Exploring Australia's Mornington Peninsula and a Stay at the Peppers Moonah Links Resort

Cape Schanck Lighthouse Courtesy of Visit Victoria

Just a few hours’ drive from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne is the Mornington Peninsula. A peninsula sided by the calm azure waters of Phillips Bay on one side and the rough crashing waves of the Tasman Sea to the east.  There are miles and miles of white sand beaches and so much to do on and below the surf. Inland is dotted with quaint seaside villages,  mountains of thickly wooded forests, and wide-open pastures. The farmlands produce apples, strawberries, artisan cheese and other produce reminding one of a summers day ride through the Hamptons. The peninsula is also known for producing some of the finest wines in the world, so you’ll also see miles and miles of vineyards and cellars doors ready for you to try their latest vintage. At the southern tip of the peninsula is where you’ll find Peppers Moonah Links Resort, a boutique hotel and golf course retreat offering an unforgettable getaway to the peninsula.

Images credit Peppers Moonah Links

As you take the scenic ocean drive down the peninsula, you’ll come to what is known as the home of Australian golf,  Moonah Links. The Peppers Resort, golf clubhouse and well-groomed course are set amongst the natural beauty of rolling hills, high grasses and meadows, thick woodlands and the sea beyond. 

The resort is a welcoming place with a healthy mix of golfers as well as those who have never held a club; all there to enjoy all there is to do and see in the area.   The contemporary architecture is designed with natural wood exteriors and low-rise structures in order to harmonize the resort with the natural landscapes and the hills and dunes of the golf course.  The hotel has a country club feel to it with a very friendly and welcoming staff.   There’s so much to do in the area and the knowledgeable staff is quick to point out where to go based on the guest’s desires.

Peppers Moonah Links Resort offers  70 deluxe rooms and suites which vary in size and configuration.  The contemporary and stylish décor is rich with warm earth tone colors and pops of rust color in the furnishings. The rooms are spacious with comfy king-size beds, sitting area, and a kitchenette with a microwave, refrigerator and wet sink. The bathrooms are exquisite as well with walk-in rain head showers and separate bathtub.

The feature that guests will remember most are the balconies or patios with wonderful views of the rolling green landscape of the course, surrounding farmlands and the untouched nature of the peninsula. The terraces are quite large with sitting area perfect for a glass of wine and watching the sunset over the dunes.

The dining experience is ideal for a hearty meal after a long day on the links or a special dinner with your loved one. Pebbles is their restaurant and features intercontinental and modern Australian cuisine. The centerpiece of the room is a modernly styled fire pit that crackles during the cooler months with lounge area for pre-dinner drinks. The fresh from the bay seafood is delicious as is the locally sourced thick juicy steaks. The Mornington Peninsula is well-known for their pinot noir and Chardonnay which are perfectly matched with selections from the restaurant’s extensive menu. 

For a casual experience, the Spike Bar is their pub next door that serves tasty pub food and has a full bar with an extensive cocktail menu and local beers on tap. The terrace that overlooks the course is an ideal place for a frosty brew and a good burger. 

One of the aspects of Australia that make is so unique where it is. It’s distance away from most of the world has made the people there resourceful, creative, and very self-reliant. As such they locally produce what they need and are known for their artisanal products and, most notably, their wines and now their gin and craft beer.

Such is the case with the nearby St. Andrews Beach Brewery This brewery house and beer garden modernly located in a restored ranch and stables just a short drive from Moonah Links. It’s a great place to spend the afternoon sampling their tasty range of craft beers which they produced right there on the premises. In fact, the hops for the beer is grown on their ranch as well.  It’s also a great place for a proper lunch of gourmet pub food with cellar door style small plates, share plates, salads, pizzas and burgers.  The setting is nicely designed with outdoor tables in the former stables as well as the beer garden under canvas umbrellas. It’s a good place to bend the elbows with locals, tourists as well as Melbournians visiting on the weekends.

The Mornington Peninsula has a bevy of endless activities to offer its visitors. First and foremost, Moonah Links is a golfer’s paradise with two 18-hole championship level courses designed to test to the scratch golfer as well as the weekend warrior. Moonah Links is known as the Home of Australian Golf and hosted the 2005 Australian Open and has been voted among the top courses in Australia.  The world-class courses are picturesque with undulating hills, rolling modernly and verdant green fairways all of which are surrounded by bushland and sea views in the distance.

Courtesy: Peninsula Hot Springs

A must have experience while staying at Peppers Moonah Links Resort is a visit to the nearby Peninsula Hot Springs which is an award-winning natural hot springs and day spa. The hot springs draw weary bodies seeking rejuvenation from the spring’s natural thermal waters. The setting is like a natural park with a pond in the center will wild birds and fauna adding to the serenity of the experience.

Courtesy: Peninsula Hot Springs

In the aquifer, 2000 feet below the surface, the waters stir at 120 degrees while absorbing the curative minerals of sulfur, calcium, magnesium, potassium and others. From this source, the water flows directly into the pools above cooling to toasty 98 – 110 degrees, just the right healing temperature for awaiting guests. 

There are 20 bathing experiences stretched out over the spring’s extensive grounds including caves, reflexology walk on stones, hammam, and a cold plunge. Many of the steamy pools have jacuzzi jets to add to the relaxation and to get deep into sore muscles.  Guests wrapped in white terry cloth robes take the stone steps to the most idyllic experience of the springs which is the hill-top pool with 360 views around the beautify scenery of the peninsula.

Credit: Visit Victoria

The Morning Peninsula offers an inexhaustible list of activities from visiting the nearby wineries, horseback rides and all there is to do above and below the water. Australian’s love of the outdoors and the natural parks and reserves such as Point Napean National Park have well laid out paths and walkways to explore and take in the beautiful scenery.

One way to get a birds-eye view of the beautiful Mornington Peninsula is to take the gondola ride to Arthurs Seat, just like the royal newlyweds. The Arthur’s  Seat Eagle is a gondola that takes passengers to the highest point on the peninsula on a 15-minute ride to the 1000 feet summit.  There are  360 views from the gondola along the wayChardonnayand once at the top there’s a café as well as more amazing views from the walking trails of the Arthurs Seat State Park.

Credit: Visit Victoria

The Mornington Peninsula is one of Australia’s many travel treasures. It is infused and surrounded by natural beauty and offers an insatiable list of ways to indulge in its many gifts. The Peppers Moonah Links just so happens to be the ideal respite to take in all that this extraordinary destination has to offer.

Glenn Harris

Glenn Harris is an accomplished journalist focusing on international travel, fine dining, and luxury lifestyle events. His wanderlust has taken him to over 105 countries where he is constantly straying off the beaten path uncovering new and exotic finds. He particularly enjoys seeking out lesser known travel gems and places to stay, dine, or experiences to capture. ...(Read More)

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