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Six Degrees of Relaxation on the Mornington Peninsula

May 7, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

How to find total wellbeing: from day spas and hot springs to riding the adrenalin waves…

Day spas and hot springs? Tick. Beach and country walks in pure fresh air? Tick. An astonishing choice of world-class golf courses? Tick again. Swimming with dolphins, horseriding on ocean beaches and surfing the perfect break? Just keep on ticking.

The Mornington Peninsula is Victoria’s irresistible region of relaxation. Total wellbeing is right here, involving all the senses. The assured touch of a masseur’s magical hands. Beautiful bouquets in our magnificent gardens and on lazy wine tasting afternoons. Stretching your legs on long walks in the most spectacular coastal and bush landscapes. Or chasing the adrenalin rush on our ocean beaches.

Here are our six degrees of relaxation:

1. Go slow

The spa experiences of the Mornington Peninsula are unique in Victoria.  Peninsula Hot Springs discovered that naturally heated spring waters could be sourced in this region, then created a spa experience with private pools indoors and hidden outdoors under canopies of trees.

There’s a feast of spa treatments on the menu here.  At day spas such as Red Hill Spa tucked away in the eucalypt trees and  in luxury boutique hotels such as Lindenderry at Red Hill, Woodman Estate and Moonah Links. Each with their own distinctive style.

2. Take a walk on mild side

If your health and fitness program has been buried under the corporate or family ‘to do’ list, the Peninsula is the perfect place to renew it. Go gently on yourself though, perhaps starting with bay or ocean walks on the dozens of beaches where the pure sea air will instantly revive you.

Choose from Port Phillip Bay beaches, where there’s always a café just over the road at a seaside village, the peaceful beaches on Western Port Bay, or the tempestuous beaches that front wild Bass Strait.

If you’d like add a nature-based element, there are walks around bird-filled wetlands, along shady boardwalks in nature reserves, easy guided walks and eco tours at places such as French Island, where walking and biking are the peaceful forms of transport.

3. Beautiful bouquets

The scent of lavender promises instant relaxation, the bouquet of a fine wine tempts you to just let go of the rest of the afternoon. Our gardens sooth the senses, with vast lavender and rose beds, paths that invite you to stroll through grand estates and magnificent century-old trees whose branches beckon you to just laze under them with a good book.

There are more than 50 cellar doors on the Peninsula, and the bouquet of an exceptional Pinot Noir or Chardonnay can lead you to a memorable afternoon of sniffing, sipping and conversing with the winemaker. Which can often lead to dinner in the winery restaurant, and the kind of laid-back day which you richly deserve.

4. Taste sensations

Eating well promotes good health – but eating well also brings its own rewards. Pick your own strawberries and cherries in summer for a sun-warmed flavour explosion. Local producers deliver fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables to restaurants, fishing trawlers really do bring in ‘the catch of the day’, and local artisans create distinctive bread, cheese, olive oils, herbal tea, honey, preserves and chocolate. Chocolate? Well, if you follow our 5th degree of relaxation you can work it off on the golf course tomorrow.

5. Swing into action

Fourteen golf clubs, 18 courses, some of the world’s best natural golf terrain and golf course designers including Robert Trent Jones Jnr and Greg Norman add up to an extraordinary golf experience. Our sand dunes provide naturally contoured challenges and our sandy soils drain quickly, so true year-round golf is a very pleasant reality. You can choose links, resort and parkland courses, with dramatic ocean backdrops or a peaceful country ambience.

But if you, like Mark Twain, believe that ‘golf is a good walk spoiled’, then why not take the two day challenge of the 26km ‘Two Bays Walk’ from Dromana  to Bushrangers Bay near Cape Schanck.  Or go diving with dolphins, sea kayaking, walking our rugged cliff tops, horse riding around the wineries or fishing in the bay.

6. Waves of adrenalin

Point Leo on Western Port Bay and Portsea, Sorrento and Gunnamatta beaches along the Bass Strait coast all deliver some great surf breaks. If you’d rather ride along the edge of the surf than be in it, there are magnificent horse rides along ocean beaches and along bush tracks.

Waters around the Mornington Peninsula are the resting place for more than 60 shipwrecks from the 1800s and four submarines which were sunk during World War I. You can scuba dive around some of them, seeing sea dragons, seahorses and gardens of soft corals as you explore this silent but fascinating world.

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