The Best Places to Visit in Mornington Peninsula (on a budget!)
In February 2017, my boyfriend, Dec, and I reinvented "date night" to include a full day of fun and romantic adventures- an event we called "date day" (original, I know!).
Being the natural organiser, I took on the task of planning our first official date day (which would become a bi-annual event to spend some quality time together and see new places).
Living only an hour's drive from the Mornington Peninsula, I was excited to discover more of this beautiful place, located practically in our backyard!
I'll be honest, I set the intention of creating the best date day EVER (on a budget of $150), and ended up spending several hours researching and planning. Totally worth it!
This mindful adventure features plenty of walking, eating great food, drinking delicious coffee and homemade ginger beer, appreciating nature and taking some time away from technology to connect with each other and the world around us.
The day began with a wander around Schnapper Point. It was an easy walk with great opportunities for photos of the ocean and we also went for a slow meander along Mornington Pier.
We ate an early lunch just down the road at Store Fifteen and were both really impressed with the delicious breakfast boards and incredible coffee. If you're looking for a healthy and tasty meal, this is definitely the place to visit!
From there, we drove for about half an hour to the Montalto Vineyard and enjoyed home-made ginger beer as we walked around the sculpture garden.
Silly me thought it would be a good idea to wear heels which I'd never worn before and ended up going barefoot (and had some seriously epic blisters the next day!). There isn't even that much walking, but I do suggest you wear comfortable shoes!
I noticed that you can also organise private picnics at Montalto- this is definitely something I would consider for next time. It's a beautiful place, the drinks are delicious and everyone we met there was really friendly.
By this time, it was about 3.30pm and I was really keen to pick up some sweet treats from the Johnny Ripe. Luckily, the drive was only 10 minutes and we made it before they closed! Thank goodness for that because the pastries we bought were AMAZING! We shared a danish and kept two massive doughtnuts for later and it was all super delicious. The lady who served us was so kind and it was great to chat and feel just like a local!
From Johnny Ripe, we drove another 10 minutes to the Kings Fall Circuit walk.
Note that Google maps will take you a really strange route if you type in "Kings Falls Walk", so be sure to start from the Waterfall Gully Road car park.
It was a beautiful walk, only a kilometre or so, and it felt like a lovely, little adventure! We enjoyed sneak peeks of the ocean views, heard the wind flying through the trees and never knew what was around the next corner. There were fun signs along the way with information about the area, which were interesting to read! We didn't see any waterfalls, but it was towards the end of summer when we visited. There was still plenty to enjoy and we had a great time just walking and talking!
After the walk, we drove down to the beach (it only took about 15 minutes) and parked near the Dromana Pier.
We wandered along the beach and had a mini brainstorming session for our next business project, then walked to the end of the pier and watched the sun going down.
We had an easy dinner from Bakers Delight and ate ice cream, then chilled out on the beach until it was time for the last surprise- watching Logan at the Dromana drive in cinema!
I hadn't been to the drive-in before, so it was an especially cool experience for me. Our most recent experiences at the movies weren't great, with people talking and interrupting the movie! So, we really appreciated the privacy. Plus, we ate the rest of our delicious pastries from Johnny Ripe!
Overall, it was a really fun day and we loved spending time together and exploring new places.
Mornington is such a diverse area, with wineries, hot springs, beautiful walks, beaches, boutique shopping, great food and heaps more! The whole date day cost less than $150, but if you're budget conscious you could take your own food and skip the movie and it would easily cost less than $20.
Otherwise, if you're looking to spend a little more, you could sneak in a visit to the Peninsula Hot Springs, the Enchanted Adventure Garden, or go horseback riding along the beach (all of which we had done on a previous trip and thoroughly enjoyed!).