March brings cooler temperatures to the Mornington Peninsula but with plenty of fine, sunny days still in store, and so many delicious autumn activities to indulge in when you stay at our Rye accommodation, we doubt you’ll miss summer.
For starters you could plan a gourmet food and wine trail, pick strawberries, take a cooking lesson, go for a coastal stroll or meet the local wildlife on a bush walk. Of course you may need more than two days to fit all this in, so be sure to take advantage of our discounted special offers for longer stays! Mid-autumn is the time to visit Mornington for stunningly colourful regional parks and gardens, and while the Peninsula Hot Springs are perfect at any time of year, they’re especially popular in the autumn months. As the nights start to draw in, snuggle down for the evening in one of our Mornington Peninsula Holiday Rentals with a log fire or private spa bath. Our award-winning Rye accommodation has everything you need to make your autumn escape a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
Go Gourmet in Autumn
We think food tastes oh so much better in autumn, when it’s more comfortable to spend longer periods outdoors and you can work up an appetite. Stay at one of our Mornington Peninsula holiday rentals and you’ll be able to take advantage of the many local cafes, restaurants and wineries brimming with fresh produce, mouthwatering speciality goods and award-winning wines. If gourmet food and fine wine is definitely top of the agenda for your autumn escape then be sure to check out Wine Food Farmgate before you arrive for the best gastronomic discoveries on the Peninsula. Create your own personalised wine and food trail so you can pick and choose the experiences you want to have when you get here such as:
selecting wineries for tastings from over 50 cellar doors;
dining at Chef’s Hat restaurants, seafood eateries or boutique pubs;
purchasing specialty chocolates, honey or bread;
or late season strawberry picking.
Strawberry season runs to 30th April at nearby Sunnyridge Farm where you can pick your own berries, sample cider, purchase gourmet products and wine, or partake of their scrumptious desserts in the Dessert Cafe. Sweet-tooths are invited to resist the Strawberry Temptation, a home made strawberry and ice cream concoction laced with strawberry syrup and whipped cream. For chocolate lovers, the Belgian Chocolate Fondue and a seriously rich dark chocolate and coffee cream ganache should put paid to any sugar cravings. A popular highlight of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is the Feast of the Full Moon, this year hosted by Terminus Restaurant at Flinders Hotel on the 16th March from 7pm – 10pm. The feast is a Moroccan-inspired flight of fancy involving a six course meal, wine and a moonlight carriage ride to the beach. Those inspired to learn some new cooking techniques can do so at Green Olive farm in Red Hill where you can learn how to create your own handmade sausages, make jams & preserves and fresh pasta plus perfect the art of dessert making. If you’re visiting the Peninsula as a group why not try something different like a Horseback Winery Tour, an ideal Autumn activity as the leaves start changing colour on the hills. You’ll visit nearby wineries such as:
Ten Minutes By Tractor and;
Autumn Tours of Mornington Peninsula
Autumn is a marvellous time of year to get out and about on the Mornington Peninsula. As the hot days of summer make way for more comfortable temperatures, half day and full day tours of the region really come into their own. Whether you’re into sightseeing on land – taking in a few wineries and restaurants on the way – or checking out some of the local marine life, the following tours will offer you a great day out from your Rye accommodation.
Mornington Peninsula Experience Tours
MP Experience Tours are Mornington Peninsula winery tours run by Max and Danielle, respectively a restaurateur and winery expert. This brother and sister team have extensive knowledge of Mornington Peninsula and run small private group tours, including:
- Signature Tour: One day tour of working olive farm, tasting at a winery, degustation lunch, visit a dairy, and artisan chocolate maker.
- Bliss Feature Tour: One day tour of pampering & relaxation, including chocolate tasting, lunch at Max’s Restaurant, afternoon spent at Peninsula Hot Springs.
- Other MP Experience Tours: relaxation & indulgence, scenic wildlife, customised tours extending to two days.
PET TIP: Those with four-footed friends in tow should check out Gourmet Pawprints. This organisation is running a Doggy Vineyard Tour on 25 May for ‘food, wine and walks’ on the Mornington Peninsula. Perfect for anyone staying in our pet-friendly Rye accommodation! Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park Moonlit Sanctuary is a unique wildlife park offering evening tours to view many of Australia’s endangered and native animals in their natural surroundings. Dusk is when many of Australia’s animals are at their liveliest, so you’ll be sure to see marsupials such as kangaroos and koalas. The tour is accompanied by an informative and entertaining commentary. Port Phillip Bay Cruises – swimming with dolphins and seals In early Autumn visitors staying in Rye accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula have the chance to pop on a wetsuit and swim with fur seals and common or bottlenose dolphins. Half-day tours from October to April are run by licensed operators in Port Phillip Bay. TIP: You can book Moonraker sightseeing cruises and dolphin swim tours directly through the Ocean Blue website where we have passes for families of four available.
