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Your Essential Guide to Planning a Girls' Trip to the Mornington Peninsula

‘Gram-worthy landscapes? Check! Award-winning restaurants and a luxurious stay amongst the vines? Double check.

The Mornington Peninsula is just a hop, skip and a short drive from Melbourne. Best known for its beautiful beaches and national parks, the Peninsula is also home to an amazing array of award-winning wineries and spas, as well as boasting beautiful boutique hotels. As such, it naturally lends itself to being the perfect place to spend a little gals' getaway.

So, get the car playlist ready, leave your partners, kids, and pets at home and head off for a gorgeous weekend away with your best girlfriends. Here's your essential guide to planning a girl's trip to the Mornington Peninsula. 

Girls Trip to the Morning Peninsula : Play

Take a dip at the beach

The Mornington Peninsula boasts miles and miles of gorgeous golden beaches, so make sure to go for a dip during your visit. Our pick would be Mount Martha Beach, which is lined with colourful beach huts, along with a handy strip of cafes to grab lunch at.

Bathe in the hot springs

The Peninsula Hot Springs is a must visit, with over 20 bath experiences including plunge pools, jet pools, massaging showers and a Turkish hammam spread across the open-air Bath House, it’s the perfect setting to relax and reconnect with your girlfriends.

Head to the markets

Is there a better way to start a morning than with a trip to the markets? We’re going with ‘no’. A couple of options for this include the Red Hill Community Market or the Mornington Racecourse Market — just don't forget to bring your basket with you.

Go horseback riding on the beach

Being one of the only places where you can actually go horseback riding in Victoria on the beach, Gunnamatta Trail Rides offers an unbeatable experience that can be booked for morning, afternoon or during evening sunsets.

Find your zen at a yoga retreat

Yogafest Retreat is a weekend long yoga-based event that takes place twice each year on the Mornington Peninsula. So if you and your gal pals are yogis, check the company's next event dates and the stars may just align.

Girls Trip to the Morning Peninsula : Eat

Bistro Elba

Do you have serious foodie friends with a love of all things European cuisine? On your travels, make a quick stop in the South of France – no passport required! Industry heavyweights Clinton Trevisi, James Langley and Matthew Guthrie (Donna Maria, Patsy’s) bring their signature je ne sais quoi to Sorrento with Bistro Elba. Offering Southern French cuisine heavy on seafood, the seasonally geared menu reflects a “what is good right now” philosophy, sourcing largely from the bistro’s farm garden near Daylesford. An extensive cheese and dessert list elevate standout dishes including confit ocean trout in a Salade Niçoise, Aubergine Bonifacio and O’Connor’s grass-fed eye fillet. And the pièce de resistance? Book a table between 5-6 pm daily to enjoy half-priced Appellation rock oysters.

100 -102 Ocean Beach Road Sorrento

Donna Maria

Continue your European love affair at Donna Maria, the charming Italian sister venue of Bistro Elba. The talented hospo trio put a sophisticated spin on classic dishes that champion Italy’s time-honoured culinary traditions. First things first, start with an aperitivo (the negroni sbagliato is a must) paired with a fritto misto of crispy fried local seafood and salsa calabrese for the table. For mains, look out for local Flinders legend Harry’s Mussels served with agretto grown on the owner’s farm; hand-cut taglioline with calamari and pistachio pesto, and a fresh as they come barramundi fillet with pesto alla Trapanese.

Shop 1/52 Cook Street, Flinders

Audrey’s

Another of Melbourne’s hospo Hall of Famers, Scott Pickett’s newest eatery inside the luxurious The Continental Sorrento offers a taste of his signature sophistication and culinary flair. For the girls seeking luxurious lodgings with the menu to match, Audrey’s old-world elegance and inspired locally driven menu leans into the restaurant's coastal backdrop with a focus on seafood. Complete with its own raw bar (think oysters, crayfish, abalone, and periwinkles), hungry diners should look no further than Audrey’s five-course set menu featuring decadent fish and vegetable-focused dishes such as Mornington Peninsula squid with shitake XO and King George whiting with yellow beans, green peppercorn, and roast onion. If you didn’t already have your girls’ weekend in the Mornington Peninsula booked, this is your sign!

1-24 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento

DOC Mornington

DOC Mornington is a favourite for both locals and visitors, thanks to its feather-light and stylish pizzas, set in a large and lively dining hall with alfresco tables. Visit here for lunch or dinner and don’t forget to stock up on their take-home pasta and sauces before you leave.

22 Main St, Mornington

Smashing Sorrento

For a brunch stop option, head to the Smashing Sorrento café for some delicious tasting (and equally delicious looking) meals. Make sure to spend some time walking around Sorrento’s upmarket boutiques, historic buildings and gourmet bakeries while you’re at it.

119-125 Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento 

The Winey Cow

The Winey Cow is a bright and airy café and wine bar located on the main drag of Mornington. A popular dish here is the meal aptly named ‘The Winey Cow’ which consists of a brioche bun burger filled with tender spiced pulled beef and lots of other deliciousness.

39A Main St, Mornington

Laura

The Peninsula's Pt. Leo Estate is home to Australia's most comprehensive sculpture collection, and two-hatted restaurant, Laura. A gourmet hideaway promising an ultra-luxe dining experience in a gloriously intimate setting. With a choice of four, five or six courses, along with a perfectly paired wine list, diners take a gastronomic tour of the region through each plate.

