In Travel

VIC Weekender: Glamp At A Boutique Winery Overlooking A Private Beach

Sure, the Yarra Valley is an easy choice for a winery weekend away, but the hordes of tourists leave a lot to be desired for a quiet escape. The King Valley delivers delicious prosecco, but it’s a three-hour hike from Melbourne. And the Mornington may be popular, but you’ll have to battle it out with the beachgoers.

Thankfully, we have the perfect solution: a wine tour, twilight glamping, great food and no driving. Plus, you can depart right from the centre of the city in bustling Docklands via boat.

It’s something Melburnians often forget; that we have an excellent ferry service right from the centre of the city. And I’d hazard a guess that few know you can be dropped right into the heart of the Bellarine Peninsula – and the best wineries they have on offer.

Award-winning winery Terindah Estate has been previously named ‘Dark Horse of the Year’ by the prestigious James Halliday, as well as being named ‘Cellar door with the best food in Geelong’ by Gourmet Traveller Wine, so you know you’re in good hands when they put together a wine tour.

We tried their overnight offering; the winery tour Gold Package paired with Twilight Glamping. Starting at Docklands on a sunny Saturday morning, we met the Port Phillip ferry to Port Arlington Pier – a relaxing and picturesque way to begin a weekend of drinking in the best this wine region has to offer. Just over an hour later, you’ll be met by a minibus, ready to transport you and your luggage to Terindah Estate to check into your glamping tent.

As someone who loathes camping, I was faintly suspicious of the very idea of a “luxury” tent, and exactly how comfortable it would be. However, Twilight Glamping’s chic and comfortable setup had me wondering why I hadn’t done this sooner.

The spacious bell tent was kitted out with a surprisingly comfortable, raised queen-sized bed, a clothing rack with hangers, a lantern for nighttime reading (or drinking) complete with a handy USB input for your charger, a private deck with two chairs, and the all-important esky.

We started our wine tour with lunch at Terindah Estate’s restaurant, The Deck, overlooking the vines and an expansive view of the bay. Next on the itinerary was a wine tasting – and having previously been named a 5-star winery by the Halliday Wine Companion, as well as having five wines awarded 90 points or above, you’re sure to find a good drop here at Terindah. (Speaking of drops, drop your purchases back at your tent into the esky along with a bucket of ice, and it’ll be ready to go when you arrive back home for a sunset tipple.)

Next on the list is Scotchmans Hill, another picturesque winery with plenty of outdoor seating and an enviable tasting list on offer. On the way home, you could always hop into Jack Rabbit Vineyard for another wine tasting or even a bite to eat – it’s just across the road from Terindah’s gate. This year, they nabbed the Golden Plate award from a raft of Victorian contenders for Jack Rabbit Restaurant – a popular dining spot with gorgeous views over the peninsula.

As the sun sets over the nearby tents, grab your esky, sit on the deck and watch the expanse of stars emerge in the dark night sky, twinkling above your little weekend hideaway. Then, as the sun rises the next morning, head down to the private beach just beyond the camping paddock for a morning stroll before breakfast by the vines.

If you’d like to stay on after check out for a Sunday session, Terindah also hosts free live music on the lawn every Sunday from 12-4pm. You can grab a few drinks and some delicious bites to eat from their second eatery, The Deck, and soak up the sun and the tunes before your ferry trip back to Melbourne.

It’s the perfect weekend getaway amongst the green vines of the Bellarine – and you don’t even have to worry about driving.

The writer was hosted by Terindah Estate, Twilight Glamping and Port Phillip Ferries.

(All images: Terindah Estate / supplied)

Published 23 December, 2019