A trip to the Mornington Peninsula will offer something for everyone this Australia Day long weekend.  Whether you enjoy horse racing, food and wine, music or you’re simply in need of some relaxation, the region won’t disappoint.

Here are our recommendations for locals and visitors to the region wanting to celebrate over the weekend.

Picnic racing

Described as the best picnic racing course in Victoria, the Balnarring Cup is an outing for the whole family. Pack a picnic and enjoy the horse racing in a relaxed bushland setting within the Emu Plains Reserve. The venue offers entertainment for the children and the opportunity to visit the horses parading in the mounting yard before cheering them on trackside.  Gates open at 10am on January 26 and tickets can be purchased at balnarringraces.com

Unwind at a winery

Gather a group of friends and relax by the vines at the Polperro Summer Lawn Party on January 26. The winery will have the lawn kitchen in full swing and a range of Polperro and Even Keel wines, spritz jugs and local beer. Acoustic folk artist Aaron Speed and DJ WattsLove will also perform. Sadly, Polperro’s vineyards in the Tumbarumba region were destroyed by bushfires. The winery will be fundraising on the day and will donate $5 from every bottle of Even Keel Tumbarumba Chardonnay sold to support those affected in the region. This is a ticketed event only. Visit polperrowines.com.au for more information.

Soak up the atmosphere on the lawns of the Wine Terrace at Point Leo Estate. Sample the Terrace menu and Estate wines while listening to the sounds of live music throughout the afternoon. Wander through the sculpture park and appreciate the stunning work of Australian artists including Dean Bowen, Reko Rennie and Andrew Rogers. Point Leo Estate is located at 3649 Frankston Flinders Rd, Point Leo.

Golf anyone?

Flinders Golf Club is celebrating the long weekend by offering unlimited golf followed by a good old fashioned roast of the day on Monday for just $50. As well as spectacular ocean views, the course boasts a relaxed atmosphere in the club house and bistro. Visit flindersgolfclub.com.au for booking information.

Ten percent of all green fees across the long weekend at Eagle Ridge Golf Course will be donated to aid those affected by the fires. Plus, an ‘Aussie’ themed share plate will be available at the club’s Jetty Road Brewery Pop Up restaurant. Book your round online at eagleridge.com.au

Pub classics

Listen to the iconic Triple J Hottest 100 while taking in the picturesque bay views at the Portsea Hotel on January 25. Established in 1876, the hotel has been impressively renovated and is the perfect place to relax over a drink and a meal. Emmanuela Costaras will also perform the following afternoon. Both events are free. You’ll find the Portsea Hotel at 3746 Point Nepean Rd, Portsea.

Sweet delights

The aroma of chocolate and ice-cream will draw you in to the Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie. On Saturday, children will have the chance to create one of Australia’s iconic animals. Take home a chocolate kangaroo, koala or wombat and while there, sample some Australian classics like Tim Tam ice cream and vegemite truffles. Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie is in the heart of Flinders village, at 45 Cook St.

Foreshore festivals

Community celebrations can be enjoyed along the foreshore on Australia Day in Dromana, Rosebud and Rye. There will be flag raising ceremonies, live entertainment, kid’s activities and the quintessential ‘Aussie’ sausage sizzle at each location.

Festivities at Mornington Park will include amusement rides, face painting, a jumping castle, mini golf and food trucks. Entertainment on the main stage kicks off with Paw Patrol at 3.00pm and concludes with headline act Kate Ceberano at 8.40pm. The Australia Day celebrations will culminate with a spectacular fireworks display.

Visit mornpen.vic.gov.au for further detail about community events on Australia Day.

Enjoy a selection of Polperro's wines at their Summer Lawn Party

Relaxing by the vines at Polperro

Create your own Australian animal at the Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie

Balnarring Cup

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