Go camping, she said. It’ll be fun, she said. Cue most rain we’ve seen in over a year.
Despite the wet weather, we went ahead with our plans to take our beloved bell tent out for one last spin before we pick up our camper at the end of the month. We were camping 15 mins away from the wine regions of Mornington Peninsula, so it wasn’t all bad.
Below I’ve listed a few of the places we visited on this trip which I found to be really great with young kids – especially if you’re kids are as energetic as these two!
Balnarring Foreshore Camping.
We camped in the unpowered section of the foreshore campground. Sites were automatically allocated and when we arrived we realised our site was right next to the bins and far too close to the main road with 2 young kids. We called the ranger and he was super helpful in reallocating us to a much nicer site – especially given it was 7pm on the Friday of a long weekend!
Despite the epic downpours, we managed to stay relatively dry, and snuggling up in the back of the truck with a bottle (or three) of Pinot while the boys slept was quite cosy.
Right across the road from our campground was the lovely Balnarring beach. It was such a great beach for young kids – no waves, clean sand, rockpools for crab searching and the remains of an old pier for recklessly jumping off!
Despite the crappy weather, we spent 2 fun mornings playing here – finding hermit crabs (which may or may not have actually been sea slugs in shells), burying each other in the sand and throwing Flynnie ridiculously high in the air. Plus we practically had the whole beach to ourselves thanks for the forecast!
The beach area had a small general store that did coffee and breakfast. Which was great, because as much as I love camping I also hate cooking on a camp stove and really can’t function without a proper coffee these days (thanks Pie!).
A few kilometres inland is the town of Balnarring with a group of shops selling all the essentials – like fish and chips, pizza and wine. We couldn’t find anywhere that would deliver though.
Some of our fave things to do on the Mornington Peninsula.
Green Olive. We come for the playground. They also happen to have delicious food. The menu is tapas style and there was plenty of things that the boys would eat too – when they weren’t busy trying to jump on the trampoline with kids 4 times their size. The property also has a duck pond, which is thankfully fenced off or my two would’ve been swimming!
It was super busy when we arrived, so I’d recommend booking if you’re going on a weekend. Wish I’d gotten more pictures than just this one of the back of Archie Pie!
Montalto. This is one of my fave places to come for lunch. The food and wine are delish, the views are spectacular and they have a cool sculpture walk that both the adults and kids will enjoy. My boys favourite part of this property is the kitchen garden – we love being seated right next to the garden where our yummy lunch was grown!
We sat in the covered outdoor room and enjoyed a long, boozy lunch with friends while an epic storm rolled in across the hills.
It was far too wet to get out and about in the grounds this time, so here’s a few pics of Flynn enjoying the fresh produce last time we visited instead.
Red Hill Playground. There’s a great little playground in Red Hill just opposite the Red Hill Cellar & Pantry (where you can grab a coffee before you head over to play). We often grab a coffee and croissant here and let the boys run wild for a while before we head to a winery.
Rain Hayne and Shine Farm. Our planned beach weekend had to be re-planned thanks to the rain, so we decided to check out this farm. Both the boys LOVE animals so we knew this would be a big hit. Donkeys, sheep, goats, rabbits, a very cocky peacock and a talking cockatoo are just a few of the friendly animals we met here.
The boys loved the tractor ride and Pie’s highlight was definitely this big red ride-in car! I only wish Flynn was as gentle with his brother as he was with the animals!!
We would’ve stayed longer if there was a cafe – mama doesn’t stay anywhere long without caffeine! And it was pretty expensive – it cost us $39 for entry.
Ashcombe Maze. The boys loved this. Getting lost in the hedge maze. Splashing in the creeks. Sniffing all the flowers and roaring at all the bees (Flynn). Climbing trees and enjoying the playground. Plus there was a cafe onsite for lunch after all the exploring.
Flynn was totally soaked from falling in the creek and had to eat lunch in his undies. We didn’t get through everything this beautiful property had to offer (because kids) but we enjoyed what we did see, despite the bus loads of other tourists!
Johnny Ripe. Delicious baked good and yummy meals in a beautiful setting in Main Ridge. I can’t visit the peninsula without stopping here (usually twice).
There are so many amazing places to visit on the Mornington Peninsula, especially if you appreciate good food and wine. The places I’ve listed above are all great if you’re visiting with children who don’t like to sit still for long!