When I think of a local getaway that is not too far outside Melbourne, my mind often jumps to the standard beach getaway spots along the Mornington Peninsula or the Bellarine Peninsula. I have never really thought to go beyond those places and head just a bit further to somewhere that’s just a bit different. So when the topic of heading down to Inverloch and Phillip Island came up, which is just a tad further than your standard spots on the Mornington Peninsula, I thought why not?
Inverloch is located on the South Gippsland coast just a two hour trip down the M3 from Melbourne. We set off on our long weekend getaway shortly after the morning rush on the Friday and pulled into the RACV Inverloch Resort just in time for lunch. Located just outside the main township of Inverloch, the RACV Inverloch resort is located on a 32 hectare space close to the beach. The resort has been carefully built to take in all the environmental aspects of the surrounds. A beautiful wetlands sits between the resort and the beach, and the prehistoric dinosaur discoveries of the surrounds are captured in a unique display in the main building of the resort.
The RACV Inverloch resort offers a range of accommodation for a variety of different clientele requirements. For a couples or friends getaway you can book an ocean view room in the main building. There are only 26 of these room and each one is spacious with a beautifully big bathroom, a Nespresso machines, microwave, cutlery and plates and kettle for in room dining. Each of the ocean view rooms has large balcony that is the perfect place to sit and relax, read a book or enjoy a quiet wine with a sweeping view of the ocean. We loved the L’Occitane amenities and the furnishings were top notch, making our stay comfortable and luxurious.
For larger groups, you can opt for a two or three bedroom villa. Each of these beautifully equipped villas are your home away from home (or in my case definitely nicer than my own home) and very affordably priced so worth considering if you like the option for self catering or just feel more comfortable with your mod cons.
The resort also offers an even more affordable option for those that are budget conscious. The two bedroom cabins are a smaller version of the villas and provide accommodation for the more budget conscious with good quality surroundings. The resort also has a 4.5 star camping ground on site with sizeable caravan spaces spaced out for privacy, great communal areas and services. Some even have their own private ensuite which is something that would take your camping experience just a bit more luxurious.
What’s to eat?
The RACV Inverloch resort has two dedicated spaces for dining. Radius restaurant is where you can head for all your meals or an afternoon coffee or snack. The restaurant is spacious and filled with natural light from the floor to ceiling windows that give you a beautiful view of the wetlands and the ocean. Definitely a meal with a view!
The Radius restaurant has a fantastic menu of beautiful dishes for entree, main and dessert. With the menu designed to include as many locally sourced ingredients as possible, and a broad range of different dishes, you’re bound to find something that you’ll love.
On our first evening we dined at the Radius restaurant and sampled some amazing dishes. My travel partner and I must have been inspired by the sea as we realised after that we had chosen seafood dishes! For starters we sampled wrapped prawns which were perfectly cooked and were given an Asian twist, as well as a spiced crumbed calamari with aoli. Both exceptionally well put together in both flavour and presentation.
For main, we had the Bouillabaisse which was a delicate concoction of perfectly cooked seafood is a richly tasting seafood broth. Accompanied by the grilled bread for soaking up the delicious flavours of the broth, it was an amazing dish and probably one of the best I’ve had in a while. Our other main was battered flat head fillets with chips which was a luxurious take on your standard fish and chips. The serving sizes are quite large so by the time we got to dessert we shared a simple serving of crisp churros with chocolate sauce.
The wine list provides a good spread of red and white wines in different varietals so you can definitely find something that will suit your palate. If cocktails are more your thing, the cocktail menu harbours a wonderful list of traditional cocktails such as a Martini or a Bellini, but also provide some unique options to tickle your fancy.
You can also enjoy a drink or two in the Zenith lounge which seemed to be the place to be in the late afternoon! The lounge provides a more relaxed and casual atmosphere and the happy hour was the drawcard for many of the guests who enjoyed a tipple or two before dinner. Zenith also has an array of dishes that are perfect for a mid afternoon snack, or a more casual lunch or dinner. Gourmet pizzas, tasting plates and burgers are on the menu and this was perfect for our quick eating requirements on our second night before we headed to the Penguin parade.
The RACV Inverloch resort also has a nifty shop next to reception where you can pick up a freshly baked loaf of bread (the onsite patissier makes beautiful bread and pastries) or you can take advantage of the BBQ or picnic packs that can be organised for you to enjoy on the resort. You can pre-order these packs 24 hours in advance for a reasonable price and enjoy the BBQ facilities across the resort. The BBQ packs are filled with locally sourced meals, salads, bread and sauces to ensure you have the most perfect BBQ. The resort provides you with all that you need for a BBQ including tools, oil, sauces and seasoning so you don’t have to do much apart from cook and eat! Add in your own bottle of wine and the BBQ is complete!
Overall the resort has fantastic onsite dining options so you don’t have to go far to get a decent meal. If your stay there is for a longer period, then the short drive into the township also offers some great options too.
Things to do?
Apart from relaxation, the resort has a variety of different areas for activities. One of the highlights is the wetlands located between the resort’s main building and the beach. Stroll on the walkway through the wetlands and enjoy the plant life and natural surroundings. It’s quiet and peaceful, something that I really enjoyed during my walk along the pathways to the beach.
You can also enjoy some pool time with some relaxation time in or by the 25m indoor heated pool. The pool area has a toddler pool, spa and a multitude of lounges and seating to relax where you can also enjoy the food options from the nearby kiosk. The resort also has a range of outdoor areas for event such as football, cricket, tennis, basketball and also a jumping pillow and playground.
Close by the resort, you can take a trip along the Bunurong coastal drive and stop off along the various lookouts and hidden beaches with rock pools for discovery. We only drove a few kms from the resort and found two little spots for exploration and a quiet place for some beach time. These little inlet beaches were really peaceful and had only a few other people relaxing there. Whilst it’s probably not the best place to actually go for a swim, it does give you some water and sand for a beach experience. You can also head over to Venus Bay for some beach time or even pipi picking, and also to the main each in Inverloch which has beautifully clean sand and warm water.
If you’re down in Inverloch, I would highly recommend taking a trip down to Phillip Island to go to the Penguin Parade. Each night, just after sunset, the penguins make their way up from the water, across rocks to their little burrows for the night. An amazing sight to see and just a reminder about how awesome nature can be. Prebook your tickets ahead of your trip to the Penguin Parade and definitely take the option of the RACV Underground viewing area which sits under the viewing platform and allows you to have an eye level view of the penguins as they head up from the shore.
There is limited to no public transport around so definitely have your car! However, the resort has an electric car as part of the RACV Electric Green Car program that you can hire for half or all of the day to drive around. I’d never driven an electric car before but it was an easy car to drive and navigate, and best of all, it was super quiet! You can take the car to Phillip Island and charge it there whilst you’re watching the penguin parade as there is a dedicated charger just outside the Visitors centre (driving the RACV Electric Green car also means you get to park right outside the building and don’t have to walk back to the car park!)
The RACV Inverloch Resort is located at 70 Cape Paterson-Inverloch Rd, Inverloch VIC 3996, a two hour drive from Melbourne and 5km outside Inverloch township.
For bookings and more information, including Wedding and conference information visit https://www.racv.com.au/travel-leisure/racv-resorts/our-destinations/inverloch-resort.html
Thanks to the RACV Inverloch resort for our stay.