To enjoy the best of what Australia's landscape has to offer, visit Melbourne, a hip and dynamic metropolis with an exciting city centre, inner-city neighbourhoods full of unique character, and lush green parks and mountain ranges. The city is famous for its incredible street art, its extensive network of alleyways, its diverse cultural offerings, its high quality dining options that are accessible to people of varying financial means, and its wide range of cultural offerings. In addition to its status as a global centre for the coffee industry, this city is also widely regarded as one of the most desirable places to call home. Let's take a look at some of the best that Melbourne's tourist hotspot has to offer. Take a day trip to the Mornington Peninsula and see what all the fuss is about.
Take a day trip to the Mornington Peninsula
What is it?
In slightly over an hour and a half, you can drive from Victoria's bustling downtown to the state's breathtaking coastal region.
Beaches, wineries, parks, gardens, and spas are just some of the many alluring tourist attractions found on the Mornington Peninsula.
The Jackalope Hotel and the Peninsula Hot Springs are two great places to stop if you're in the area. Pt. Leo Estate is home to a winery and a fantastic restaurant, and nearby attractions include the chairlift at Arthur's Seat and the Bushrangers Bay Trail at Cape Schanck. Laura, there have been reports of dolphins and seals in the bay. Do you see what I mean by a humiliating surplus of assets now?
Visualize the following: You're driving a roadster with the top down, and the wind is blowing through your hair as you speed past the ocean or through the verdant vineyards. The Mornington Peninsula is the kind of place you'd go on a road trip just to see. Whether you're looking for a family vacation spot, a wilderness adventure, or a self-indulgent weekend, exploring the area by car is the most practical option.
You'll find some of the best wineries in the world, gourmet restaurants, pristine beaches, and hiking trails, not to mention five-star lodgings. It's only an hour away from Melbourne, but you'll feel like you've stepped into a different world.
See and do
Enjoy the day at Peninsula Hot Springs soaking in the thermal pools and getting pampered at the on-site spa. When going with a friend, be sure to book a Kodo massage, a treatment based on traditional Japanese massage.
After experiencing Aboriginal methods coupled with a range of aromatic oils from the area, you will feel totally at peace. You can choose from mild to scalding temperatures in the hot pools, or try out some cryotherapy in the ice cave. The sauna and steam room will help you sweat out the toxins as well. Upstairs at the café, you can get a healthy and quick meal.
Once you've reached a contented state, head over to Moonlit Sanctuary to take a walk on the wild side. At this animal sanctuary, guests can get up close and personal with kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and other native Australian animals, as well as feed and pet a wide variety of birds, reptiles, and dingoes.
Moonah Links is a resort and complex that attracts golf enthusiasts with its 36 holes of golf, spa, and restaurant.
Spending time at the beach is one of life's greatest pleasures if the weather is just right. A few of the most popular beaches in the Port Phillip area include Dromana Bay, Rosebud, Rye, and Mornington. There are no waves at these beaches, making them perfect for families with young children and windsurfers.
The Sculpture Park at Pt. Leo Estate is home to a massive statue of Kaws, among many other sculptures dotted across its meticulously groomed lawns. The scene is set in front of a vineyard, with the azure waters of Western Port Bay as a stunning backdrop.
On your way back to Melbourne, stop by Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm for a punnet of their freshly picked fruit. When in season, visitors to this farm can select and harvest their own supply of red devils.
There is also Torello Farm, where you can buy seasonal fruits and vegetables, outdoor plants, and even meat straight from the butcher. You should also check out the included cookbook, which was developed specifically for this system.
Eat at Mornington Peninsula
Some of the most well-known things associated with the American South include barbeque, genuine southern hospitality, and banana pudding. Additionally, Red Gum BBQ on Arthurs Seat Road in the Mornington Peninsula is where you will find the best examples of all three.
The high ceilings are punctuated with skylights that flood the room with natural light and make the atmosphere bright and welcoming. Both the seating arrangement and the food are meant to be shared among diners, so the tables are set up in a picnic style. Half and quarter chickens, ribs, and homemade jalapeo cheddar sausage are available, along with other barbecued meats like pulled pork and beef brisket. The sausage had a pleasant amount of heat and a rich, savoury flavour.
Want something with a little more glamour? The Laura restaurant in Pt. Leo is widely regarded as the best eatery on the Mornington Peninsula.
The warm brioche rolls are made with a local variety of red wheat, chased with peppery olive oil from Cape Schanck, and the menu does not follow the drawn-out degustation route, instead consisting of a tighter two or three courses that are dotted with site-specific origin stories; fine dining is too much of an archaic term to describe this very modern restaurant.
