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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mornington Peninsula Attractions

The Mornington Peninsula has the lot of attractions: beautiful surf and bay beaches, undulating vine and orchard covered hills, comfortable beach shacks and exclusive Portsea and Sorrento cliff top mansions, plus old fashioned bathing boxes and thriving towns with village atmospheres. Add vineyard restaurants, excellent local produce including wine, beer, olives and seafood, impressive wineries, championship golf courses, pastoral landscapes and dramatic seascapes.
Now, with the summer`s crowds gone is the perfect time for a weekend away on the Mornington Peninsula. The Mornington Peninsula has long been known for its superb food, wine and scenery and its all just a one-hour drive from the heart of Melbourne. The following are some of the highlights the Mornington Peninsula has to offer.
Peninsula Hot Springs Bath House and Spa Center
Peninsula Hot Springs is located on Springs Lane, Rye and is located between St Andrews Beach and Rosebud. The Center is Victoria`s first natural hot springs and draws water from an aquifer 637m underground. It has undergone a major expansion and now has 34 new bathing experiences, including a kids zone. Peninsula Hot Springs is open 7:30am to 10pm.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse
Built in 1859, the Cape Schanck Lighthouse at the southern end of the Mornington Peninsula, has a rare stone spiral staircase. Day tours of the lighthouse cost $14 an adult, $12 a child or $38 a family plus admission into an on-site museum. Accommodation is also available in the former lighthouse keeper`s cottage for $150 a room a night.

Ellisfield Farm
Ellisfield Farm is an authentic, pick your own fruit farm experience! Sweet cherries are available from late November to early January. Sour (Morello) cherries throughout January and quinces in Autumn. Enjoy morello cherry balsamic vinegar, morello cherry fortified wine, preserved quince slice, cherry ice cream, and assorted jams. Open 9am to 4pm, Dec-Jan. Feb–Nov by appointment. 109 McIIroys Road, Red Hill (Mel Ref: 191 E1)

Flinders Farm
Flinders farm prides itself on producing perfect tomatoes that not only look great but smell and taste like real tomatoes too! Normal round, roma and cherry varieties are all available – all with exceptional flavour. Flinders Farm tomatoes are sold by the bag at the farmgate through an honesty system. Open 9:30am to 5:30pm, 7 days a week. 2071 Boneo Road, Flinders (Mel Ref: 261 D9)

Green Olive at Red Hill
Green Olive at Red Hill is a boutique olive grove and vineyard located in the heart of Red Hill. Rich red fertile soil and Red Hill rain water are the key ingredients for the exquisite Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oils, table olives and tantalizing jams and relishes. Open 11am to 4pm weekends and public holidays. Farm Gate: 1180 Mornington Flinders Rd, Red Hill (Mel Ref: 190 D7)

Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens
Ashcombe Maze is Australia`s oldest & largest traditional hedge maze. Stunning lavender labyrinth & circular rose maze with 1200+ rose bushes. Enjoy a light lunch in the fully licensed cafe or indulge in homemade cakes, scones and biscuits. Wander the 25 acres of gardens on a self guided garden discovery trail or just browse the gift shop for gourmet goodies. Open from 10am to 5pm, 7 days a week. 15 Shoreham Road, Shoreham (Mel Ref: 256 E4)

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