For most of my working life I’ve taken my birthday off to do something special. Since having a family it has morphed into a trip away. For my last birthday – with a still young baby – I didn’t want to travel too far, so the Mornington Peninsula was ideal. Not knowing the best spots to take some birthday me-time I enlisted the help of local mamas, Melissa McCullough (Mornington Peninsula Kids) Jade Szonyi (Mum with Wings) and Lorraine Aitken (Melbourne Mums Group) to recommend some local favourites. 


Melissa – You simply cannot go past The Wellness Manor for an indulgent spacatation.  The Wellness Manor Mornington Day Spa is a luxury relaxation experience with spa pools, exclusive treatments, detox colonics, laser & injectables.

Jade – The Wellness Manor Mornington 

Lorraine – Recently I had my first experience at the Peninsula Hot Springs. 


Melissa – Visit our beloved Peninsula Hot Springs in Fingal for a soak in the mineral pools, yoga, meditation and general well-being. They also offer treatments and dining. 

Jade – Soulty Yoga  

Lorraine – I have been working with sports physiologist Michelle King from Pinnacle Physio in Dromana for over a year now to focus on specific weaknesses. Michelle is FANTASIC! 

Walking/ running

Melissa – Mornington to Mt Martha

Jade – Can’t beat a good beach walk. 

Lorraine – My daily 11km run is along the clifftop path which starts at the Mornington Park on the Esplanade and goes to Mt Martha. I enjoy doing the 5km Park Run at Hastings on a Saturday morning and a long trail run around Arthurs Seat/ Red Hill on a Sunday morning.  

Alternative healers (i.e. reiki, cranosacral, Bowen or similar)

MelissaThe Private SeaPeninsula Creative Arts Therapy for kids. Kim Sbisa, Creative Arts Therapist works with individuals and groups of all ages in a therapeutic setting, using art process to explore feelings, behaviours, etc

Jade –  Enhanced Myotherapy Mornington and Erawan Traditional Thai Massage Mt Eliza. 

Lorraine – Many friends of mine sing the praises of Ross from Nepean Naturopathic Centre as being “life changing”… one day I will get there!  

Best coffee/cafe with kids

Melissa – If you want to get off of Main Street there are a few hidden gems on the surrounding streets – Commonfolk coffee in an industrial area, boasts a wide range of specialty coffees and delicious well-rounded menu. There is wide open and there is a courtyard out back for the kids to run around in. 

Lilo cafe is located on The Esplanade, an easy stroll to the beach, they have books, crayons and things for munchkins to occupy themselves while mama sips a coffee. 

The Sober Mule café has just expanded and moved to the middle of the Peninsula Lifestyle Centre with the addition of an outdoor kids play structure. 

Café thirteen 83 is also situated in an industrial area on Watt Rd. The staff are extremely accommodating, (i.e. – can you split this milkshake in two?), the food is generous, some of the bigger tables have games on them such as noughts and crosses, and there’s a little kids play table equipped with crayons and paper for doodling the morning away!

Jade – Linton Cafe, Commonfolk, Oasis Bakery, Angus Rose at the Briars 

Lorraine – Given that the Peninsula is so family friendly I don’t think you can go wrong. If I were to choose just one then I would say Lilo on the Esplanade.  

Best coffee/cafe without kids

Melissa – Main Street in Mornington is brimming with cafés. A few of my favourites are Mercetta, The Winey Cow, Store Fifteen and Via Boffe – all are kids friendly-ish without going overboard.

Lorraine  – I love the smell of coffee but can’t stand the taste, so for me it’s all about the food and atmosphere. The Winey Cow in Mornington is my favourite at the moment.  

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