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Distilleries, Breweries and Midnight Bathing, A 24-Hour Guide To The Mornington Peninsula

Distilleries, Breweries and Midnight Bathing, A 24-Hour Guide To The Mornington Peninsula

Sure, Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula has long been a popular road trip destination for Melbournians and tourists alike. Roughly an hour from the city, it’s packed with award-winning wineries, delightful farm gates, clean beaches and incredible restaurants.

This fab, familiar destination just got even better for summer and it’s mostly thanks to a little industrial district in Dromana where boutique distilleries are proving that the ‘Ninch’ is way more than great wines. Add in a few of the region’s amazing attractions and you’ve got yourself one hell of a weekender.

Here’s how to think beyond the wineries and plan an overnighter.

9:00am: Hit the road

Get your playlist queued up. No need for a super early start to this road trip, as the Mornington Peninsula is short one-hour drive away.

10:00am: Picnic with a view

The Arthur’s Seat Eagle cable car reopens in December, making this the perfect time to enjoy a bird’s eye view of both the coastline and surrounding parklands. With views all the way across Port Philip Bay and even to the city, it’s a great way to appreciate your surrounds.

You can just book tickets for a cable car ride at $24 per adult, which takes about 30 minutes for a return trip — but we recommend taking your time to enjoy the beauty around you with one of the bespoke Picnic Packages. For $100 per two people (which also includes your cable car rides), you can pre-book your picnic lunch and even select what goes in there.

You can select a ride time before or after your picnic, but we suggest getting an early start on the cable car and picnicking after so you’re not rushed for time.

1:00pm: Make your own spirits

From Arthur’s Seat, you’re only a few minutes’ drive to Dromana and the Bass & Flinders Distillery. Tucked away in an industrial complex, this pocket is bursting with businesses that are truly off the tourist radar for most visitors.

Start at Bass & Flinders, dibs not being deso driver and enjoy a tasting paddle of their bespoke gins, or pre-book yourself into either a gin or brandy making masterclass.

You’ll learn all about how gin is made, discover the techniques behind blending botanicals and be guided through the process of blending your own 500ml bottle to take home. Your gin will also be kept on file in case you want to re-order it later.

While you’re there, be sure to also sample their Angry Ant gin inspired by the flora and fauna of the Australian outback including botanicals such as native lemongrass, native sandalwood nuts, and Australian ants. Yes, actual ants. These little critters use pheromones to communicate and the chemical nature of these are complimented by the plant-based botanicals to produce one delicious gin.

3:00pm: Test out your sophisticated rum pallette

 

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While you’re in the hub, walk your way to nearby JimmyRum where they’re crafting a variety of rums from distilled sugarcane juice and molasses in Matilda (their Italian still) before ageing it in American Oak barrels.

What you get is a variety of rums that are unpretentious and so very tasty. The cocktail list here is lengthy, really lengthy no mater how long you have or what your tolerance is like, you just won’t get through it in a day.

You can however, try a few that take your fancy, order up a tasting paddle to experience the varieties of rums they produce, or buy bottle or two to enjoy at home. If you’re really keen, you can book a tour — quite often the man behind the name is even on-site to answer your specific questions and talk you through their range.

From here you can wander the industrial hub locally known as The Habitat and grab a coffee, stretch your legs, and check out the cool local businesses popping up in Dromana. The best bit is, all of these little beauties are within walking distance of each other.

7:30pm: Indulge in a glamping experience

Maybe you’ve visited Peninsula Hot Springs before, but starting in December they’ll be launching a few new offerings. Following their massive expansion last year, they’ve started a glamping experience and 24-hour bathing.

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Check in and fully immerse yourself in the hot springs environment with bathing in all pools included. Plus these beautiful natural surrounds will help lull you to sleep. Their glamping tents have luxury amenities, private en suites, heated floors and walk-in robes so there’s no skimping on creature comforts.

11:00pm: Soak under the stars

They’ve also just launched a moonlight bathing package, where guests can enjoy a soak in the geothermal pools from 11pm until 5am every day of the week. All glamping guests can access this experience as part of their package.

9:00am: Breakie in your tent

When you wake, you’ll no doubt be feeling pretty relaxed from the hot springs, so why not keep the vibe going and enjoy your continental breakfast in bed with the Glamping & Dine package? Breakie is served in your tent so you can wake at our own pace.

10.00am: Morning spa trip

Either upgrade your stay to the Glamping, Dine And Spa package, or just indvidually purchase a spa treatment (or two). If your first 12-hours were about indulging your inner foodie, your second 12 are for relaxing. From massages and body treatments to facials, this on-site spa has a glowing reputation for a reason.

1:00pm: Stop for lunch at the jetty

Head back to Dromana, this time stopping at boutique brewery Jetty Road for lunch before heading home. Taste your way through the lineup of local beers while you kick back and enjoy the sunny courtyard. Even if you’re not a beer drinker, their wine list of local producers is also top notch.

3.00pm: Head home

Hopefully you haven’t been deso this whole time, so you can nap off your indulgences all the way home.

(Lead Image: Instagram / @jimmyrumdistillery)

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