Day 1: Melbourne to Phillip Island
197 km/122 miles, about 2.5 hours
Head southeast from the heart of vibrant Melbourne and within an hour the wide sandy beaches and charming coastal towns of the Mornington Peninsula will stretch out before you.
Take a swim alongside dolphins and seals on tranquil Port Phillip Bay with award winning Moonraker Charters, or challenge yourself further by climbing into a kayak for an open water experience to remember with Bayplay.
An easy half hour's drive inland will bring you to the famous Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs. Reward yourself with a relaxing soak in the thermal pools, or head north to get up close to iconic Australian wildlife on a tour of the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park.
Continue your hinterland cruise with a short drive to the Peninsula's world-class vineyards. Stop by the village of Red Hill and visit Montalto Winery, regarded as one of the region's finest. From here it is a picturesque drive through the vines of Ten Minutes By Tractor, home to one of Victoria's top regional restaurants. Sample the afternoon away with cool climate varietals like pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and tempranillo.
Now that you're suitably relaxed and at one with the sea, hit the road eastbound towards an island of great beauty. Phillip Island is a destination for lovers of Australian wildlife and home to famous little penguins, cavorting fur seals and a large population of koalas that can be viewed at close range.
Check in for a dose of luxury at Silverwater Resort in San Remo, a gorgeous fishing village and gateway to the island, and then make your way to Summerland Beach for the nightly penguin parade. Heighten your experience with an Ultimate Penguin Tour including front row seats, extensive commentary from experienced rangers and the latest night vision technology.