Barmah Park – Baldrys Circuit – Sunny Ridge – Hickinbotham of Dromana – Merricks Beach
By Julia Swift
This Itinerary is a full day trip and takes place on the wonderful Mornington Peninsula.
We started our trip 9.30am at the beautiful Barmah Park, Moorooduc. It is a stunning, kid-friendly winery and was a perfect place to start our day with breakfast at its easy-to-get-to location.
You are first welcomed by the view of the vines, before heading into the restaurant which has been beautifully and stylishly renovated earlier this year. On the lawn, in front of the restaurant under a shady tree, is a giant Jenga set and Connect Four board that the kids will just love.
A deck wraps around the large windows of the restaurant, again showcasing those lovely vines. A perfect place for an arvo sip in the sun on the lounge chairs.
To the end of the deck also lies a kids’ sandpit and play area; an ideal area for the kids to play while you await breakfast.
The menu isn’t your typical eggs and bacon, although you can get that if you wish, but why would you when dishes like eggs benedict with pork shoulder, or olive crusted avocado are mentioned! Heaven! They also offer a seasonal changing kids menu; when we were there it was eggs on toast, or granola. Both of which my kids gobbled up!
Barmah Park is currently open 5 days a week Thursday to Monday from 9am for breakfast and lunch. The winery also features a six course tasting menu on Friday and Saturday nights, alongside their a la carte menu for dinner. Make sure you also do a wine tasting.
10.40am – Drive 25 minutes down the Peninsula, along Moorooduc Highway and onto Old Moorooduc Road, and along the back roads of Red Hill to Greens Bush in Mornington Peninsula National Park on Baldrys Road. Here we walked the 1.6km walk, Baldrys Circuit, a lovely walk through native bushland. (We were here for about 1 hour walking at a slow pace of two kids)
Here you can do one of two walks, the 1.6km short Baldry Circuit or the longer 3.4km circuit. Both return to the car park starting point.
Park your car in the small parking area opposite Greens Bush and head across the road to start your walk. A pretty easy walk, along sandy/dirt track, with a few up and down hills and a hand full of stairs. It starts alongside a flowing creek and winds its way under a canopy of native bushland with a variety of birds (we saw lots of rosellas and lorikeets) and other wildlife (depending on how quiet your kids are).
12.00pm – We headed just down the road to Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm for morning tea and some strawberry picking. (We were here about one and a half hours)
With plenty of outdoor tables in the front courtyard or inside café-style area, it’s a lovely family-friendly way to spend a summer’s day. Treat the kids to an ice cream, or the family to some fondue. I had the devonshire tea with delicious scones! Make sure you look around the gift shop area and maybe take home some strawberry jam, before heading to our next stop for lunch.
Sunny Ridge is open 7 days a week 9-5, with strawberry picking available over the summer months only November to April. Make sure you maybe take a cooler bag and ice block to keep your strawberries cool in the car in conditions of a potentially hot summer’s day.
About 1.30pm we arrived at our lunch stop, Hickinbotham winery in Dromana. Hickinbotham is located on a lovely rustic-bushland-meets- British-pub-farm-house feel to it property. Firstly you are met with sweeping vines, before walking into a Tuscan-looking courtyard. To the left you have their new cellar door wine tasting/sales area and to the right their Mintaro restaurant. Inside are homely tables and outside picnic tables, both with the stunning views of the vines and the bay.
We set ourselves up on an outside table under a big shady umbrella. The restaurant itself has a couple of different places to sit, including over the summer months tables set up on the grassed lawn areas; perfect for the kids to run around on.
Prior to lunch we jumped into the wine tasting for a quick taste to decide what we’d order with lunch. (Tasting is free if having lunch in the restaurant). Their wines are grown and bottled on site by the family that established the winery back in 1988 and have wine-making in their blood. Hickinbotham also set up a microbrewery in 2006 and is now creating a stout with a hint of pinot!
For lunch I ordered a delicious pork salad that was super fresh and crunchy. The kids had dishes off the kids menu, Lachlan very much enjoyed his deluxe burger in a bag with a side of jam donut.
Now all that was left to do was kick back and enjoy the sun, food, music and a glass of wine.
Friday nights over summer they also have pizza nights, with pizzas cooked in an outside wood fire pizza oven. We were here on a Sunday afternoon, when they have live music which also takes place on a Saturday afternoon.
Hickinbotham is open 11am-5pm Wednesday to Sunday with some extended hours over summer. Check their facebook page or website for hours and what’s on.
Around 3 we jumped back in the car and headed 15mins down the road to Merricks Beach.
It’s a lovely little drive from the winery down to Merricks Beach. The car park is located at the end of the road, with a short stroll down to the beach. It’s a really nice clean beach with beautiful waters. The kids had fun jumping around on the sand and we strolled down the beach to a few little rock-pool areas to search for some crabs.
Depending on weather and energy levels of the kids, stay as long or as short at the beach as you’d like, before heading home.
Julia is a flight attendant and local Mornington Peninsula mum of two young kids. Travelling is her passion, and now with the kids it’s just a fine balancing act of travelling on age appropriate trips, the whole family can enjoy.