Hire a people mover before they book out at Xmas

By Australia / Queensland / Tasmania / Victoria / Western Australia /

Are you thinking about hiring a people mover for your next Christmas holiday? It’s one of the most popular rental vehicles, especially during the Christmas holiday period. Which is why you should get in early to book your people mover!

You’ll be able to transport the whole family and more with one of DriveNow’s great people mover hire deals. Once you’re all set, travel to one of these amazing coastal destinations for an epic summer holiday. All are within three hours of a capital city.


Drive about three hours west of Melbourne and you’ll arrive at a picturesque seaside village at the end of the Great Ocean Road. Some of the great places to visit nearby include the famous 12 Apostles or gorgeous Port Fairy. If you want to uncover some amazing history, then visit the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Here, you can learn all about the hundreds of ships that crashed into the Shipwreck Coast, the survivors and life in the 19th Century.

Port Stephens (pictured)

Just two hours north of Sydney is the perfect place for anyone who wants to spend a trip swimming at the beach. There are incredible surf beaches as well as sheltered bays, which are perfect for young families. You can even go snorkelling or kayaking in your spare time. A popular activity for thrill-seekers is the quad biking sand dune tour at Port Stephens. Ride along the largest coastal moving sand mass as you take in sweeping views of the beach.

Rainbow Beach

Rainbow beach is one of Australia’s most stunning and unique coastal locations. Coloured sands mark the dramatic cliffs, making a wonderful landscape for exploring. Rainbow Beach is a great spot not only for swimming, but also fishing, kayaking or even horse riding. The World Heritage listed Fraser Island, with its crystal clear waters running along sand, is just a short trip off the coast. It’s just three hours north of Brisbane.

Freycinet National Park

About two and a half hours north east of Hobart is the entrance to one of Australia’s most beautiful and unspoiled national parks. Freycinet is home to so many iconic natural wonders. Take a hike to the lookout at Wineglass Bay, which without a doubt, should be number one on your list of things to do in Tassie. Definitely don’t miss a trip to Coles Bay. This stunning seaside village boasts crystal clear waters right next to pink granite mountains.


The beautiful seaside city of Albany is surrounded by protected parks. This makes it one of the best destinations in the country for outdoor lovers, particularly those who enjoy hiking only to be spoiled with superb views at the end. West Cape Howe National Park has many great spots that you can enjoy privately. There’s also the gorgeous Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve. This diverse coastline is about four and a half hours south east of Perth.


Your guide to Melbourne’s 2017 Spring Racing Carnival

By Australia / Victoria /

Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival is one of Australia’s great sporting highlights. It attracts race-goers from across the nation and the word. But some of the best Spring Racing Carnival highlights aren’t only in Melbourne, but they’re in country Victoria too. 

All you need to do is hire a car from Melbourne and then you can travel to these fantastic events on the racing calendar.

Cox Plate

Every year in late October, the Moonee Valley Racecourse plays host to the famous Group One WS Cox Plate over 2040m.  It’s widely known among those in the racing community as the weight-for-age championship of Australasia. This is one event you surely don’t want to miss.

Oaks Day

‘Ladies Day’ is the top Spring Racing Carnival event on every woman’s calendar. The Group One VRC Oaks is the signature race of the day. Off the field you’ll see a competition of another kind, as women from across Australia show off their best frocks as they contend for the winner of the famous Myer Fashions on the Field.

Kyneton Cup

The Kyneton Cup is one of the great country race days of the year. NMIT Kyneton Park, which is set next to the stunning Campaspe River, is also considered one of the country’s best picturesque racecourses. More than 6,000 peple visit the town in central Victoria for the high class horse racing and off the field entertainment.

Ballarat Cup

About 17,000 people flock to the Ballarat Cup every year in November. There’s non-stop racing, with more than $1m in prize money. There’s also fashions on the field competitions, live music and plenty of delicious food to help you indulge. The Ballarat Turf Club is one of regional Victoria’s premier racetracks. You wouldn’t want to celebrate this event at any other location.

Melbourne Cup

Australia’s best known horse racing event is held on the first Tuesday of November every year. More than 100,000 people, including celebrity VIP guests, pack Flemington Racecourse to witness ‘the race that stops the nation’. Dress up in your most stylish outfit, sip on some champagne and wait at 3pm on Cup Day approaches. It’s one of the greatest social events of the year.


