A short walk in the Mornington Peninsula
Walks of the Mornington Peninsula - Ken Martin
By Robyn Lewis
Having spent a lot of the past two years driving round the Mornignton Peninsula in Victoria, researching the fabulous regional produce for VisitVineyards.com, I frequently see people purposefully striding on what appear to be public right-of-ways adjacent to vineyards, or ambling along beach and clifftop paths, quite clearly knowing there they are headed and how to get back to their point of departure without backtracking. I often wonder - how long do you have to live here to discover this secret knowledge?
Walks on the Mornington Peninsula by Ken Martin (BAS Publishing, 2006) provides at least some of the answers. Perhaps Geoffrey Rush won't be too pleased that the Red Hill to Merricks Trail along the old railway line (hint - no steep gradients) which passes by Paradigm Hill has now been outed, but this and 60 other walks are carefully explained by the author - where to start, where to finish, distance, time, degree of difficulty, and even the need to book walks in advance in the several National Parks on the Peninsula.
While each walk has its own mudmap, some local knowledge is still preserved by the lack of an overall regional map. Long term residents may know where Crib Point, Gunnamatta and Selwyn Fault are, but I don't, and I bet most weekend visitors won't either. However my local knowledge is not bad, so if I combine this book with the conveniently-sized mpGourmet food map, or the slightly larger and equally useful MPVA wine map, I can work out where most of them are. It would also help if the walks were grouped according to the sub-regions promoted by Mornington Peninsula Tourism - instead, they criss-cross the Peninsula in a seemingly random fashion (to me, anyway).
However, assuming these navigational obtacles can be overcome (reminder to self - instal GPS into the new mobile phone) this is a useful, interesting and attractive book that would be the envy of many other Australian wine and food regions. That someone cares enough to share their extensive knowledge is a blessing. Illustrated with the author's own photgraphs, it provides an insight into the hidden gems of the Mornington Peninsula that travel brochures frequently omit.
Soon it might be possible to walk between Peninsula vineyards, restaurants, accommodations, galleries and more, savouring (and preserving) the tranquil environment and enjoying encouters with koalas and other native wildlife far more than from the confines of a car.
Walks on the Mornington Peninsula by Ken Martin (5th edition, 2006) is published by BAS Publishing and retails for RRP A$19.95, and is available in a number of Mornington Peninsula book and gift stores.
Subscribers to VisitVineyards.com and Winepros Archive can purchase Walks on the Mornington Peninsula at 12.5% discount via our book partners Seekbooks, who will post books direct to you.
- Mornington Peninsula (VIC)
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