Initially the plan was to drive from Sydney to Melbourne and stop off at a few coastal towns and the Mornington Peninsula, but then I remembered I don’t drive and I really don’t drive on the left side of the road. So, I opted to take the 11 hour train ride fromSydney to Melbourne and then another train and bus down to the Mornington Peninsula for a few days. It may sound like a waste of a day, but I was able to see the farmlands of Southern New South Wales and Victoria, and then the coastal towns along the Peninsula that a short airplane ride would have flown right over. And isn’t that the point of travelling – to actually see the towns and cities that make up a country?
The bus ride down Nepean Highway along Port Phillip Bay was gorgeous. A clear day, we weaved along with the Bay peaking through trees and houses along the right. Then the bus drove up the cliff edge of Dormana and the Bay came into full view – turquoise blue with sailboats dotting the water. It was a postcard. I was so jealous of the high school kids getting on and off the bus as they get to live here! But, at least I would get four days of coastal bliss, or so I thought.
After that first afternoon, of 65 degrees and clear skies, it rained for the next three days. Windy and cold, there were a few breaks in the weather. I was able to walk around Sorrento – a quaint coastal town with shops, cafes, art galleries, and quirky bookshops.
Though a little disappointed I wouldn’t get to swim with dolphins, I did get to turn it into a spa weekend and visit the popular Peninsula Hot Springs – a natural hot springs day spa. Natural mineral water flows into private baths and outdoor pools.
I chose a relaxation massage and bathing in the Spa Dreaming Center reserved for adults with its tranquil spaces, private pools, and treatments. The outdoor pools are protected from the elements by the forest trees and a few partial coverings. Which worked out nicely as there was a little rain that afternoon.
A little apprehensive about sharing pools with strangers, I got over that as soon as I walked through the bath garden. Built directly into the forest surroundings, there is a relaxed calm emanating around the bath pools that seems to put everyone at ease. Each pool has a specific health benefit and temperature level, so everyone can find one to suit them.
The plan had been swimming with dolphins, but I can’t complain about the rainy day spa treatment I got instead. A laid-back relaxing weekend on the Mornington Peninsula was welcomed after hours spent on planes, trains, and buses over the past week. But I am definitely ready to head to Melbourne for some music and street art.