1 June 2017

Suitcase. Exploring Red Hill With MINI Cooper

There was an extra spring in my step as I left home on Friday a fortnight ago... Why? Because for 48hrs I was to be the proud owner of a swanky new car. A MINI Cooper Convertible to be exact and in a slick shade of 'Caribbean Aqua' no less.

With my bag safely stowed and my friend Amy, a talented photographer, joining me in the front seat, we were headed off on an adventure to Red Hill, nestled in the rolling hills of the Mornington Peninsula.

Since moving to Melbourne I've spent a fair bit of time down the Peninsula, but it has mostly been along the coast. This time we were headed inland, and boy, was it beautiful.

Having arrived under cover of darkness late Friday eve we were left to imagine what our surroundings looked like. But come sunrise the next morning, all was revealed and we weren't disappointed. The tree-lined roads dipped through leafy valleys and opened onto vast plains of farmland that extended as far as the eye could see.

And may I just say, if you're going to head down here for a weekend, autumn is the time to do it. The countryside is simply ablaze with fiery shades from the vineyards to the trees that peer over the winding roads. It's magic.

Red Hill used to be prominent dairy country but more recently, you'll now see the countryside dotted with vineyards and apple orchards. There are plenty of top-notch eateries (more on those coming soon) and a fromagerie or two.

We gave the MINI a real workout, complete with the roof down and hair blowing in the breeze. I tell you, there's something to be said about the thrill of driving a convertible car. It's just SUCH fun. Plus, we were lucky enough to be blessed with a pleasantly warm weekend considering it was late May, so that helped greatly too.

If you'd like to book a test drive of the MINI you can find out more here.

One of our first stops was the Arthur's Seat Eagle. For those who aren't locals, Arthur's Seat is 304metre granite hill and an icon of the area. Recently reopened, this gondola provides a breath-taking experience. On a clear day you can see all the way to Melbourne's CBD, to Geelong or to Portsea, all while the bay twinkles at you from below. It's a great way to discover the region.

Another spot not to be missed is the Peninsula Hot Springs. You'll find them down the road in Fingal. This sprawling oasis of thermal rock pools, plunge pools, massage showers and hidden caves is quite the experience. Particularly if you climb right to the top where you'll have views for days. We were treated to the Breakfast & Bathe package, complete with a healthy yet delicious meal, before we hopped from pool to pool. A definite must if you're looking to revitalise.

If you're not looking for an 'activity' per se, I can't emphasise enough what a beautiful region this is to drive. Each road offers its own beautiful scenery and adventure, and we happily spent many hours cruising around in the car.

More coming on our weekend in Red Hill so stay tuned...

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Photos by Krissie and Amy Wren.