Where to stay at the Queenscliff Music Festival

By Australia / Victoria /

The Queenscliff Music Festival is once again returning to the Bellarine Peninsula this November. The festival has been running since 1997, treating music-lovers to an intimate festival experience and seaside views.

This year’s line-up includes The Beautiful Girls, Bernard Fanning, The Tesky Brothers, Nai Palm and The Temper Trap.

If you’re heading to Queenscliff in late November, make sure you book your festival tickets early and check out some cheap car hire deals from Melbourne Airport. Travel an hour and a half west of Melbourne and consider staying at one of these great venues.

Vue Grand

Travellers consistently rate this accommodation as one of the best in Queenscliff. One of the most beautiful rooms is the Turret Suite, with stunning 180 degree seaside views. There’s also the Traditional Rooms, which take you back in time to the 19th century, when this extraordinary building first became a landmark.

BIG4 Beacon Resort (pictured)

Here, you are spoiled for choice. Whether you want to park your caravan, pitch a tent or stay in a spacious cabin, you’ll find accommodation to suit any budget. There is also a pool, gym, tennis court and day spa onsite.

Swan Bay Holiday Park

On the shore of beautiful Swan Bay at Queenscliff is this lovely holiday park. Choose from powered or unpowered sites, or even pretty cabins. There’s a walking track close to the holiday park too. Right near your accommodation is a boat ramp and jetty, which is perfect if you want to have a go at fishing so you can wind down after the music festival.

Seaview House

Here’s another place to stay where you can admire historic architecture. Seaview House’s history dates back to 1875 and continues to charm visitors with its traditional guesthouse atmosphere to this very day. Seaview House is also set in a perfect location – close to shops, the local maritime museum and other local tourist attractions.


Phillip Island MotoGP and where to stay

By Australia / Victoria /

The Phillip Island MotoGP is one of Australia’s greatest sporting events of the year. Rev heads definitely don’t want to miss the thrilling action against a scenic, coastal backdrop. But if you want to make sure you’re staying nearby so you don’t miss any of the action, then you’ll have to book your accommodation in advance.

Whether you want to stay at a hotel, camp or rent your own house, all you need to do is check out DriveNow’s cheap car hire deals from Melbourne Airport then make your way there! Here are some of the best places to stay when you’re visiting for the Phillip Island MotoGP.

Rent a holiday home

If you value privacy – for example, an entire garden or pool to yourself – then renting a holiday house is the way to go. Expect to pay higher prices if you’re after luxury, but the good news is it can actually be cheaper per person to rent a large house for a big group. Phillip Island Holiday Homes and Stayz are some of the popular websites where you can find whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s a house with seaside views, right on the sand or a quick walk from the Phillip Island MotoGP.

The Waves Apartments

If stylish and modern accommodation is you thing, then The Waves Apartments is the pick of the bunch. Each room features a kitchenette for your convenience, plus a two-person spa for your enjoyment. You can also pick up apartments with seaside views. It has all the amenities you need for your holiday and there are six different styles of accommodation to choose from. It’s less than 10 minutes from the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

Ramada Resort Phillip Island (pictured)

Ramada Resort encompasses 65 acres of beautiful countryside, which includes natural bushland and gardens. You would never guess that this resort is just 4km from the entrance to the MotoGP track. You’ll have many great facilities right on your doorstep, including tennis courts, gyms, indoor and outdoor pools, biking trails, to name a few. You can enjoy a finely furnished studio or cottage.

Beach Park Tourist Caravan Park

If you want to stay close to the beach and don’t mind camping or staying in a cabin, then the Beach Park Tourist Caravan Park will be a great choice. There are 50 grasses sites for caravans, tents, RVs, etc. All are comfortable and only a short walk from Cowes Esplanade. To top that, it’s also just a 7 minute drive to get to the MotoGP everyday.


5 step guide to a Melbourne city escape between Christmas and New Year

By Melbourne / Victoria /

It’s a long way off but there’s a certain time of year the rest of the human race are either snoozing or have escaped to somewhere else when it comes to Melbourne city and inner city ‘burbs. With Christmas and Boxing Day out of the way and many catching their breath before New Year’s suddenly arrives, Melbourne’s a little sleepy and there are some great hotel deals on offer if you’re looking for a quick getaway.

