Review of PTGAA PD/Famil- The Mornington Peninsula- a boutique 1-day tour alternative!
31 PTGAA Members braved the rainy weather on 8th May 2019 on a PD tour of a rediscovery of the Mornington Peninsula. What a great day and eye opener it was! The proximity to Melbourne and the plethora of options available for all tourist markets and tastes clearly highlighted the business opportunities the Peninsula offers us as Professional Tour Guides.
The Mornington Peninsula allows the delivery of a full day itinerary of the best Victoria has to offer-endless beaches, wineries spread across picturesque rolling hills, scenic drives, restaurants, and a cable car to name a few! And all within a comfortable 60-minute drive from Melbourne.
We started the day at the privately owned Moonlit Sanctuary, and were hosted by Michelle on a private tour of an amazing “open air” Australian wildlife sanctuary offering the unique experience of close encounters with Australian Wildlife. At times we had to sidestep or walk around kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons (some with Joeys!) with whom we crossed paths! Luckily the reptiles and dingos do not roam free! The extensive Australian native birds cared for and housed at the Sanctuary and gaining insight into the numerous research and preservation projects the Sanctuary is involved in was impressive.
The wine tasting in the cellar at Jackalope Winery and Boutique hotel was a welcome respite from the wet and cold weather! The 1876 Edwardian McCormick estate has been reimagined into a phenomenal 5-star experience with the architecture of the new Hotel offering an interpretation of the distillation process as you walk through the different spaces. Definitely worth a visit, either for casual lunch in the Rare Hare café, a drink at the Flaggerdoot Bar with its wall of distillation bottles, or book to eat under the thousand-globe, ceiling mounted art installation of their 1 Chef’s Hat degustation restaurant, Doot Doot restaurant. And if looking for a boutique hotel stay, their hotel rooms overlooking the vineyards are spectacular!
Experiencing a veritable “Eagle’s perspective” of the spectacular scenery of the beautiful Mornington Peninsula is a must! A gondola ride of Arthur’s Seat Eagle, the new cable car offering at Arthur’s Seat, consolidates any tour itinerary of the region and is a perfect stop for group lunches. (Details to pre-book as well as group discounts will be posted on the PTGAA website/Member’s Only Benefits page shortly)
The beauty and activity options available at The Enchanted Adventure Garden, barely 300m from Arthur’s Seat Eagle was beyond expectations. Activities from getting lost in mazes, to tree surfing, zip lines, water slides as well as the on-site café should be considered when compiling itineraries!
The daytime PD ended with a most valuable presentation by Angela Cleland, Director of Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism Board. Marketing messaging is based on the concept of offering a full day of ”Sunrise to Sunset”- starting a day at an East facing beach in the morning, visiting wineries, beach towns, etc., while ending a day trip on The Eagle at Sunset, overlooking the West facing bay beaches. Insights were gained into the strategic aims of the Board in positioning the Peninsula as a “boutique” tour option and the opportunities that exist for PTGAA Members in leveraging the opportunities to offer higher end tours. Furthermore, opportunities exist for small operators to engage the Board for Request For Price (RFP) tendering they undertake for peak events. Contact details for relevant staff to engage with will be posted shortly on the Members Only Benefits page.
After a full day-trip around the Peninsula, the evening bathing session at The Peninsula Hot Springs was a relaxing event. 17 Member attendee had the opportunity to network and chat while enjoying an evening bathing session in the spectacular and newly renovated site. What a way to end the day! Our Host, Audrey Vigeau has kindly extended an offer for all fellow tourism employees to experience first-hand their new Bath House amphitheater and wellness program and receive 20% staff discount until 30th June 2019. To receive the discount, simply book online using a promo code TOURISMFRIENDS2019 (NB. Presentation of your PTGAA Member Cards are required on arrival)
The PTGAA Committee and Attendees were hosted Free of Charge at all the above sites, with thanks to the generosity of our Hosts. The opportunity to foster greater awareness amongst PTGAA members with a view to furthering Industry partnerships that offer mutual benefits was evident amongst our hosts and PTGAA attendees alike! Each site mentioned in this review is offering Industry Discounts to PTGAA Members, details of which will be available on the Members Benefits page in coming weeks.
We thank all who attended, and encourage all our members to refer to and RSVP ASAP for the upcoming PTGAA PD events! In addition, we welcome any suggestions and contact details you may have for PD events we could consider for 2020. Pse email email@example.com