Vineyards and hot springs, Mornington Peninsula
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
More glorious weather has hit Melbourne during winter, so what better way to appreciate it than head down the Mornington Peninsula (you can see on our map) to the vineyards (there are over 70 to choose from!) and then relaxing in the natural hot springs? :-)
We drove down there early Saturday morning, it took about an hour and a half. No, lets say two hours, as Carl refuses to use maps/Sat Nav, going with the old adage, "just go straight". So after a couple of detours later, we found the beach and pier, took in some fresh sea air and then asked the information centre to recommend things to see and do, of which there is so much. So we plan to come back when the weather is even nicer and go Kayaking/horse riding along the beach etc.
First stop was a farmers market, selling chutneys, jams, veg, fruit, cheese bread etc. Then we hit a vineyard for lunch - definitely would class it as fine dining! This is because we didnt know what 70% of the menu was, which is a sure sign. We had a table by the window looking out over the vineyard.
We then drove a couple of minutes up the road to the next one, called Willow Creek, which came highly recommended. We had some wine tasting and went into the cellar to look at their collection of wines. We then had more food and wine! which was delicious and just lovely to sit on the decking looking out over the vineyards and lake, in the hot sun.
On route to the springs we noticed a wooded area with a path which looked like it led to the cliffs so we got out of the car and explored. We found it opened out into some great views and a small secluded beach. We found a strange looking dead fish on the beach (you will see in the photos). The biggest eyes on a fish ever!
Then off to the natural hot springs, which was busy but fantastic. We got there just as it was getting dark so it looked so pretty lit up. The temperature of the pools apparently ranges from 37c - 43c so was very relaxing (after SUCH a tough day anyway ;-) ). The hot mineral spring waters come from about 600 metres below the surface at 50c, rises under its own pressure where it is pumped into pools. Sitting in these pools out in the open surrounded by trees as the sun was setting was so beauttful. There was a 'reflexology walk' also, where you walk through ankle deep water in a over a special stoney surface which the boys were impressed with.
Carl then drove back to the city to meet some friends and Russ and I stayed in a quirky little B&B and caught the train back into the city Sunday morning. Train travel is very cheap here, compared with London thats for sure!
It was definitely one of our favourite days of the trip so far!