For a two night, three day stay and play in the big smoke, here are five suggestions for a great Melbourne short stay in 12 months time. The biggest tip of all is you have to be organised so get that calendar ready with reminders.

Flights … the gang at skyscanner recently revealed some observations about the best time to buy flights for Christmas/New Year’s. According to Skyscanner’s research, the best time to buy a Christmas flight is during the week of November 21 for an average savings of more than 6%. Get on the newsletter mailouts, too, for the sales.

Wheels …  Goes without saying you need to click through to the DriveNow Melbourne airport car rental deals at any time of the year. For a three day rental you could be looking at anywhere from $150-$200+ all up depending on your choice of car and size. Will you need a car for the quick-fire getaway? Yes, though you won’t need to be in it often, but it will definitely come in handy for those little trips a few kilometres away during the day – if you choose to venture that far.

Bed … Come December the deals start hatching as distressed inventory (aka rooms that need to be booked) are on offer. We chose the delightful Melbourne Parkview Hotel in Albert Park, on St Kilda Rd. Sniff out deals closer to the date, but some rippers come with breakfast for two and free parking. Better still, everything’s within walking distance, including Albert Park Lake for a morning stroll (about 5km), Commercial Road and Chapel Street buzz, restaurants along St Kilda Road and more.

R&R … Literally 15 minutes by foot along St Kilda Rd from your hotel you will discover a treat for the senses at Leelawadee Thai Massage & Skin Care. We booked a double one-hour Thai massage in the same room mid-afternoon, allowed little feet trodding along the body for a few minutes before sinking into a luxurious and relaxing massage for $130 all up! Awesome value. While a little jelly like we skipped across the road to stylish cocktail bar The Amberoom for a jug of water and a cocktail.

Feast … Say hello to Roxborough Bar and Kitchen in Acland Street, St Kilda, as recommended by good friend and Chin Chin executive chef extraordinaire Benjamin Cooper. It’s a decent 15 minute walk from the hotel or a 5 minute $10-15 taxi. This little gem is making waves on the Melbourne food scene with its spacious open vibe, cleanliness and immaculate service in such an intimate setting (yep, it’s cosy, but it works). The food is scrumptious: snacks like Bruny Island oysters, Jamon and manchego croquetas, lime cured watermelon with goats curd and basil. Entrees to share that jump off the menu include Pippies and clams with smoked pork hock, broad beans and parsely, or how about Chargrilled Queensland king prawns, with garlic and smoked paprika butter. Sumptuous mains that hit the spot are Chargrilled 400g pasture fed Gippsland Entrecote on the bone with bone marrow butter, roasted spring garlic, silver beet puree, or Twice cooked Milawa half free range chicken diavolo with a spring pea and tarragon chicken jus. This place rocks.




Great Victorian Campervan Adventures Within Two Hours of Melbourne 

By Australia / Victoria /

Victorian campervan adventures are some of the best in the whole of Australia. Whether you want to explore the stunning coast, inland lakes or historic cities, Victoria has it all. You just need to hire a campervan from Melbourne. Then you can truly get started on one of these Victorian campervan adventures.


It would be difficult to find anywhere quite like Blairgowrie. It’s one of the most simple but charming seaside locations in all of Victoria, especially in summer when the light brings out the ocean’s gorgeous blue. The beach is family friendly and you only need to drive for an hour and a half from Melbourne.


Ballarat, north west of Melbourne, is one of a kind. Sovereign Hill is the city’s most famous attraction. Go panning for real gold and learn about the hardships that migrants faced as they sought fortune during the 1850s Gold Rush. If you enjoy bushwalking, the Grampians National Park is nearby.

Macedon Ranges

This is a great place to visit in autumn when the leaves turn different shades of red and gold. You could easily eat and drink your way across this part of central Victoria. There’s a seemingly endless choice of venues to sample gourmet food and wine. You may choose to relax at a spa or have a picnic in one of the beautiful public gardens scattered across the region. The choice is yours!


Planning a visit to the Great Ocean Road? Look no further than Lorne. It’s a great location to base yourself as you travel up and down the coast visiting iconic attractions like the Twelve Apostles and Port Fairy. Lorne is also an easy one hour drive from Melbourne. In the summer, the patrolled surf beach is a great place to spend time with the family.