If you're looking for an alternative to Laura, try Pt. Leo's Estate Restaurant instead. There is a comprehensive wine list, as well as separate Martini and Old Fashioned menus.
You could also try the fantastic fare at Merricks General Wine Store, which is decorated and operated like a country bistro. Place an order for the Elgee Park Family Reserve Riesling, the chicken and leek pie, and the bay mussels. The Epicurean Red Hill, which serves a variety of Italian dishes alongside more than a hundred regional wines, is a must-visit for wine lovers.
Choose between the Porcolino and the Picantosa. The rack of lamb with a kalamata olive crust is the best main dish. Pier Provedore on Flinders serves the best coffee in the area, along with a ham and gruyère croissant that you must have to survive.
Drink at Morington Peninsula
The Mornington Peninsula is home to the Montalto winery and restaurant, known for its fantastic produce-focused restaurant, fascinating sculpture garden, and delightful wines. It's safe to say that they have few rivals among the Mornington Peninsula's wineries. There is no longer a range in the kitchen, but rather an open fireplace, and all of the gas appliances have been removed.
Vegetables and meats can be cooked in a variety of ways, including being seared quickly for a perfect char, or slowly in smouldering coals for a smoky undertone. Everything cooked in this manner has a delicious smoky flavour. In addition, the annual Montalto Sculpture Prize is a major attraction.
The sculpture gardens at the winery are updated annually with new works of art, and visitors are welcome to stroll through the gardens at their leisure. Make a detour to the winery's cellar door to try some of Montalto's cool-climate vintages.
Next door is Tuck's Ridge, a more laid-back winery with sweeping views of the same hillside and bird sanctuary as Montalto. The kitchen at the winery serves up simple fare made with high-quality ingredients. The "taste the rainbow" tasting at Tuck's Ridge is a must for any visitor.
Since you won't know what you're supposed to be tasting until after the fact, you won't be swayed by descriptions of flavours like passionfruit, chocolate, or woodsmoke. You can take notes on the giant whiteboard table as you sip the Now range (no bonus points for guessing when to drink it) and the more expensive Tuck's Ridge range, which is meant to improve with some time spent ageing in the cellar.
The stunning Avani Winery offers wines cultivated using biodynamic farming practises and minimal intervention from humans. The owners are happy to tell you about their fascinating family history, and the restaurant and tasting room both have stunning vistas of the vineyard. Aunty Shashi is an Indian woman who emigrated to Australia in the 1980s with her husband, Devendra. Shashi is her common name and nickname.
After that, she went to school for viticulture and, with the help of her family, started making wine on her own. Now they're turning out barrel after barrel of high-quality natural wines that can be enjoyed at any time of day. Every summer and winter, the estate's restaurant hosts pop-up dinners featuring Southeast Asian cuisine, a perfect match for the wine.
The Paringa Estate is a hidden gem on the Peninsula, with its picture-perfect setting among the vineyards and its acclaimed restaurant. The wines, especially the chardonnays and pinot noirs, are of the highest quality.
Foxey's Hangout is a winery with a relaxed vibe and delicious, fresh fruit and vegetables. They produce a rosé that is so light and refreshing that it's impossible to resist. The sparkling wine is also very important, but you don't have to wait for anyone to pour it for you.
Foxes Hangout provides a class on how to make your own sparkling wine. The winemaker will teach you about the history of sparkling winemaking and show you how to riddle and disgorge a bottle during the course. Make your own bottle of bubbly with the sweetness level you prefer, and take it home in a bottle you've personalised.
Stay overnight at Mornington Peninsula
It's not an exaggeration to say that Jackalope has had a huge effect on the Mornington Peninsula. Unlike its natural surroundings of rolling hills and vines that sway lazily in the wind, the ultra-luxurious hotel looks like it could have been plucked from the trendy Meatpacking District of Manhattan.
The design of this hotel was inspired by alchemy, the process of changing common materials into rare and valuable objects. Transforming lead into gold and creating an elixir of life are two of the most famous examples of transformation, but Jacklope can take an ordinary hotel stay and make it extraordinary.
The hotel opened its doors in April 2017, and in its first year of business, it received numerous awards, including "Hotel of the Year" from Gourmet Traveller. As befits a boutique hotel, there are only 45 rooms available, an intimate number that allows for personalised service and makes each guest feel like they're the only one there. The staff is outstanding, and they will gladly show you to your room and explain all the modern conveniences and opulent extras that await you there.
Mornington Peninsula lodgings are not worth $650 to you? If you're in the area, stop by Lindenderry at Red Hill and enjoy the gardens and nearly 14 hectares of vineyards. The hotel's interior is reminiscent of a large, glamorous country house, with plenty of space and an air of understated elegance.
