By Melissa McCullough
On a Sunday unlike any other we wake, drink coffee, eat breakfast, and find ourselves with no scheduled plans. No morning sport, no catch-ups with friends at a local winery, no birthday parties to ferry the kids to and from. Our minds are awash with ideas to fill the self-proclaimed well spent day that will lead us into a week of content. There are very varied views on how our time should be spent with cave-dwelling preteen and teen leaning toward thoughts of movie theatres, indoor arcades, or the ever-popular more screen time <grumble, grumble>. I swear they’re vampires. Alas, my husband and I are scheming for something different.
The morning is bright, with yarns of multi-coloured clouds crocheting across the sky and the temperature is comfortable. In the parents’ opinion it is the perfect day to be outdoors without worry of squinty eyes and sweaty brows. We are due for a road trip.
We set our sights on The Elements Coastal Activity Park nestled in the Wyndham Harbour, Werribee South; a bit over an hour’s drive from the peninsula.
The Elements Coastal Activity Park encompasses a walkable neighbourhood, a timber playground where little ones can blow off steam, an 18-hole mini golf course, the crowd and kid-pleasing eatery 3030 Boulevard, sandy beaches, foreshore tracks to wander and a sparkling marina.
Putting all systems in place to leave home around 10am, (you think the ‘where’s your shoes’ thing ends as the kids get older? It doesn’t), we figure we’ll first play a round of golf then lunch at 3030 Boulevard. From there we can explore the foreshore and marina at our leisure.
We arrive at the gorgeous Wyndham Harbour, proceed through the entrance to The Elements, visit the immaculate toilets (IYKYK), and into the pro shop constructed from an upcycled shipping container, a recurring theme throughout The Elements and, might I add, very cool. The surrounds are stunning with a careful design that makes The Elements camouflage into its backdrop. Their practice is an environmental construction having created a biodiversity hub by the sea flourishing with native and indigenous flora and grasses.
The foundations are fashioned from materials reclaimed from the marina nearby and the design includes 100-year-old railway sleepers, rescued and reused from the old Geelong rail. They’ve even built cosy habitats for our bird and bat friends.
Each player chooses a ball and club, and we head back outside to the Coffee Corner for sustenance for our 18-hole journey. You won’t find any windmills or Simpson’s sofas here; the course rejects all things plastic, but instead embraces the natural surrounds of earth, sky and sea. Small hills, curves and valleys create a golfing green that would give Greg Norman a run for his money to get a hole-in-one. Aimed at ages five and up, it took four of us over an hour to make our way through the course, which was loaded with a fair amount of ribbing and guffaws while rescuing our wayward balls from rock outcrops, and valleys of chip bark along the way.
For lunch at 3030 Boulevard we settle into a picnic table overlooking the bay. The vibe is coastal, fresh and family-friendly. The kids order lemon, lime and bitters while Mom and Dad opt for an adult beverage. While we wait for lunch the kiddos free range and play provided outdoor games such as cornhole and Jenga. The food is delicious, and the service is quick. Soft shell crab, burgers, hand-tossed pizzas, salads and loaded fries fill our bellies. There is also the option to pre-order from the golfing green to have goodies ready to go upon arrival or get it takeaway to have on the picnic lawn.
After lunch we walked around Wyndham Harbour, checked out a second set of toilets, (as you do), and admired the boats. Just behind the sailing school at The Elements, you’ll find a little cove with access to a beach where you can feel the sand between your toes while you take in the sweeping view of the city.
We had a pretty quiet ride back home; our drowsy minds and bodies filled with this breath of fresh air in Melbourne’s southwest.
Everyone’s welcome to BYO hamper and sprawl on the lawn and The Elements is pet-friendly. Opening hours are weather dependant – please call or check their socials for updates.
The Elements await you seven days a week.
Coffee Corner & Minigolf
7am – 4pm Mon to Thurs — 7am – Sunset Fridays — 8am – Sunset Sat & Sun