and take a walk on the wild side..
Though the Mornington Peninsula is only a narrow strip of land, just 15-20km wide , each side of the peninsula has its own identity and a completely different feel. The bay side (Port Phillip Bay) villages which stretch from Mornington down to Portsea are typically everyone's favourite Summer escape...with those gentle bayside beaches and holiday attractions these are a popular place to spend time with the kids over the holidays, but can be busy during the peak summer months.
If you are hoping to escape the crowds and are in search of some quiet time and a different feel for your Summer escape, we think you should consider a break away on the 'other' side of the Mornington Peninsula that looks out over Western Port Bay and Phillip Island in the distance.
The wild side
The villages on this side include Flinders, Somers, Balnarring, Point Leo and Cape Schanck and offer an escape from the crowds...the place that the locals hideout during the busy Summer months. Whilst this side of the Peninsula is quieter, it has so much to offer including some of the best restaurants in Victoria, a rugged coastline walks, quieter beaches, beautiful cafes, fantastic bakeries, less traffic and most importantly of all, space. As locals ourselves, here are a few of our favourite things to do when we stay at our holiday homes in Balnarring & Red Hill.
In this very small area of the Mornington Peninsula there are some of Victoria's very best restaurants. You will be spoilt for choice when you come and stay with us.
For Sian, one of her favourite's is Le Bouchon at Balnarring. Serving simple, traditional french cuisine, this bistro is a local gem we only share with our guests. Other gems to add to your list are Oritas 2 & Rare Hare, also in Balnarring, Ten Minutes by Tractor in Main Ridge, Pt Leo Restaurant and Pier 10 in Red Hill. Which will you choose first?!
Take a walk on the wild side along the beaches of Western Port Bay or on one of the many peninsula walks. The beaches at Somers and Flinders also welcome our four legged friends x
Cosy cafes and bakeries are the best when you are away because as we all know holiday calories don't count. Here are a few of our favourite places to treat ourselves.
The Somers General is a relaxed café + store by the beach in Somers on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. Offering a fresh, modern menu, Industry Beans coffee, Mubble ice cream, local and seasonal provisions + artisan wares that are both practical and beautiful for your home.
The Merricks General Store
Merricks General Wine Store is country at its best on the Mornington Peninsula. Between rolling hills and beautiful coastline, enjoy fine wine, food, art and produce at this much loved general store inspired by the rustic charm of farm life.
The Red Hill Baker
The Red Hill Baker at Balnarring is renowned for its expansive range of
in-house made and authentic artisan bread, delicious gourmet pies and cakes. Chef prepared take home meals also await and include lasagne, quiches, family pies, bolognaise and weekly specials. In the fridges you will find a range of local gourmet cheeses and antipasto platter essentials. You can experience The Red Hill Baker in the comfort of your home, with local home delivery available.
The Pt Leo Sculpture Park is an outdoor gallery within 330 acres of landscaped grounds that offer a gentle promenade as opposed to a strenuous trek around the network of winding paths that lead visitors past some 60 works mostly but not exclusively of large-scale.
Unlike other Australian sculpture parks accessible to members of the public, Pt. Leo Estate Sculpture Park includes works by major international as well as major Australian artists. This impressive roll call includes KAWS, George Rickey, Tony Cragg, Inge King, Boaz Vaadia, Tomnakatsu Matsuyama, Barry Flanagan, Julian Opie, Bruce Armstrong and Lenton Parr. Each work has an explanatory plaque giving details on the artist, a succinct account of their career and a short statement about the significance of the work itself.
Cape Schanck is at the southern most tip of the Mornington Peninsula and is approximately 72 km south of Melbourne's CBD. Cape Schanck separates the wild ocean waters of Bass Strait from the slightly calmer waters of Western Port. The most recognisable symbol of Cape Schanck is the Cape Schanck Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1859 and was the second lighthouse built in Victoria. A prominent rock outcrop is Pulpit Rock and stands out at the very tip of the cape.
We love this because…
its on the quieter side of the Peninsula but at the centre of everything that is gourmet and arty. It is a beautiful retreat with deep verandahs reminiscent of a country homestead. Its surrounded by cottage gardens and is the perfect spot to sit and relax. We pick fresh produce from the veggie patch and make dinner in the glamorous country kitchen.
Sleeps up to 8 guests, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Bass Vista, Cape Schanck
we love this because…
Bass Vista allows us to escape from the world! We LOVE the location for its quiet solitude and our most favourite thing to do is to sit on the balcony and take in the most magnificent 180 degree views of the waters of Bass Strait and Gunnamatta Beach while sipping on a cocktail.
Sleeps up to 8 guests, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms