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Alternative Day Trips from Melbourne to Mornington Peninsula

Things to do around Melbourne
As an alternative to a day trip to Yarra Valley or if you have an extra day for another road trip while in Melbourne, a drive down the Mornington Peninsula to the following interesting places can also be considered for those wanting to explore a little more here.

Green Olive at Red Hill

Located about an hours drive from Melbourne CBD, Green Olive at Red Hill is a good place to stop for some late breakfast or early brunch while driving in Mornington Peninsula.

Here you can enjoy your meal or farm roasted coffee amidst green surroundings that are made up of, among others, olive trees.

Red Hill's Green Olive
Designed to be an environmentally sustainable business, they capture their own water, kitchen leftovers and paper waste are composted, use glass and plastic containers are reduced.

Cooking is done using wood fire oven with wood sourced from fallen timber on the compound – Green Olive at Red Hill could be an interesting case study on how to create and run a sustainable agro-tourism experience.

But then again, Green Olive serving what is reportedly to be some of the finest food the Mornington Peninsula has to offer is perhaps a good enough reason to give them a visit.

Location: Green Olive at Red Hill, 1180 Mornington-Flinders Road, Main Ridge Victoria 3928.
GPS Coordinates: -38.38160738.381607, 144.992483144.992483

Gunnamatta Trail Rides

Located about 20 minutes’ drive from Green Olive at Red Hill, in the heart of Mornington Peninsula, is Gunnamatta Equestrian Centre, the place to go for some horse riding adventure.

The centre offers quite a few horse riding packages to suit everyone, whether with or without experience in horse riding.

A 2-hour package that combines a ride across the bush and along the beach however is just perfect for a visitor to enjoy an exhilarating experience of horse riding in a beautiful landscape.

While the Centre opens throughout the year, the best times of the year for horse riding here tend to be in early and late summer.

Location: Gunnamatta Equestrian Centre, Corner of Truemans & Sandy Roads, Fingal, Victoria 3941
GPS Coordinates: -38.41894538.418945, 144.860949144.860949

Peninsula Hot Springs

Melbourne Peninsula Hot Springs
View from Hilltop Pool at Peninsula Hot Springs
After an adrenaline pumping horse ride, what could be more relaxing than a dip in a hot spring? Located just 10 minutes’ drive away from Gunnamatta Equestrian Centre is Peninsula Hot Springs, which has over 20 thermal pools to offer to their customers.

For privacy reasons, no photography is allowed at pool areas apart from of your own group. While each pool is unique in terms of themes and types, e.g. children pool, reflexology pool and quiet pool, the most popular pool among the visitors here appears to be the Hilltop pool.

Located on a small hill, there is quite a queue to get into the pool because it does not just offer a sanctuary for the body and mind but also a feast to the eyes with the sprawling fields below.

Location: Peninsula Hot Springs, Springs Lane, Fingal, Victoria 3939
GPS Coordinates: -38.40680838.406808, 144.84343144.84343


Photo of Heronswood
A bathe in the many pools at Peninsula Hot Springs is sure to make one hungry. Fret not however. While the Hot Springs has their own cafe, a 20 minutes’ drive to Dromana would bring you to Heronswood, a historic 19th century house and cottage, and one of Victoria’s finest coastal gardens.

Here you can choose whether to take a stroll around the beautiful garden first or save it for later after you have had your late lunch or afternoon tea at their cafe, the only thatched roof cafe in Australia.

For avid gardeners and flora lovers, you can go on a self-guided audio tour around the garden and later browse through the Garden Shop, which has over 1800 products.

Location: Heronswood, 105 La Trobe Parade, Dromana, Victoria 3936.
GPS Coordinates: -38.3439, 144.943528144.943528

Mount Martha Bathing Boxes

Mount Martha Bathing Boxes
Bathing Boxes at Mount Martha
As you drive along the coastal road back towards Melbourne CBD, you’ll pass through Mount Martha some 20 minutes after you leave Heronswood.

Here you can park your car by the beach to enjoy a beach walk “Melbourne style”, with blue waters on one side and colourful bathing boxes basking in late afternoon sun on the other.

Location: Mount Martha Bathing Boxes
GPS Coordinates: -38.26322538.263225, 145.016596145.016596

The Rocks Mornington
Photo of Mornington Pier
Yachts and boats at Mornington Pier
Whether or not you wait for sunset at Mount Martha, you can always choose to have early dinner at The Rocks Mornington.

Located at Mornington Pier and just 10 minutes’ drive from Mount Martha Bathing Boxes, the restaurant primarily offers fresh seafood to its patrons.

It however does have non-seafood and vegetarian options as well to ensure that everybody can enjoy a unique fresh air, waterfront dining experience.

Location: The Rocks Mornington, 1 Schnapper Point Drive, Mornington 3931.
GPS Coordinates: -38.21267638.212676, 145.033543145.033543

After dinner, it’s just an hour drive back to Melbourne CBD.

A Thank You and Disclosure Note

Rusli Wahab is a Malaysian traveller who blogs about his travels at Ramble and Wander. He was in Melbourne on a familiarization trip with Tune Hotels, AirAsia X, Tourism Australia and Tourism Victoria.

Read Rusli's other articles on Melbourne with a guide of Alternative Things to do in Melbourne, his Tune Hotels Melbourne Review and Visiting Yarra Valley.

Tune Hotels now have more than 40 hotels in 8 countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, India, Japan, United Kingdom and Australia. Tune Hotel Melbourne is the first Tune Hotel in Australia.

AirAsia X is a long-haul, budget airline based in Malaysia. The airline flies twice each way daily between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne.

Other than Melbourne, it also flies to 5 other cities in Australia including Adelaide, Darwin, Gold Coast, Perth and Sydney.

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