Location

Departs Frankston or Mornington

Difficulty

3-4

Moderate

Length

5

Trip Cost

$2350pp
twin share

Overview

  • Walk some of the best trails in the Mornington Peninsula, accompanied by taste sensations, all while supporting local businesses
  • Meet local food producers and have a behind-the-scenes experience on a farm, vineyard and olive grove – sample olive oil, cider, wine and much more!
  • Explore Australia’s most beautiful garden, inspired by the creator’s travels around the globe, and look out for the rare albino kangaroo and other native wildlife who call this area home.
  • Learn about wine production at one of the best vineyards on the Peninsula.
  • Stay on each side of the Peninsula in the charming village of Flinders and the seaside town of Sorrento – home of the famous vanilla slice.
  • Watch the European chocolatiers and pastry chefs working their magic creating handcrafted chocolates, truffles, artisan gelato. You’ll love the private tasting – create your own treat to take with you!
  • Feast on lunches featuring fresh and local cuisine.
  • Enjoy private daily transfers and the company of a knowledgeable local walking guide.

The Mornington Peninsula is synonymous with delicious cuisine made from local produce and wines to rival even the world’s best vineyards – all set in surrounds of native bushland, rolling hills and rugged coastlines and an abundance of native wildlife. Experience it all in a small group with like-minded walkers, accompanied by a local, knowledgeable guide.

Each day you will be privately transferred to one of our favourite local walks. Explore bushland paths among the eucalypts and ferns; walk along open grassland and clifftops trails enjoying expansive ocean views; and discover the historical gems of an old unused rail trail.

These walks will be a treat for your senses: magical views, fresh air, the wonderful Australian smells and sounds, the roar of waves crashing, and kookaburras cackling.

The other part of each day is dedicated to taste! A variety of experiences awaits. Learn about the local wine or cider production (accompanied by a taste test, of course). Feast on lunches of the freshest, seasonal local produce available – seafood from the Bay, olive oil from the local groves, fruit and vegetables from the regional farmers’ fields and orchards. Delight your sweet tooth in a private tasting and chocolate making experience.

By the end of these 5 glorious days you will have seen and tasted some of the best the Mornington Peninsula has to offer – and will probably have a suitcase full of treats to take back home.

Please note that this trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to depart.

Travelling on your own? We’ll pair you up with another solo traveller of the same gender on a twin-share basis

Are you a first-time or solo traveller?

We’ll support you all the way! View our preparation and training resources.

Itinerary

Day 1: Red Hill-Merricks trail (6km) – Flinders

Arrive by 9.30am at Frankston train station (or RAW Travel’s office in Mornington) where you will meet your fellow travellers and RAW Travel guide and bus driver.

From here it’s a 30-minute transfer to picturesque Red Hill where we commence our first walk. The trail to Merricks follows an old railway line and is a leisurely downhill walk on a wide path past vineyards and avenues of cedar trees. Passing rolling pastures either side you will get some beautiful views of Westernport Bay across to Phillip Island. We will have lunch at Merricks General Store, a Mornington Peninsula icon, where we can accompany our country-style meals with wine tasting from excellent local vineyards. Very civilised!

After lunch, we will visit a beautiful 10-acre farm which started its life as a dairy but now produces olive oil, cider and cordials. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look and a wander through the olive groves. The grove has over 1300 trees featuring a range of olive varieties. In harvest season you have the opportunity to purchase the freshest oil that cannot be found in any shop. Enjoy a tasting of their award-winning apple and pear cider. It is produced with a fusion of heritage crops from their own farm with more modern varieties from their neighbours. On a sunny day there is nothing more refreshing than a quince pear and apple cider! And in the cooler months, how does a warmed spiced cider sound?

Meals: Lunch

Day 2: Flinders – Tea Tree Creek (7km)

After breakfast, we transfer the short distance to the Flinders ocean beach, a favourite with local surfers when the swell is running. We walk past the Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary on a pleasant beach walk, before climbing the hills that form sea cliffs all along today’s hike. Today’s walk is more strenuous and there’s a bit of ‘bush-bashing’ through long grass and mud to negotiate at times today, so make sure to wear your hiking boots and long pants or gaiters. There is a reduced walk option for those who require it.

The walk then follows a gentle, slightly undulating track, winding over grassy hills past some spectacular homes offering views back towards Flinders and Phillip Island. As we approach the Blowhole, a stunning vision of the Bass Strait coastline will appear, stretching into the distance with its rugged cliffs and untamed surf.

Descending to the Blowhole we emerge from the thick scrub embankment to find a well-formed track and boardwalk. We will take some time to explore the rock pools and hopefully catch sight of some elegant sea eagles along with other birdlife. Whales can even be spotted from here in the winter months.

