News

Open for Business in the Peninsula

There is a further easing of restrictions by the Victorian Government beginning on 1st June 2020. You will be able to stay in tourist accommodation like ours! The Dolphin, Starfish and Beach Club cottages now accept bookings. However, the Beach Club communal BBQ and laundry must remain closed.

You can visit the Mornington Peninsula now!

We will continue to update the following list of places which are Open for Business. Social distancing rules still apply, see the Government website for more details.

Public Places & Parks

  • Beaches – Open!
  • Playgrounds and Skateparks – Open!
  • National Parks – Open except for the Point Nepean National Park and its visitor centre.
  • Fishing from boats, piers and beaches – Allowed!
  • Diving from the Rye pier – Allowed! See the popular octopus garden.

Enchanted Adventure Garden

 

Peninsula Hot Springs

  • Bath House bathing and café will re-open from Sunday 7th June 2020 at noon
  • Spa Dreaming Centre bathing, spa and café will re-open  from Friday 12th June 2020
  • Essential information before visiting, advanced booking is necessary, and information on our stay and bath package.
  • What to expect at the reopening of the Hot Springs.
Bathing at the Peninsula Hot Springs
Bathing at the Peninsula Hot Springs

Wineries and Restaurants

Cinema

Dromana 3 Drive In Cinema
Dromana 3 Drive In Cinema

Golf

More to come, please stay tuned!

 

We are staying upright with you

The Australian spirit is innately positive and together, we will find a way through this. One day, the sacrifices and difficult decisions that the vast majority of Australians are making today, will be referenced for many generations to come.

Wishing you all good health and well-being throughout this time of uncertainty.

As for Mornington Peninsula Cottages, much has temporarily changed, but many things remain the same. We have followed Government advice and have used this time to conduct the much needed maintenance work, and also to help our community.

It had been a very wet autumn, we worked on our gardens and oiled our decks on the dry days. We also updated our decor of our interior. We had offered our cottages to our local medical workers to stay free of charge, for a much needed timeout, or simply to keep a distance from the vulnerable. Last but not least, we gave a deep clean to all of our cottages and linens used.

We will continue to work very hard at getting ready to re-open the doors to the general public when given the green light. None of us know when, but we assure you that as soon as the time comes, we will be ready and looking forward to the most important aspect of this amazing property, YOU!

On behalf of the entire team at the Starfish Cottage, Dolphin Cottage and the Beach Club Cottage, we miss you all terribly and we cannot wait to see you all again.

A Perfect Day Around the Bay

The best part of our job is to discover and trial the best travel experience for our guests. Recently we tried a new route visiting both the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsula on the same day. The suggested itinerary below includes our handpicked sites, restaurants, menu suggestions and even wine pairing. We did this not once, but twice to ensure our recommendations can consistently deliver.


The Sorrento-Queenscliff Ferry provides a great way to cross the Port Phillip Bay. Instead of doing the long drive through the congested Melbourne freeways, treat yourselves to amusing wildlife and beautiful landscape.

Viewing deck on the Sorrento Queenscliff Ferry
The front deck on the Sorrento Queenscliff Ferry.

Here is our suggested itinerary to spoil yourself and enjoy the best from both sides of the bay.

1. Wake up at our gorgeous cottages

Family and pet friendly, our cottages are just a short 15 minutes drive to the Sorrento Ferry Terminal.

private courtyard fully fenced
The Beach Club Cottage – 15 mins from the Sorrento Queenscliff Ferry Terminal.

2. Breakfast at the Vanilla Slice Cafe

Enjoy great coffee and the famous Sorrento Vanilla Slice before you cross the bay. If time allows, browse through the art galleries and historical sites around the Sorrento township. The ferry departs on the hour and you are advised to arrive at least 15 mins before. You can also book online, otherwise just queue up and pay at the drive through.

3. Hop aboard the ferry

Boarding the Sorrento Queenscliff Ferry in a car.

