The Mornington Peninsula is known for many things. Golf, water sports and adventures, and even its gardens. However, for many, the hot springs are what influences their visit. The hot springs at the Mornington Peninsula use natural hot mineral waters that flow from an underground aquifer almost 640m below the surface. It’s the untouched water that ranges between 37 and 43 degrees Celsius that is so appealing, with its naturally occurring minerals including sulfur, calcium, magnesium, potassium and more.
Other than the hot springs, though, there are a number of things to keep visitors busy, or relaxed, however you want to spend your time.
Golf Courses and Clubs
With 15 clubs in the region, you can truly play golf all day long, hopping from one golf course to the next thanks to their close proximity to each other. The Mornington Peninsula is often referred to as Australia’s number one golf destination, due to its mild climate, perfect conditions for links courses, sand dunes for natural contours and fast-draining sandy soil – a perfect recipe.
There are 19 links to choose from and you won’t be disappointed with any of them. From Eagle Ridge Golf Course in the north, make your way all the way down south to The National Golf Club in Cape Schanck, which has often been referred to as the best piece of golf real estate in the country.
Beaches and Marine Activities
The welcoming waters of the Mornington Peninsula offer something for everyone, with calm waters on the golden bay beach side through to frenetic surf on the ocean side. Whether it’s adrenaline watersports or relaxing by the water’s edge, you won’t be disappointed.
Meet the peninsula personalities on a swimming expedition where you can frolic with the dolphins and seals, go scuba diving to explore the marine life or shipwrecks, jump on a surf board or go kayaking. For something a little more serene, you can hire a boat and head out with a fishing rod to catch some dinner – the area is home to more than 500 species of fish – or simply charter a boat to enjoy the fresh sea breeze. The shoreline stretches for more than 260km and includes everything from sandy, family friendly beaches through to rugged ocean coastlines.
Gardens and Mazes
For something a little bit different, there are three huge maze gardens dotted around the Mornington Peninsula. Get lost among the twists and turns.
Home to Australia’s oldest and most famous hedge maze, Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens is set among 25 acres of world acclaimed gardens. The hedges form a beautiful circular rose maze with thousands of metres of pathways to explore, and the lavender labyrinth flowers all year round, with more than 3000 lavender plants overlooking the Arboretum.
The Boneo Maze is surrounded by 27 acres of native flora and fauna. It’s family-friendly fun through art and nature. There’s also an 18-hole mini-golf course, jumping castle, giant games garden, vintage carousel and adventure zone so it really is fun for the whole family. For those looking for something a bit more relaxing to do, there’s also a 1.5km boardwalk so you can take a stroll through the wetlands.
For some more adventure, head to the Enchanted Adventure Garden. It boasts three hedge mazes, including one with a Japanese garden and one with fairies and puzzles throughout, and even an indoor 3D maze. There are also giant tubes slides, themed gardens, a sculpture park, zip lines and a giant Tarzan swing. Adventure to the max.
For those who want to enjoy the serenity the area has to offer, there are also several gardens to stroll through. Heronswood House and Garden is an historic property and is home to Australia’s most respected gardening organisation, the Digger’s Club. There are kitchen and vegetable gardens and nursery, and if you’re a keen gardener, you can even take part in the Learn with Diggers program which offers workshops and masterclasses on weekends.
Panorama Garden Estate is a unique nature garden with more than 20,000 plants and 18 separate garden areas to explore. It’s described as an oasis of tranquility with lakes and waterfalls to enjoy and native animals to meet.
Finally, at the start of the Mornington Peninsula is Cruden Farm, one of Victoria’s most memorable open spaces, with lakes and gardens galore, there are several different styles to enjoy and vistas to appreciate.