Let it snow … 5 great places for a ski holiday in the Victorian Alps

By Australia / Victoria /

The Victorian alps are some of the most picturesque in all of Australia. In winter, the region turns into a winter wonderland, as skiers and snowboarders flock to the High Country.

Are you planning a ski trip this winter? Make sure you find a great Melbourne car hire deal with DriveNow, then make your way north. 

Here are some of our top picks for where to stay in the Victorian Alps.

Mount Hotham

The resort is built on a spectacular mountain ridge with stunning views of Victoria’s High Country. Ski or snowboard from an altitude of 1845m. There are 13 lifts and more than 80 runs with options for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. You’ll also find trendy bars and plenty of activities to keep you busy when you’re off the slopes.

Falls Creek

Welcome to Victoria’s largest alpine resort. It features more than 90 runs and 450 hectares of skiable area. Falls Creek is ideal for skiers who have been hitting the slopes for a while, but not quite yet comfortable to take on the black runs. That’s because 60 per cent of the terrain is classified as ‘intermediate’. This resort is also home to the Kangaroo Hoppet, which is the largest annual snow sport event in the southern hemisphere.

Lake Mountain

Lake Mountain is a great spot for cross country skiers, with 37 km of cross country trails. Its highest altitude is 1480m. Although it’s one of the smaller destinations, Lake Mountain is the closest resort to Melbourne. Within two hours you’ll reach the snowfields, making it an ideal spot for a quick day trip.

Mount Baw Baw

Just two and a half hours from Melbourne is Mount Baw Baw and its stunning landscapes. It’s known for being a great location for families because most of the terrain is for beginners or intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Whether you want a visit to one of the toboggan parks, a dog sled tour or a visit to the Rock Pool Spa, there’s something for everyone.

Mount Buller

This is another fantastic snow resort with more than 80 runs. Most of the runs are suited for intermediate or experienced skiers but there are some beginner options. There’s even the option of night skiing. The lifts will take you to an altitude of 1780m and treat you to 300 ha of area to ski. It’s only a three-hour drive from Melbourne and the views are some of the best in the state.



Five food experiences worth the drive from Melbourne’s CBD

By Australia / Melbourne / Victoria /

Food, glorious food. Melbourne is a melting pot hot spot of food experiences, many of which can be found in that easy to navigate CBD grid, but venture a little further afield and there are unforgettable tasty treats off the yellow brick road to enjoy. Grab a Melbourne car rental and try these five:

#1 La Sala restaurant at Olivigna, South Warrandyte

The drive … (from CBD) 45-50 minutes north-east

The rolling hills of Warrandyte is welcome sight for those escaping the urban jungle for a leafy green village with a river running through it. The Tuscan-like atmosphere of beautiful Olivigna (pictured) in the southern part of Warrandyte is highlighted by La Sala restaurant, the star of the show. Outside is the stunning piazza, a place to breathe in the freshest Green Wedge air and soak up the views while sharing a pizza and Rose. Nearby eye candy comes with lemon trees and olive grove, a vineyard, horses grazing in the background like a painting while often the resident kangaroos can arrive seemingly on call for diners to really appreciate the views beyond the glass windows at La Sala. Inside a spacious dining room is a polished update on traditional Italian design, with chandeliers, mudstone fireplace and walls lined with mesmerizing large black and white photographs that blend in with the sounds of clinking cutlery and social chatter; it gets noisy here but that only lends it the charm of happy people enjoying their outing. The seasonal menu is irresistible.

#2 Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

The drive …  two hours west

This one’s a “two hatter” courtesy of the Age Good Food Guide two years running and the Royal Mail Hotel Dining Room offers “nature-based cuisine focusing on the highest quality locally sourced produce” according to the Visit Victoria team. Menus are inspired by the hotel’s large organic garden and some stunning dishes are created. The signature dining experience? An eight course chef’s tasting menu with matched wines, is served every evening, as is a five course option. A two course and three course set menu is available Sunday to Thursday nights. The Dining Room is open for breakfast daily and lunch Wednesday to Sunday.

