The article is written by Rebecca Todesco
For those of you studying in Melbourne, there’s plenty in the city to keep you occupied. But if you’re looking to leave the skyscrapers behind and escape to the coast for the weekend then here’s a couple of places you should consider.
The limestone buildings that line the main street are a hat tip to Sorrento’s history. Sorrento beach offers white sand and shallow water, perfect for the littlies to get their feet wet and have a paddle.
Sorrento’s main road is lined with enough boutiques, restaurants and cafes to keep you entertained for the day. Be sure to make a stop at Just Fine Food and sample their famous vanilla slice. If vanilla isn’t really your taste, then there are plenty of other scrumptious desserts for you to try.
Rye really comes alive during the summer holiday seasons. Rye beach offers a large stretch of fine, white sand and shallow water. The Rye pier is a popular nighttime fishing location. Even if you’re not much of a fisherman (or woman), hanging around the pier and watching other peoples’ fishing success is a lovely way to pass the time.
The main strip of Rye, running parallel to the beach, is home to shops, restaurants and ice cream and gelato stores. Speaking of gelato: an after-dinner trip to Vulcano Gelato is an absolute must! You can find it by following the line of people waiting their turn to be served. Don’t be put off by the line though: it is well worth the wait!
The annual summer Rye carnival happens in the beach car park and is usually around in the months of December and January. There is no better way to spend an evening than walking along the pier – gelato in hand – watching the carnival lights reflect off the water.
The Arthurs Seat State Park rises above the Mornington Peninsula and provides fantastic views of the surrounding area. There are plenty of hiking and walking tracks through the park for the more adventurous to lose themselves on.
A popular spot is the Arthurs Seat Summit, where visitors can stop and enjoy a picnic or barbeque while being treated to spectacular views.
The Arthurs Seat Eagle is the perfect opportunity for braver souls to get their adrenaline pumping. This attraction is a state of the art gondola ride that flies you over the forest to the highest point of the peninsula. The ride takes about 14 minutes (one way).
There is plenty to see in Mornington. You can visit Victoria’s oldest courthouse and adjacent lockup or even take the steam train ride on the Mornington Railway.
The main street of Mornington boasts a large number of boutiques and shops to peruse and find the perfect beachy souvenir to take home. If, after a long morning of shopping, you want to give your weary feet a rest, there are plenty of fantastic places to satisfy your hunger pangs.
The Mornington Main Street Market is on every Wednesday. Stalls line the street, selling an array of items from handcrafted soaps to locally grown produce, homemade cakes to handmade jewellery and everything in between. The market has been up and running for over thirty years, making it the state’s longest running street market.
Peninsula Hot Springs
The Peninsula Hot Springs is a hidden sanctuary tucked away on the peninsula. You can almost feel your stress and worries disappear as soon as you don the fluffy white robe and begin your bathing experience. I would recommend setting aside an entire day at the springs because once you’re there, the hours seem to fly.
The Peninsula Springs water carries a range of minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium. The temperature of the pools ranges between 37 and 43 degrees Celsius and the water runs untouched from the source directly to the pools.
The springs have two facilities: the Bath House and the Spa Dreaming Centre.
The Bath House offers more than 20 bathing experiences, including a Turkish steam room, plunge pool, reflexology walk and a sauna. Be sure to make the journey to the very highest pool and you’ll be treated to 360-degree views of the surrounding area.
If you’ve got a bit of extra money to splurge, then head to the Spa Dreaming Centre for massages and beauty treatments.