Inspire

Victoria’s Biggest Secret Named Among The World’s 20 Best Trips

And it's just an hour away from Melbourne.

National Geographic released its list of the 20 best trips for 2015 and nestled in there – holding its place among the stunning icy peaks of Zermatt, Switzerland and the tropical paradise of Port Antonio, Jamaica – is the unassuming region of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, just an hours drive from Melbourne.

Selected by the magazine’s online readers, the region was hailed for distilling the “flavours of down under in one boot-shaped cape: paddock-to-plate restaurants, down-to-earth wineries where the vintners themselves work the tasting rooms, and small sustainable farms such as 2 Macs and Green Olive at Red Hill that each offer cooking classes”. It namechecks the Red Hill Community Market; author Garry Disher, whose crime novels are set around the peninsula; The Ten Minutes by Tractor restaurant and winery; and heralds the Peninsula as “Melbourne’s playground”. (Although we’re not really sure how Peninsula people feel about this.)

To commemorate a well-deserved (and perhaps unexpected?) honour, here are our some of our favourite Peninsula attractions.

Farm-fresh food

From Blue Bay Cheese to L’Uliveto Verde Green Olive Grove to Staples Apple and Cherry Orchard, the Peninsula’s food is all about fresh local produce prepared with lots of love (awww). Whether you pick it yourself or visit restaurants where all of the hard work is done for you, the seasonal regional menus are never short of amazing.

The cellar doors

In the ’70s, a handful of visionary wine makers set up shop in Mornington and by the ’90s the praise was coming in thick and strong for its unique Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Take your pick from over 50 cellar door wineries, many of which are boutique and family-run. A favourite is Foxeys Hangout, which also serves excellent food.

Peninsula Hot Springs

PHSgullypoolstwilight

What better way to round out a visit to the area than placing your entire person into hot geothermal water and working on your wellness? The Peninsula Hot Springs in Rye is a coastal oasis and spa that has won the Best Tourist Attraction at the Victorian Tourism Awards so many times that it has now been inducted into the Hall Of Fame. That’s a thing that exists.

(Lead image: Taryn Stenvei)


Qantas flies to Melbourne.