Mornington Peninsula Weekend
by Annabelle Williams
As the crow flies, the Mornington Peninsula is practically part of Tasmania. But with wineries, chic restaurants, boutique hotels, shopping and beaches galore on offer, it suddenly becomes a hot destination for a weekend getaway.
The recently opened RACV Cape Schanck resort is one of those elusive hotels that truly caters for everyone. A family? You’ll love the huge indoor pool and massive outdoor play areas. A couple? The chicly decorated rooms scream luxe and love. Golf lover? There’s an 18-hole par-70 championship golf course with spectacular ocean views. The rooms are beautifully decked out with many rooms having ocean views over the dunes. If you’re after something dark and moody, then hit up Jackalope, the new kid on the block. It’s where the Mornington Peninsula’s fashionable set hang out and is oh-so-Instagrammable. Rooms are black and brooding, with contemporary lighting and art dotted throughout the hotel. The infinity pool and heated spa overlooks the vineyard, so bring your swimmers.
Even if you’re not staying at Jackalope, dining in their in-house restaurant, Doot Doot Doot, is a must. Executive Chef Guy Stanaway combines his international culinary experience with incredible produce sourced locally and grown in the extensive kitchen garden. His food is just plain delicious and it shows, the restaurant was recently awarded one hat. For something more casual, and a touch surprising, head to Pho @ Flinders, a small food van in the town of Flinders. Freshly made pho, rice paper rolls and bun will keep you going on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Enjoy a tipple or two at one of the many wineries, such as Port Phillip Estate with their concrete brutalist building or the outstanding Pt. Leo Estate, which is also spectacular for a meal by ex-Rockpool chef Phil Wood.
Possibly the Mornington Peninsula’s most famous attraction, the Peninsula Hot Springs is the perfect place to wind down and actually relax. Take a stroll down the main street of Sorrento for beautiful boutiques and a few big name stores, then head to the Hotel Sorrento for a cheeky sundowner. But of course, the beaches here are also worth a look, with so much coastline – take a dip at one of the Port Phillip Bay, Westernport and ocean beaches. ■