After exploring this rugged beach we head back to the walking track, which makes for considerably easier walking from here on as we walk on a narrow corridor of the Mornington Peninsula National Park. There are a few stopping points here that give great views over the rocky headlands and beaches 60m below us. At Tea Tree Creek our driver and van await to take us onto our next exciting destination as we transfer to one of the most impressive food and wine destinations on the peninsula.

This prestigious winery will open their cellar door to offer a bespoke wine experience that is both informative and entertaining. Go behind the scenes of the vineyard with the highly awarded winemaking team, accompanied by tastings; sample fragrant white grape varieties in the sunshine, sipping on a red for the cooler days – or perhaps a bit of each! The wines are of an exceptional quality and you will understand why they have such a firm following around the Peninsula.

We will then enjoy a multi-course gourmet lunch created by the freshest seasonal produce with matched wines followed by more time to explore the estate.

We finish the day off with something sweet. Indulge your sweet tooth in a private tasting at a renowned local chocolaterie. This sweet destination was chosen for its sustainable practices and you will have the opportunity to learn about every step of the process of making ethical chocolate. Watch the European chocolatiers and pastry chefs working their magic creating over 180 different handcrafted chocolates and truffles, and sample artisan gelato or Belgian waffles. Get hands-on and make your own chocolate treat to take with you. The owners have a firm belief that sustainable practices create better lives and better chocolate – we are sure you will agree!

With full bellies, we will return to our accommodation in Flinders where the evening is at leisure. Flinders is a charming village that is home to art galleries and interesting shops, cafes and a great pub.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Boneo – Bushrangers Bay – Cape Schank (6km) – Sorrento

After breakfast we will be transferred to the highlight of this trip – a secret garden! Here we will enjoy a special morning exploring 55 acres of private gardens, combined with a wildlife reserve, offering a unique and memorable experience. Take your time to wander through these gardens enjoying the 20,000 plants across 18 garden areas. Each individual garden has been inspired by the creators’ travels around the globe as well as from our very own backyard. Developed over the past 18 years it truly is a botanical wonderland. You will be joined on your walk through the gardens by many animals who call this sanctuary home; from alpacas to miniature goats, native birds to peacocks, emus to the rare albino kangaroos just to name a few. Lunch will be served as you enjoy panoramic views for 100km across Bass Strait and Port Phillip Bay.

Following lunch, we head to the coast for some more cliff-top trails. We will be transferred a short distance to start the walk to Bushrangers Bay, a popular spot with local walkers. Stunning vistas and views of rugged Bass Strait coast accompany our walk, offering up lots of photo opportunities. The track is gently undulating, mostly sand and dirt underfoot. As we near the end, glimpses of the red-topped lighthouse that sits on the cliff top overlooking Bass Strait will appear through the trees. Cape Schanck Lighthouse is constructed from limestone blocks and has been in operation since 1859. Today it continues to provide ships with safe passage between Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne, though Bass Strait. There will be time to look around the lighthouse before our transfer to the historic seaside town of Sorrento, known for its limestone buildings, the site of Victoria’s first settlement and our home for the next 2 nights.

After settling into our hotel, we will head out on a short orientation walk through the village of Sorrento to dinner. The setting is quaint and inviting, reminiscent of an old Spanish villa, while the menu is inspired by the season’s local produce and includes organic meat, handmade cheese, daily fresh and ethically sourced fish, and plenty of recently harvested vegetables and fruit.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Bridgewater Bay – Sorrento (8km), Millionaires Walk (2km)

Today we get to experience both sides of the Peninsula, starting with the famous ‘back beaches’ with some stunning clifftop scenery and quiet rocky bays to explore, before heading to the peaceful, sheltered bay.

We begin with a short transfer after breakfast to Bridgewater Bay where we follow the Lifesaving Track. Our first stop is a short detour to Spray Point where we take the boardwalk down to this rugged but quiet beach where few venture. This headland offers some wonderful views over Konya Beach and Diamond Bay – the next points on today’s walk.

We’ll continue back along the sandy Lifesaving Track until we come to Koonya Ocean Beach where we can stop for morning tea including some freshly baked vanilla slice that Sorrento is famous for. Many Melburnians travel here purely for this sweet treat. Continuing on we next come to Jubilee Point, well worth the detour to see the stunning views back towards Cape Schanck to the east and, on a clear day, the Otways to the west. Climbing back we continue on to Diamond Bay. There are some stairs to navigate on this section but the views make it worthwhile. From here we take the meandering clifftop Coppins track with historic markers that explain the area’s history from the past 100 years, while also providing breathtaking lookouts over Bass Strait.

We finish at Sorrento back beach where we will be transferred to the contrasting Sorrento front beach for a two-course lunch at The Baths – located where the original Sorrento Sea Baths existed during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The menu options feature fresh locally caught seafood as well as other locally sourced dishes for you to enjoy while overlooking the tranquil front beach. After lunch, there will be some free time to walk around the town and explore the local shops, boutiques and galleries.