#3 Jack Rabbit, Bellarine

The drive … 90 minutes south-west

No, it’s not a play on great food haunts with animal names but it just so happens we’re following up a Pickled Pig with a Jack Rabbit. Jack Rabbit is an absolute winner on the Bellarine Peninsula with its stunning views across the bay to the You Yangs and Geelong, and its two venues – Jack Rabbit Restaurant, a showstopping gastronomical attraction with a sensational seasonal a la carte menu, while The House of Jack Rabbit is a step down for beaut lunches seven days a week.

#4 Pickled Pig, Warrnambool

The drive … a touch over two hours west

Victoria’s  regional fine dining scene is expanding by the year and this ripper is set on the seaside city of Warrnambool. Visit Victoria says chef Brenton Banner, who cut his teeth in the kitchen of Melbourne’s famous Press Club, brings his imagination and flair to Pickled Pig’s modern European menu, awarded a hat by The Age Good Food Guide. Treat yourself to a tasting menu or take your pick of the tempting a la carte options.

#5 Eleonore’s Restaurant, Yering

The drive … a touch over an hour east

Step it up in style at Eleonore Restaurant in the Yarra Valley, which combines a contemporary cuisine in an historic setting. The fine dining restaurant’s modern menu is lagely influenced by Asian flavours, manages to sit sublimely within the old-world surrounds of a 19th-century chateau.



Mornington Peninsula in winter and where to stay and play

By Victoria /

The beautiful Mornington Peninsula is an incredible destination at any time of year, even during winter. When the mercury drops the beaches become quieter and the towns have more of a country charm.

Hire a car from Melbourne Airport and drive an hour and a half south west of the city. You’ll discover a stretch of magnificent coast and countryside that you won’t take for granted.

Here are five places where you can stay or have fun on the Mornington Peninsula.

Peninsula Hot Springs

The famous Peninsula Hot Springs will help you slow right down and relax. These naturally heated geothermal hot springs make for the number one attraction along the Mornington Peninsula. Indulge with massages, facials and other body treatments. There’s also a gorgeous hill top pool where you panoramic views of the countryside. After a couple of hours here you’ll feel a million bucks.

Enchanted Adventure Garden

Grab the kids and head to this exciting outdoor wonderland. You’ll need at least a couple of hours to explore this place. It’s great for thrill seekers, especially those who are up for a challenge. Bush obstacle courses await, ready to test you at every turn. There’s also an intricate maze to navigate your way through. It’s definitely no easy feat. Not to mention the fun to be had while tree surfing.

McCrae Homestead

Victoria’s oldest and original house was built in 1844. It belonged to the McCrae family, which was one of the six pioneer families on the Mornington Peninsular. There’s a lot of history to explore here as you step back in time. Take a guided tour to explore the historic furniture and artwork on site as you also learn about the hardships the first residents faced. Comfortable and stylish accommodation is also available for those seeking a unique experience.

Morning Star Estate

Stay in one the Guest House’s charming but affordable rooms or spa suite. This hidden gem boasts impressive architecture and beautiful views of Port Phillip Bay. The gardens are kept in an impeccable condition, with more than 75,000 roses. The heritage building also has a cellar where you can sample and buy some of the finest local wines in the region.

Mornington Peninsula’s Glass Blowers

Venice may be world-famous for glass blowing. But this little hot glass studio in county Victoria is also something to talk about. The gallery is home to the work of two of Australia’s most talented glassblowers, Eileen Gordon and Grant Donaldson. The husband and wife team create colourful artwork in a variety of different shapes. They put on demonstrations every day so you can watch them action. Afterwards you can purchase their fabulous creations.



Five Melbourne hotels within walking distance of the MCG

By Australia / Melbourne /

Melbourne hotels are in abundance and any footy fan will know there’s always a “good one” just around the corner.  But where to start when heading to the mighty MCG for the match of the day? We’ve just kick five goals straight with these recommendations.

Hire a car from Melbourne Airport and book one of these Melbourne hotels.

Adara Richmond

Adara Richmond is only a 10-15 minute walk from the MCG. It’s hardly a hassle when you’re enjoying contemporary and spacious living in an inner-city serviced apartment. You’ll have full kitchens, washers, driers and high-speed WiFi in your room. There’s no doubt that you’ll feel right at home.


Quest East Melbourne

Walk just 7 minutes along Wellington Parade after the footy Grand Final and you’ll be right at home. Quest proudly advertises its apartments as “a home away from home” and that’s just how you should look at it. Guests have separate living, fining and sleeping areas, plus all the kitchen facilities to do their own cooking. You could easily stay here for weeks and never feel like you left home.


