Episode 03: RACV Tourism Awards
This week, the Postcards team take a look at some of the recent RACV Victorian Tourism Award winners, including dolphin swims, hot springs, stunning wineries, accommodation and CBD activities for all the family.
Big Blue Backyard and Moonraker dolphin swims
Moonraker Charters are the winners of the Parks Victoria Award for Ecotourism in 2011. Dolphin tours depart from the Sorrento car ferry terminal in a luxurious go-anywhere vessel that is fully air-conditioned and decked out with modern comforts, including undercover seating on the lower deck, a fully licensed bar and an upstairs sun deck.
The Big Blue Backyard is a few kilometres from Sorrento, nestled amongst the tea trees of St Andrews beach. This couples oasis is a Victorian Tourism Awards winner for best hosted accommodation with its three exclusive retreats: the Bush hideaway, the African hideaway and the Beach hideaway.
Ph 03 5984 4211
Big Blue Back Yard
56 Paradise Drive, St Andrews Beach
Ph 03 5988 6011
Blue Moon Cottages and Peninsula Hot Springs
Blue Moon Cottages are this year's winners of the RACV Victorian Tourism Award for Standard Accommodation. Reminiscent of a past era, their three cottages have been lovingly restored and redecorated. And, to be even more appealing, they're family and pet friendly.
For the second year running, Peninsula Hot Springs won the Victorian Tourism Award for Health and Wellness Tourism. Natural and mineral rich thermal waters flow into more than 30 public pools and there's a private day spa offering a range of massages and treatments. The Southern Terrace bathing area is a recent addition with five different bathing pools with massaging falling water. You can take advantage of the new picnic area and bring your own treats, but it's worth knowing that gourmet pizzas are now being served in the Bath House Cafe.
Blue Moon Cottages
12 Blakiston Grove, Rye
Ph 03 9775 4015
Peninsula Hot Springs
Springs Lane, Fingal
Ph 03 5950 8777
Max's and Montalto
Max's at Red Hill Estate took the honours in the Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services category of the Tourism Awards. Before enjoying the Italian inspired restaurant menu, head to the cellar door where the friendly staff will guide you through a tasting of Red Hill Estate's range of still and sparkling wines. And there's accommodation available.
For more local treats, head around the corner to the Montalto winery, with its vineyard, olive grove, open air art gallery, pizzeria and fine dining restaurant. With so much on offer, Monalto is the winner of the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Boutique Breweries Awards.
Max's Restaurant at Red Hill Estate
53 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South
Ph 03 5931 0177
Montalto vineyard and olive grove
33 Horeham Road, Red Hill South
Ph 03 5989 8412
Captain's Retreat and the Anchorage
The heritage-listed Captain's Retreat B&B is the winner of the RACV Victorian Tourism People's Choice Award for Guest Satisfaction, and once stepping inside and being greeted with such warm hospitality, it's not hard to see why. Built in 1862 the stately Victorian home originally had four bedrooms but was extended in 1880 for a ship captain and his family, and now offers guests the choice of six rooms and suites, all with queen beds, ensuites and digital televisions. Three have spa baths, two have a private lounge and even some have gas coal fireplaces.
Captain's Retreat B&B
2 Ferguson Street, Williamstown
Ph: 03 9397 0352
The Anchorage restaurant
34a The Strand, Williamstown
Ph 03 9397 7050
Crown Metropol, Suzuki Night Market, Melbourne Museum
Crown Metropol took out the Best Luxury Accommodation honours at the 2011 RACV Tourism Victoria Awards with over 600 rooms, in-house dining, a glamorous indoor pool and a luxury spa.
The Melbourne Museum in Nicholson Street, Carlton, won the Tourism Victoria Melbourne Airport Award for Major Tourist Attractions. There's something at the museum for everyone to explore, including a children's play area, behind-the=scenes tours and replicas of dinosaurs.
Loved by locals and tourists, the carnival atmosphere of the Suzuki Night Market was also recognised at the Victorian Tourism Awards taking out the gong for Festivals and Events.
Suzuki Night Market
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Thrill your tastebuds with more than 250 epicurean events across the state.
When: 2–21 March
Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival
A rich and vibrant program with fun and entertainment for all the family.
When: 2–10 March
L'oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival
Fashionistas will be spoilt for choice at the Fashion Festival.
When: 8–15 March