3649 Frankston - Flinders Rd, Merricks 

Merchant Lane

For a variety of cuisine options located all in one spot, head to Merchant Lane, a casual and unique venue that pulls together seven different food truck style outlets, built into the venue which is all open on different days of the week.

58 Main St, Mornington

Girls Trip to the Morning Peninsula : Drink

Barlow

A glossy new after-hours haunt has arrived at The Continental Sorrento, bringing with it an exclusive vibe that’s more than a little bit seductive. Barlow sets the scene for the ultimate girls' night with its sumptuous styling (think emerald green walls and plush burgundy banquettes) and intimate vibes. Featuring killer signature cocktails like the Mornington Margarita, Victoria’s illustrious Speakeasy Group (Eau De Vie and Nick & Nora’s) has the expansive drinks list matched perfectly to Scott Pickett’s inspired interpretation of a late-night bar menu. Expect polished plates of charcoal-grilled beef skewers with ume furikake and sesame miso; heart of palms tacos with tomatillo salsa and fermented cabbage and spanner crab and king prawn spring rolls with peanut lime nam jim.

1-24 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento

Brass Razu Wine Bar
Brass Razu Wine Bar
Brass Razu Wine Bar

For a bar that has personality in spades, hit up Mornington's Brass Razu, a wine bar decked out in ornate baroque style. Whether you choose to settle into the main bar, the sunny courtyard or the cosy fireplace room, there's a serious list of more than 300 wines (with around 25 going by the glass) to peruse, alongside craft beers and an extensive selection of cocktails. You won't go hungry here either, with a freewheeling tapas-style share menu that covers everything from cheese and charcuterie to pizza and churros.

13 Main Street, Mornington

Willow Creek Vineyard

Specialising in cool climate chardonnay and pinot noir, Willow Creek Vineyard is a must-visit with the girls. The onsite restaurant, Rare Hare puts on a magnificent display of vine-laced hills, acting as the perfect backdrop for sharing a bottle (or three) with the girls.

166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North

Port Phillip Estate

Port Phillip Estate has become a Mornington Peninsula icon for its architecture, sweeping views, quality food, and most importantly, the wine. Visit here for an afternoon tipple where you have the option to either sit inside and enjoy the stylish interior or out on the deck, soaking up the sun.

263 Red Hill Rd, Red Hill South

Kerri Greens

Kerri Greens is a fantastic option for the Red Hill area. Fast becoming a favourite for visitors, due to its cellar door, rolling vineyards, and a comfy lawn ready-made for summer picnics. Grab a bottle of the Pinots De Mornington rosé and settle in for the afternoon. Also, make sure to plan your weekend around a visit here, as they're only open on Saturdays. 

38 Paringa Rd, Red Hill South

Mornington Peninsula Brewery

Hidden in plain sight along a back street in Mornington, Mornington Peninsula Brewery is recognised as one of the best craft breweries in all of Australia. Brewing a great selection of beers, including everything from a pale ale through to a porter, you can take your pick before taking a seat out in the beer garden.

72 Watt Rd, Mornington

Bass & Flinders

If gin is more your go-to, then you best add Bass & Flinders to the list. Being the only bespoke distillery on the Mornington Peninsula, this distillery destination offers a number of tasting options at their cellar door at various price points, all of which is refundable when a bottle purchase is made.

40 Collins Rd, Dromana

Girls Trip to the Morning Peninsula : Stay

Port Phillip Estate Suites

Once you’re done wining and dining at Port Phillip Estate (as per above), consider staying the night in one of their six luxury suites available. The spectacular views from your own private 
terrace come morning will be the perfect way to start the day.

263 Red Hill Road, Red Hill South 

Jackalope, Merricks North
Jackalope, Merricks North
Jackalope Hotel

Also adjoined to a winery, Jackalope Hotel is part of the Willow Creek Vineyard (as per above), unique for its striking modern design. This luxury accommodation consists of 46 luxe rooms, with an outdoor 30-metre infinity pool, overlooking views out to the vineyard being the star attraction.

166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North

Polperro
Polperro
Polperro Villas

Nestled amongst the vines on a stunning 25 acre working property in the heart of Red Hill is Polperro Villas. This boutique accommodation offers picturesque, self-contained villas, each with a beautifully appointed kitchen, spa, and a little private balcony to while away the time.

150 Red Hill Rd, Red Hill 

Lakeside Villas

Dwelling in Dromana, Lakeside Villas is made up of three newly refurbished villas, constructed entirely over the vineyard lake and thus providing a sense of floating among the vines. Come morning, you’ll receive a gourmet brekkie hamper best enjoyed on your private balcony overlooking the lake.

25 Harrisons Rd, Dromana

Happy Glamper

If your girl gang would prefer to go glamping instead, try Happy Glamper, a luxury camping experience exclusively operating in the Mornington Peninsula. Simply take your pick between a ‘belle’ or a lotus belle tent and your glampsite will be set up for you, either by the beach or among the trees, upon arrival.

16/1921Frankston, Frankston - Flinders Rd, Hastings

Loving reading about all the great things to do on the Mornington Peninsula? In desperate need of a holiday? Keep planning by checking out the best Mornington Peninsula wineries and the best spa retreats in Melbourne.