Mantra on Jolimont

Mantra is set right in the heart of Melbourne’s sporting and entertainment hub. It’s literally right opposite the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the CBD is also within close walking distance. It really is the ideal choice when looking for accommodation for events at the MCG, AAMI Park, Hiense and Rod Laver Arena. Have your pick from studio, one or two bedroom apartments at this prime location.


Richmond Hill Hotel

The Richmond Hill Hotel is close to the MCG as well as many iconic Richmond Pubs. This makes the Richmond Hill Hotel the perfect location if you want to head out to celebrate after the game (and hopefully you’ll be celebrating a win!). The rooms are cosy and charming. Not to mention, you’re also close to Bridge Road, which is a shopper’s paradise.


Park Hyatt Melbourne

Your accommodation overlooks St Patrick’s Cathedral and Fitzroy Gardens, to name a few beautiful sights. You’ll feel elegant as you enjoy luxurious accommodation right in the heart of Melbourne city. It has close to 250 rooms with walk in robes and Italian marble bathrooms. It’s one of the best places to come home to after an intense grand final. Best of all, it’s only a 15 minute walk to the MCG – even less if you choose to drive!




5 of the best hotels for business travel in Melbourne

By Australia / Melbourne /

Melbourne is a great city for the business traveller. The place has some of the best hotels for those in the business world. If you’re heading here soon for work, then hire a car from Melbourne Airport and head to one of these hotels in the city.

Rydges on Swanston (pictured)

Rydges Melbourne is a great venue for guests, whether they’re staying for leisure or business travel. The hotel staff can assist with whatever you need for your work-related stay. Whether you are hosting a conference or organising an intimate board meeting, Rydges have some excellent conference facilities. The stylish and modern rooms come with beautiful city views and large, work desks. Set on the city fringe, it’s super close to a foodie’s dream precinct – Lygon Street in Carlton.

Pullman Melbourne Albert Park

Stay at the Pullman at Albert Park if you want to be in the perfect location for discovering restaurants, shopping and cultural attractions. These features make it sound like a place to stay only if you’re wanting to socialise or enjoy a holiday. But these attractions also make it a great place to base yourself to really network and impress your clients. Not only that, but the Pullman also offers a wonderful conference centre. There’s also a modern lounge with fast internet and a comfortable working space.

Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

This 5 star Melbourne hotel is set in the heart of the CBD. The venue puts you right in the thick of the city’s business world. You’re within walking distance (or at least a quick tram ride) from most of Melbourne’s largest companies, with many of them also having an international presence. Rooms at the hotel also feature a large work desk and internet, so you can work with ease if you have to bring work home with you at the end of the day.

Melbourne Marriott Hotel

Across the world, the Marriott is synonymous with luxury. That’s part of the reason why it’s such a pleasure to stay here. You can really unwind after a hard day at work with a heated indoor pool, gym and scenic views of the Melbourne skyline. Not to mention guests have easy access to businesses in the city centre. The Marriott has a boardroom, meeting rooms and a full-serviced business centre. It’s easy because all of your business associates can come straight to you!

Crown business centre

The iconic golden crown image of the Crown Hotel is synonymous with Southbank. Its hotel rooms are stylish, modern and affordable. It has a top class Business Centre, which should be your first priority when you’re travelling for business. There are two meeting rooms – an executive meeting room which holds 14 people and a smaller meeting room for up to six people. Both are equipped with the latest technology to make your meetings run smoothly.



Lap of luxury in Mornington Peninsula with Jackalope

By Australia / Melbourne / Victoria /

A brand new luxury hotel called Jackalope in the heart of the wine country on the Mornington Peninsula is one of five great reasons to jump in a Melbourne car rental and head south for just over an hour.

Jackalope Hotel

A reimagination of luxury and a new voice in high-end Australian accommodation has arrived with the opening of Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula. The hotel is a personal project of 29-year-old Melbourne-based entrepreneur, Louis Li, who moved to Melbourne in 2006 to study filmmaking.

Rather than tell stories through film, hotel design is now the creative platform. In addition to luxury accommodation and idyllic vineyard views, Jackalope invites guests on a sensory journey—a delicate interplay between the ideal and the surreal—by reimagining the role of art, design, dining and storytelling in the hotel space.