You can drive onto the ferry, or leave your car behind. There is parking available at the terminal. The journey takes only 45 minutes while you enjoy the view on the deck or stay warm in their comfy lounge. There is a full service bar in the lounge if you have room after the vanilla slice.

Sorrento Queenscliff Ferry
The Sorrento Queenscliff Ferry connects the Mornington Peninsula and the Bellarine Peninsula.

4. Visit historic Queenscliff

Tour the Fort Queenscliff, lighthouse, and glimpse the old days on The Queenscliff Heritage Walk.

5. Late lunch with a 270 degree view

The Bellarine Peninsula is famous for their mussels, freshly harvested daily. There is no better place to enjoy them than the Jack Rabbit Winery, just 30mins drive from Queenscliff. It offers both indoor and outdoor dining area with the same 270 degree sea view. We have been there multiple times in the last 6 years, and were never disappointed with their food, wine and hospitality. Their mussel recipe changes regularly, we had it in a red wine sauce, creamy parsley sauce, and a Thai fusion sauce with coconut cream before.

Tip: match the mussels with their pinot noir, chardonnay or sauvignon blanc depending on the mussel receipt of the day.

Photo by the Jack Rabbit Winery (actual view at the winery). They are serving sunset dinner until the end of daylight savings on Fridays and Saturdays (ends on the 4-April-2020).

6. Bring home some mussels

Available at good seafood stores around the Bellarine Peninsula, also on the Mornington Peninsula. We like them both and have a great recipe to prepare them.

Traveling with Pets in Summer

According to RSPCA, about 62% of Australian households own pets. There are an estimated more than 24 million pets in Australia. Dogs are the most common pet, with 38% of households owning a dog. There are estimated to be 4.8 million pet dogs in Australia; 20 dogs for every 100 people.

Dog owners often have a difficult decision to make when they travel, “what to do with their dogs?”. Options are expensive pet hotels which is often a germ bath; part time dog carers, and of course, bringing them along.

It is very sad to exclude your family member from your travels. There is extra work and attention required to bring your dogs with you but my experience says that it is well worth it. All you need is some careful planning. Here are some quick tips from my own experience:

  1. Make frequent stops on the road, not more than 2 hours in between breaks. This is also the maximum time suggested by Vic Roads for the reason of driving safe.
  2. Bring a few pieces of their favourite toys and their own bedding.
  3. Offer water at every stop or opportunity.
  4. You don’t sit next to your luggages, so do your dogs.
  5. Keep a running fan next to them.
  6. Plan ahead for pet friendly stops, including parks, restaurants with outdoor areas, beaches, and accommodations.
  7. Listen to them. When they look stressed, tired, not motivated, or have dry noses, it’s time to take a break and let them rest.

In my last trip, both we and our furry family members had so much joy using a cordless misting fan. It is battery operated and pumps water from a bucket or connects to a garden hose. We use it in the car (without misting), at the restaurant, campsite, basically at our every stop, Once the dogs have satisfied their thirst, we refill their large drinking bowl with water, then place the misting fan over it. This combo works like a dream.

dog enjoying a misting fan
dog enjoying a misting fan

Have you traveled with your pets? Please share your pictures and experience on our Facebook page.

Grilled Veal Rack

We are very lucky to have access to quality meat in the Mornington Peninsula like at the Hillock Downs. A veal rack is as hard to find as hen’s teeth. The Cottage Chef finds a nice rack today and here is her recipe.

Veal has its unique texture. The Cottage Chef decides to marinate it with Asian ingredients and grills them over charcoal.

IMG_1641

Ingredients:

One whole rack of veal

Marinate – green onion, shallot, ginger, Chinese cooking wine, corn starch, raw sugar, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, white pepper, cooking oil.

  1. Finely chopped all ingredients.
  2. Cut the racks into individual pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients and sauces and apply them evenly over the rack pieces.
  4. Leave to marinate for 1 hour.
  5. Grill over charcoal.

Tip: leave in the freezer for a day or 2, and you will get a different texture.

Wine match: Bass Phillip Crown Prince Pinot Noir