Late this afternoon we will walk from our hotel to what is known as the ‘Millionaires Walk’. This clifftop stroll will make you feel like a trespasser as you literally walk through the backyards of some of the most prime real estate you could find. As we wander along, take in the views of beautiful homes and private jetties, seeing firsthand ‘how the other half live’!

Coming out at Point King beach we meet our driver for a short drive up the road to finish off another perfect day with a sundowner on the terrace at the Portsea “Pub” – a long-standing stalwart of the Peninsula. This picturesque building from the late 1800s has recently been renovated and offers a great way to wind down on our final night before transferring back to Sorrento. This establishment offers great pub classics if you wish to stay on for dinner and make your own way back to your accommodation.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Greens Bush (6km)

On our final morning the theme is native – both flora and fauna. We begin by leaving the coast and driving 30 minutes inland to one of the few remaining native bushlands on the Mornington Peninsula – Greens Bush. Once upon a time the Green family farmed this land; however, they left much of the bush untouched and it became a part of the Mornington Peninsula National Park in 1988.

We start off on the delightful Baldry’s Crossing circuit walk, and as we walk along Main Creek, keep an eye out for kangaroos and wallabies – there is a large population that call this area home. This first section is a short 1-hour walk along lovely sheltered tracks that pass through a variety of habitats from eucalyptus forests to fern gullies. We walk along a short section of the Two Bays Trail and then zig-zag through the bush as we make our way to our final lunch stop for the trip.

As we leave the bush we come out onto a lovely small country lane, past some farms and fields. Among the horses and cows you will often spot more kangaroos. After 15 minutes we turn up a grand, pine tree-lined driveway that leads to a local Protea and native flower farm offering five private acres of heavenly colour in this rural area with picturesque views over the Bay. At the top of the drive we are welcomed with a light refreshment and wander through the groves to our lunch location set among the flower orchard. Posies of native flowers line the table and lanterns swing from the trees providing a magical setting for our farewell lunch.

After lunch, we will transfer back to Frankston train station (or Mornington) to say our goodbyes.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Dates

From May 8th to October 1st 2020 our special offer of $1 deposit applies to new bookings made in this period for website trips*. $1 is all you will pay in 2020 for trips departing in 2021.

From January 1st 2021 we will invoice you the remainder of the standard deposit ($499*) and the remaining balance payment at the standard 2 months before departure. All your arrangements will be fully confirmed then, as per usual. The $1 deposit offer does not apply to private groups or significant tailormade trip requests, please speak to one of our consultants if you have any questions.

If Government restrictions don’t allow for any travel in your chosen destination at that time (when the balance is due at 60 days prior to departure) then we will either postpone your trip or allow you to transfer to another destination and trip that has availability instead.

*Note - the standard deposit for Peru Lodge trips is $1000.

Start date
21 Sep 2020
End date
25 Sep 2020
Price
$2350
Availability
Availability on Request
Start date
30 Nov 2020
End date
04 Dec 2020
Price
$2350
Availability
Availability on Request
Start date
17 Dec 2020
End date
21 Dec 2020
Price
$2350
Availability
Availability on Request
Start date
28 Jan 2021
End date
01 Feb 2021
Price
$2350
Availability
Availability on Request
Start date
22 Feb 2021
End date
26 Feb 2021
Price
$2350
Availability
Availability on Request
Start date
08 Apr 2021
End date
12 Apr 2021
Price
$2350
Availability
Availability on Request

Inclusions

  • 2 nights ensuite accommodation in boutique hotel at Flinders
  • 2 nights ensuite accommodation in boutique hotel at Sorrento
  • 4 hotel breakfasts
  • 5 lunches:
    – Merricks General Store includes wine tasting
    – The Baths in Sorrento (food only)
    – 3 excellent picnic lunches (local produce) in stunning locations (one with wine tastings)
  • 1 dinner at a Sorrento restaurant
  • Secret Garden visit
  • Refreshment and snack stops
  • Private chocolate demonstration, tasting and making
  • Farm and olive grove visit including cider, olive oil and cordial tasting
  • Private vineyard behind-the-scenes tour with wine tasting
  • Sunset drink at Portsea
  • Private transfers throughout plus pick-up/drop-off at Frankston train station
  • Experienced RAW Travel walking guide
  • Dedicated driver and support vehicle throughout
  • All luggage transfers
  • National park admission fees
  • Full carbon offset for your trip and an Australian tree planted on your behalf

Not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Dinners other than those mentioned in the itinerary (can be taken at your accommodation or nearby restaurants and pubs)
  • Beverages, other than mentioned in the tastings
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Single supplement (extra $745) – please enquire, limited single rooms available.

Map & Guide

Reviews

Trip Expert

Leanne Troy – Australia & European Alps

(03) 5976 3763

View Profile

Trip Grading

This trip is rated as Moderate