The hotel's winding hallways are dotted with semi-private nooks, many of which are furnished with plush lounges and frequently include an open fire, ideal for some quiet reading. The rooms are luxurious without being over the top, and each has at least one of those open, crackling fireplaces. Reserve a suite with a balcony and live like a lord or lady as you lounge in the large bedroom, cosy armchair by the fireplace, and on the balcony with a glass of wine from the estate.
Puffing Billy Railway
Puffing Billy Railway Station is another of Melbourne's famous train stations and the next stop on our tour of the city's top attractions. The departures and arrivals of the steam trains at this station have made it famous around the world. If you're more of a purist, this is the tourist attraction in Melbourne you should visit.
The train ride will take you back to a more relaxed era, when people took open coaches over gravel and dirt roads through the mountains. If you want to learn more about the history of railroads, you can also visit the museum that happens to be right here.
Location: 1 Old Monbulk Rd, Belgrave VIC 3160, Australia
- The most loved open carriage station
- Trains here run on steam even today
- The journey is set to give you picturesque views as it crosses over Dandenong Ranges.
- The place also has a train-based museum.
Timings: 9 am - 5 pm on weekdays and on weekends 9 am - 12 pm
Find out more at https://www.thrillophilia.com/
Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Melbourne
- Float up, up and away in an incredible hot air balloon
- Amazing views of Melbourne CBD
- Enjoy a delicious breakfast after the flight
Hot air balloon rides over Melbourne are a breathtaking way to see the town! Depending on the wind at dawn, your ballooning adventure may take you over the CBD, inner suburbs, parks and gardens, with Port Phillip Bay creating the perfect backdrop as you discover this gorgeous city from the air!
- One hour flight over Melbourne for two people
- Hotel champagne breakfast
To start the day off right, enjoy a glass of champagne at your hotel
We'll start your hot air balloon ride over Melbourne at sunrise, meeting you either at your hotel or at the agreed-upon meeting spot.
Details about the time and place of your flight will be communicated to you the evening before your departure. After receiving a briefing from your pilot, you will be transported to the launch site, where you will have the option to participate in the launch or spectate and take pictures. After that, we take off in our beautiful balloon and float leisurely above Melbourne below.
Your flight time will probably be close to an hour. Afterward, we'll land for good, pack up the balloon, and invite you to a traditional champagne breakfast at the Amora Hotel Riverwalk Melbourne.
Note that this flight is not a private one, despite the fact that the voucher is for two seats. Every day, at least four people are around.
- Minimum fitness level required: passengers need to be able to climb into the basket and stand for the hour's flight
- You need to inform the experience provider if you have a medical condition that may preclude you from flying e.g. a back problem
- Not suitable for women more than 12 weeks pregnant
- You must be 18 years or older to be served alcohol; photo ID may be required
- Once confirmed, you will receive a flight confirmation email from the provider - if you don't receive this to your email, it is your responsibility to follow up prior to your flight date
- Once this experience has been confirmed, changes are at the discretion of the experience provider and arranged directly with them according to their policy.
- This experience is non-refundable – if the flight is cancelled due to weather, you can reschedule your flight within 12 months.
- Once booked, please ensure you read the experience providers terms and conditions, located on your flight confirmation.
Have a night-time book hang at Readings
What is it?
Readings is proof that there is still a place for great independent bookshops, as it attracts a crowd at 10 o'clock on a Saturday night, when most bookstores are closed.
The shop has a long history of community involvement and support for local authors through literary prizes, in addition to its unrivalled selection, helpful staff, and great atmosphere. This helped the original Carlton location win the International Excellence Award at the 2016 London Book Fair.
Checking out the illustrious businesses that are located on either side of this bookstore on Lygon Street, such as the art house Cinema Nova, the fromagerie Milk the Cow, and the famous Italian pastry shop Brunetti.
A young and vibrant metropolis, Melbourne is home to a vibrant downtown and charming, niche neighbourhoods. Visit the Mornington Peninsula for the day and find out why everyone is talking about it. There are a wide variety of appealing tourist destinations in that area, including beaches, wineries, parks, gardens, and spas. Treatments at Peninsula Hot Springs can be as mild as a dip in warm water or as intense as a scalding soak in hot springs water. Animals native to Australia, such as kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas, are cared for at Moonlit Sanctuary.
Kaws is the subject of a massive statue in Pt. Leo Estate's Sculpture Park. One of the finest dining establishments on the Mornington Peninsula is the Laura restaurant at Pt. Leo. The staff and atmosphere at Merricks General Wine Store are reminiscent of a rustic country inn.