Now summer’s over you’ll need a treat to look forward to whether it’s a romantic weekend away with your partner or with a group of girlfriends. Stay more than three nights and you won’t even need to get up to make toast in the morning with our complimentary breakfast hampers!
We offer Pamper Party Packages for girls’ weekends away, which are proving to be a big hit. These can be customised to whatever occasion you’re celebrating, a hens weekend, birthday or just some well-deserved time out with friends. Just let us know your requirements and mobile day spa Touch of Peace can be booked to come directly to one of our luxury holiday rentals in Rye. You have the choice of a soothing massage, spa treatment, serenity filled yoga session, or perhaps a spot of belly dancing and tarot card reading for something different? Our Peninsula Hot Springs Packages can turn your weekend into an extra special occasion. Just a ten minute drive from our Rye accommodation, this award-winning day spa is a great excuse to visit the Mornington Peninsula in autumn. The natural mineral waters will soothe away any tension with your choice of bathing experiences including: a Turkish steam bath, massaging shower, cave pools and outdoor hilltop pool with panoramic views; as well as a range of relaxation treatments. Slightly further away but still just a half hour drive from our Rye accommodation is the Woodman Estate Spa Retreat, a stunning lakeside spa featuring a range of massage, beauty and spa treatments utilising high-quality, all natural Australian products. If you’ve ever wanted to loll around on a day bed or stroll around a lake in a bathrobe, then this is the place to do it!
Autumn R&R on Mornington Peninsula
Our cosy spa cottages, such as popular Whitewood Cottage, can make it tempting to snuggle down by the fire with a good book for your entire stay. But we highly recommend taking time to relax and unwind outdoors with scenic beach walk or a visit to some of the sensational bush reserves, gardens and parks dotted over the Mornington Peninsula. They really are too beautiful to miss at this time of year!
Ocean Beach & Bush Walks
From the southwest tip of Mornington Peninsula to Cape Schanck Lighthouse, the scenic Mornington Peninsula Coastal Walk covers 100km of southern Peninsula coastline. However, it is made up of many shorter ocean beach strolls perfect for brushing the cobwebs away. Here are a few of our favourites:
Farnworth Track: A cliff top and beach loop walk linking Portsea Ocean Beach with London Bridge. Start at either destination, 1 hour return.
Coppins Track: Sorrento Ocean Beach to Diamond Bay, historical cliff top walk. Just over 1 hour one way.
Cape Schanck to Bushrangers Bay: 2 hours return. Considered one of the best walks in Victoria. Start at Cape Schank eastern carpark and follow the Bushrangers Bay track. Tip: head back at dusk to see Kangaroos.
PET TIP: For pet owners staying at our Rye accommodation, when daylight savings ends on 6 April, many of the dog friendly beaches in the Mornington Peninsula are leash free. Check out this local dog guide for more information.
This is the upper section of the Mornington Peninsula National Park consisting of 1,400 hectares of native eucalypt forest. There are plenty of short and longer walks ideal for those who wish to observe a wide variety of wildlife. Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Black Wallabies feed on the open grasslands in the morning and at dusk, and there are many species of birds to spot such as parrots, wrens, honeyeaters. Popular tracks include:
Baldrys Short & Long Circuit;
Long Point Circuit;
Two Bays Walking Track.
Parks and Gardens
Reds, golds, yellows – all the fiery colours we associate with deciduous trees will be on display for you if you visit the Mornington Peninsula in mid-autumn. For those taking in the Melbourne Flower Show at the end of March then why not extend your visit to Mornington Peninsula in early April and experience some of these stunning formal parks and gardens near our Rye accommodation!
Seawinds Gardens: Situated in Arthurs Seat State Park, 34 hectares grounds with many species of native trees, lookout points, walking tracks and formal & exotic gardens.
Morning Star Estate: Just north of Mornington township, 22 acres of grounds laid out around a Victorian mansion. Offers a restaurant and vineyards as well as extensive rose gardens.
Heronswood: Formal 2 acre Victorian botanical garden near Dromana with 19th century trees, thatched-roof cafe and retail nursery. Best for picnics and those keen on heritage gardening.
Enchanted Maze Garden: Award-winning whimsical garden near Arthurs Seat with lots of activities for kids and stunning autumn colours in the grande alley when Liquid Amber trees change colour.
If you’d like to experience any of these autumn highlights be sure get in quick to book one of our Mornington Peninsula holiday rentals, our Rye accommodation is especially popular this time of year. Don’t forget to ‘like’ our Facebook page and let us know why you love autumn too!