The 2012 Mornington Peninsula Attractions Pass now includes a 10% discount for passengers and vehicles on Searoad Ferries’ service between Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula and Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula.
“We’ve added Searoad Ferries to the Attractions Pass as another great experience and also as a way to get to and from the Mornington Peninsula. More than 700,000 passengers used this service last year with over 100,000 vehicles arriving in Sorrento by ferry,” says Michael Johnson of the Explore Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula group, which operates the pass.
“The Attractions Pass prices – $55 for adults and $40 for children – have been held at 2011 levels, giving a 45% saving on admission and bonuses at four top attractions and a 10% discount offers at three more.”
The pass provides entry to Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens, Cape Schanck Lighthouse, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park and Peninsula Hot Springs.
It delivers more than $100 of value, with extras such as a fragrant lavender gift at Ashcombe Maze, a tour of Cape Schanck Lighthouse and entry to its museum, and a ‘koala cuddle’ at Moonlit Sanctuary. Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, Box Stallion Winery and Searoad Ferries all have a special 10% discount offer for pass holders.
(The ferry discount applies to passengers and to vehicles under 5.5 metres in length, but is not available over the peak summer period between December 26 and January 31.)
The Mornington Peninsula is just an hour’s easy drive from Melbourne and has more than 50 cellar doors, peaceful bay beaches, wild ocean coastline, lots of aquatic activities and top golf courses. Phillip Island and the penguins are only an hour’s drive, and the Great Ocean Road is easily accessed by a vehicular and passenger ferry from Sorrento.
The Attractions Pass is transferrable, valid for three months and can be purchased online at www.emmp.net.au, at Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens, Cape Schanck Lightstation, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park and Peninsula Hot Springs and selected outlets on the Mornington Peninsula.
A snapshot of attractions
Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens
10 hectares of magnificent gardens include Australia’s oldest hedge maze, the world’s first circular rose maze with more than 1300 fragrant rose bushes, a lavender labyrinth and gardens that flower year-round, and licensed cafe overlooking the gardens.
Cape Schanck Lightstation
Still boasting its original beacon, Cape Schanck is one of the few in Australia that still operates as it did in the 1850s. Guided tours to the top of the lighthouse give extraordinary views of Bass Strait and Western Port Bay, while the museum reveals the history of lighthouses.
Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
Feed wallabies in the bush, have your photo taken with a koala, see 40 species of Australian wildlife including rare and threatened creatures. Kangaroos, wombats, dingoes, emus and cockatoos abound, and there’s a bushfood garden and wetlands. Attractions Pass holders can upgrade to the lantern-lit evening tour of nocturnal fauna.
Peninsula Hot Springs
Naturally heated mineral water flows from deep underground into 39 pools, baths and bathing experiences. The Bathhouse has a natural setting with extensive gardens, a bathing valley, cave pool, reflexology walk pool, massaging falling water pool,sauna, family bathing area and traditional Turkish steam bath. The Spa Dreaming Center is a separate tranquil spa with massages and therapies, plus a secluded thermal mineral spring bathing area.
The trip across Port Phillip Bay takes only 40 minutes on two specially designed all-weather 60-metre ferries. They depart from both destinations on the hour, every hour, 7am to 6pm daily, offering enjoy easy drive on/drive off facilities, spacious comfortable lounges with full-length windows, a tempting cafe and plenty of deck space.
Box Stallion Winery
Housed in a spacious former stallion barn set in a 25 hectare property, Box Stallion Winery has a stable of award winning wines, a relaxed tasting area, a restaurant serving lunch daily and live music every Sunday. Groups are welcome and up to 10 people can enjoy private lunches in converted stallion stalls, or up to 85 at a single long table.
Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
Australia’s largest, where you can pick your own from November to April. A tantalizing café and retail area sells everything from Belgian chocolate fondue berries to fruit liqueurs and farm-made fruit icecreams, plus gourmet produce and giftware. (Sunny Ridge is open seven days a week November to April, and weekends only May to October).