A wide selection of Italian dishes and over a hundred local wines are available at the Epicurean Red Hill. In a picture-perfect location among the vineyards, the Paringa Estate is a hidden gem on the Peninsula. The restaurant at Avani Winery frequently features pop-up dinners with Southeast Asian fare. The hillside and bird sanctuary can be seen from both Montalto and Tuck's Ridge. You can learn how to make your own sparkling wine at Foxes Hangout.
The art of alchemy, in which common materials are transformed into rare and valuable objects, served as inspiration for the Jackalope Hotel's design. Visit Lindenderry at Red Hill to take in the gardens and vineyards if you're in the area. Another of Melbourne's well-known train stations is Puffing Billy. Beautiful scenery can be seen along the route as it crosses the Dandenong Ranges. Or experience the thrill of floating through the air in a breathtaking hot air balloon.
Before your scheduled departure date, a confirmation email will be sent to you from the experience provider. Pilot briefings aside, you can expect to be driven directly to the takeoff pad. Then, we hop into our stunning balloon and drift peacefully above Melbourne. The flight should take you about an hour. If your flight gets cancelled, you can rebook it for any time in the following calendar year at no additional cost.
Since its inception, Readings has been dedicated to promoting local authors and engaging with the surrounding community. The original Carlton was recognised as the best bookstore in the world at the 2016 London Book Fair.
- Come with me as I explore some of the most popular attractions in Melbourne's tourist district.
- Visit the Mornington Peninsula for the day and find out why everyone is talking about it.
- You could easily justify taking a road trip just to see the Mornington Peninsula.
- You'll find world-famous wineries, exquisite dining, stunning landscapes, and exciting outdoor activities like hiking and mountaineering.
- Visit Peninsula Hot Springs and spend the day relaxing in the thermal pools and at the spa.
- When you've worked yourself up to a state of contentment, it's time to visit Moonlit Sanctuary and see the wild side of life.
- When the weather is nice, nothing beats lounging on the beach.
- Dromana Bay, Rosebud, Rye, and Mornington are some of the most well-known beaches in the Port Phillip region.
- Some of the best food on the Mornington Peninsula can be found at Pt. Leo's Laura restaurant.
- The Morington Peninsula is a good place to grab a drink.
- Stop by the cellar door on the way to sample some of Montalto's award-winning cool-climate wines.
- You can't visit Tuck's Ridge and not partake in the "taste the rainbow" tasting.
- Foxey's Hangout is an organic farm and winery that serves delicious, locally-grown produce and has a chill atmosphere.
- You can learn how to make your own sparkling wine at Foxes Hangout.
- Sleep on Mornington Peninsula.
- The impact of Jackalope on the Mornington Peninsula cannot be overstated.
- Opening its doors in April 2017, the hotel quickly gained praise and several accolades in its first year of operation, including "Hotel of the Year" from Gourmet Traveller.
- The Puffing Billy Railroad can be found in this area.
- This next stop on our sightseeing adventure through Melbourne is the Puffing Billy Railway Station, another of the city's well-known train terminals.
- Explore Melbourne, Australia From Above on a Hot Air Balloon Tour
- Get a taste of the thrill of flying through the air in a colourful hot air balloon.
- Seeing Melbourne from a hot air balloon is one of the most spectacular things you can do in the city.
- Information about your flight's departure time and location will be relayed to you the night before your trip.
- If you have any health issues that might prevent you from flying, you must disclose that information to the experience provider.
- The service provider is responsible for sending you a confirmation email once your flight booking is confirmed; if you do not receive this, you must contact them well in advance of your departure date.
- In order to make any changes to your reservation, you will need the provider's approval and will need to coordinate with them directly to ensure that the changes are made in accordance with their policy.
- Once you have booked your experience, please review the terms and conditions set forth by the service provider on your flight confirmation.
- Readings is the perfect place for a late night book club meeting.
- The original Carlton location was able to take home the International Excellence Award from the 2016 London Book Fair thanks to this.
FAQs About Backpacking In Australia
What is this? For a complete working holiday experience, where you get to enjoy all the backpacking bells and whistles, we reckon travelling Australia on a budget will cost AU$2,616 per month, or AU$31,390 for the year. Just check out this budget calculator so you can calculate your own costs.
Australia is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. It's known as a major backpacking, camping, road trip, and diving destination, but no matter your travel style, there is something to draw you here. Backpacking Australia is like the “must do” for backpackers around the world.
The most popular way to travel around Australia is to take the 'backpacker' bus from one place to another. You can choose between two bus companies: Premier and Greyhound.