Jackalope’s 46 rooms introduce guests to a reverie of relaxation. 38 sqm ‘Terrace’ or ‘Vineyard View’ categories range through to 85 sqm ‘Lairs’. Floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces connect guests to the rural surrounds while, inside, bathroom features include deep-soak, black Japanese tubs, rain showers and double vanities.

The spa-like setting is complete with bath luxuries developed exclusively by Melbourne’s Hunter Lab, including a pinot grape skin and seed bath soak and body scrub, made using grapes from the hotel’s vineyard. A dining destination in its own right, two restaurants take their place on the site under the culinary direction of Executive Chef, Guy Stanaway. Refined dining, Doot Doot Doot, presents the region’s finest produce in a series of tasting menus intrinsically linked to the land; while winery restaurant, Rare Hare, designed by Projects of Imagination, celebrates the surrounding Willow Creek vineyard through immersive casual dining and wine experiences.

The hotel’s bar, Flaggerdoot, delights in the alchemic process of distillation. An experimental spirit stirs a daring cocktail menu of both classic and in-house creations. The space itself is an infusion of forms; herringbone floors and open fires warm the room, while commissions and installations from the likes of Peninsula local, Andrew Hazewinkel, and international icon, Rick Owens, create a sense of curated cool.
Outside, a black 30-metre infinity pool laps up to the surrounding vineyard, while a poolside pavilion offers sun lounge service and is also available for massage treatments or private dining. A seven-metre-tall namesake Jackalope sculpted by Melbourne artist, Emily Floyd, has taken tenancy at the entrance to the hotel.

Rates start at $650 per night and include a la carte breakfast, in-room mini bar, wine on arrival and WiFi. More


Bass and Flinders Distillery

While on the subject of food and wine, Bass and Flinders Distillery is set in the heart of Red Hill country and is dubbed the “only bespoke distillery and cellar door” that gives you a chance to experience a journey from the stills to glass. Get insights into how they make their fine products including a range of gins, Australia’s first grape based vodka, limoncello and aged spirits. Tours of the barrel room and distillery are offered every weekend and you can score a tasting at the tasting bar. The most unique gin masterclasses in Australia are held here, too, where guests have an opportunity to create their very own bespoke gin. More

Red Hill Community Market

Rise and shine, peeps, and get your stack of cash ready for a smorgasbord of goodies at Red Hill Community Market. Since 1975 the iconic Red Hill Community Market is the place to be on the first Saturday of the month from September to May. Original Jewellery designs make a perfect gift ready to wrap. Manchester of various textures and colours to suit a wide range of tastes and homes. A whole range of exciting foods and beverages are represented, all fresh and tempting. Expect seasonal injections of local fruits and benches full of home grown vegetables. A huge selection of unique culinary delights make a mouth watering taste feast. There’s loads more. Check it out at

Cape Schanck – Mornington Peninsula National Park

Fantastic beaches and fabulous wines of the Mornington Peninsula are things everyone already knows, but the state and national parks really are the region’s best kept secrets. But the best thing is, they’re easily accessible and stunning. Just like Cape Schanck Mornington Peninsula National Park, for example, at the most southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula at the meeting of Bass Strait and Western Port. It has been protected since the 1800s and was made a national park in 1988 and offers spectacular scenery.
There are walks around the area with spectacular views along the rugged ocean beaches of Bass Strait towards Sorrento and Point Nepean.

Merricks House Art Gallery

Merricks House Art Gallery is a quick walk through the garden from Merricks General Wine Store and the gallery showcases talent from both the Mornington Peninsula region as well as artists from throughout Australia. The 1920 building has been beautifully restored from many years of dereliction. Polished floor boards and open plan design provide a space ideally suited to a gallery. It has become a renowned Peninsula art destination with high profile exhibitions. More

Hit the road for a scenic drive

Country roads, galleries, wineries and ocean views. You can’t get much better than going for a cruise along the Port Phillip Bay coastline from Frankston to Portsea, stopping at seaside villages and taking the detour up to Arthurs Seat for some fantastic views of the Peninsula. Also explore the peace and calm of the hinterland roads, wild Cape Schanck and historic Flinders before heading up the Western Port Bay coast.