wood serves an inventive menu featuring local produce so local, that some of it comes from the farm next door. The estate even offers door-to-door service from Melbourne: get picked up and be whisked down to the peninsula in style for an unforgettable day and night of wine, food and art.

Sink into a pretty Peninsula hot spring

Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington Peninsula

The Peninsula Hot Springs is a perennial favourite and it’s easy to understand why. With numerous healing thermal springs set amid native vegetation, you can spend hours exploring the pools and soaking up nature.

New additions include musical Sunday Sessions or Bathe in Cinema events, which involve relaxing in the hot springs and taking in a family friendly film. And for those who want a VIP experience, head to the Spa Dreaming Centre for expert treatments – facials, massages and more – and private bathing access.

Stay in style at RACV Cape Schanck Resort

RACV Resort, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

If you’re looking to chill with all of life’s luxuries at your fingertips, the RACV Cape Schanck Resort is the place to stay. The revamped resort offers a range of accommodation, including hotels rooms and villas for families or groups with views of the beach or golf course.

Once you’re checked in, tee off on the 18-hole championship golf course, enjoy the natural surroundings, indulge in a treatment at One Spa, or sample executive chef Josh Pelham’s take on local fare and wines at Cape restaurant. And while you may be excused for not wanting to leave the resort, all the peninsula’s attractions are within easy reach, making it the ideal base from which to explore.

Explore the Beer, Cider & Spirits Trail

The Mornington Peninsula is closely associated with wine, and with good reason. But those after a beer, cider or spirit are spoilt for choice, too. In fact, every year new peninsula producers spring up and you can explore them via the dedicated Beer, Cider & Spirits Trail.

Gin-lovers should head directly to Bass & Flinders Distillery, which recently moved into a new home at Dromana, where you can try your hand at making your own gin during a masterclass. Cheers to that.

Published September 30, 2019. Written by Lucy Siebert; photography supplied.