Relax from your labours at Balnarring races

With its gorgeous setting, laid-back atmosphere and attractions for all ages, there’s more to the Balnarring Picnic Racing Club than just great races.

For a wonderful day out the whole family can enjoy, head to Emu Plains Reserve for the club’s next meeting on Sunday, March 11, during the Labour Day long weekend. You can bring a picnic and BYO alcohol or buy from a range of food vendors and the bar at reasonable prices. The playground and amusements ensure the kids are well catered for so the adults can relax and enjoy all the on-course excitement.


The track is in superb condition and kept to a high standard by the dedicated committee members, earning praise from trainers and jockeys for its safe surface that benefits the horses.

The club’s partnership with Peninsula Party Hire has ensured a smooth booking procedure for sites and marquees, while sponsorships on all races for the past two meetings have sold out. Crownbet is once again sponsoring one race at each meeting, and every year people sponsor races for birthdays or memorials for family members as a personal tribute. 

For information about sponsorships, membership, meeting dates and more, go to, and follow the club on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget that on Saturday, March 31, the club will hold its Easter meeting with Fashions on the Field, live music and an Easter egg hunt.


Red Hill Show celebrates 90 years

The Red Hill Show is one the state’s most popular agricultural shows, and on Saturday, March 10, the Red Hill Showgrounds will come alive with activities and attractions befitting its 90th year.


The show is well known for its remarkable array of animals, including Clydesdales, gypsy cobs, alpacas, cattle, poultry, sheep, miniature goats, working dogs and more, and this year the Fly Dogs return to dazzle the crowd with their speed and agility. The cider show will take centre stage with Peninsula cider-makers demonstrating their trade, and there will be a public tasting of the award-winning ciders from the show. Red Hill’s own published foodie, Richard Cornish, will be the show’s MC and will be joined by members of the CWA.

The public will be invited to visit the show’s historical display, which opens at 11am. The pavilions will be filled with flowers, fruit, vegetables, cooking, craft, photography and art, and the country’s best woodchoppers will fight it out for a Victorian title. There will be plenty of free music, activities and attractions for the whole family, and of course a real highlight will be the state’s only remaining grand parade at 3pm.

For show inquiries, phone 5989 2357, email [email protected] or visit


Festival celebrates precinct’s creativity

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The industrial precinct of Mornington has undergone a dramatic facelift. Now a thriving hub of creatives, the area has evolved into a destination for artists, creative businesses and studios.  To celebrate this unique community, On the Map was formed to invite the community into the spaces where innovation and creativity come to life. On April 28, Priority One presents On The Map 2018 – a festival to gather the Peninsula’s makers, thinkers and doers.

Offering visitors a unique program of experiences, participation, education and exhibitions, a collaboration of creative entities on display will share work within their own spaces and perform at venues across the industrial estate.

One of the founders of the event, Luke Carson of Design by Bird, said: “The idea behind the event was not only to give local creatives an effective showcase for their work, but to foster a collective identity in the precinct. As a local designer, I believe it is positive to feel part of a growing art community. Recognising the progressive and inspiring work emerging helps build awareness of what makes this such a great place to develop creative businesses.”

Open studios will feature a plethora of painting, drawing, sculpting, Indigenous art, jewellery making, furniture design and photography. Performing arts will bring music, dance and street theatre into participating spaces within the precinct. Local schools and colleges will also contribute. Festivalgoers will be able to walk between venues or utilise the branded shuttle buses roaming the precinct program circuit.

Presented by Priority One, the event is supported by Mornington Peninsula Shire, Mornington Peninsula Brewery, Mornington Peninsula Magazine, Design by Bird, Commonfolk, Oak Hill Gallery and Manyung Gallery Warehouse with more to come.

Interested participants are welcome. Email [email protected], visit or follow the festival on Instagram @onthemapevents or Facebook @onthemapevents2018

Winery walk returns bigger and better By Andrea Kellett

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The Mornington Peninsula Winery Walk returns on Saturday, May 5, and this year’s event promises a new venue and exciting new-vintage wines to sample along the way.

The unique format sees wine lovers sampling food and sipping wine among the vines and in the cellar doors of some of the Peninsula’s best wineries. It is run by the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association and it is growing in popularity each year.

The meandering 7km walk follows a historical rail track from Red Hill to Merricks. It’s a unique way to combine exercise, great wine, scenery and more with family and friends outdoors. You’ll meet Peninsula vignerons, learn about current vintage wines and taste a variety of wines complemented by a fine selection of food.

The MPVA donates profits from tickets sold to the Fred Hollows Foundation, a charity that works to end avoidable blindness. The 2017 walk raised about $5500 for the foundation and organisers hope to raise even more this year.

This year’s event welcomes the new Pt Leo Estate at Merricks to the itinerary. It also offers a more intimate format, with six guided walking groups and numbers limited to 50 walkers in each. The first group sets off at 8.30am, with the remaining groups following half-hourly after that.

It’s a solid day of supreme enjoyment Peninsula-style. For full details and to book, head to



When: Saturday, May 5, first walk sets off at 8.30am



Natural intelligence and the subaquatic By Liz Rogers

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Step inside Manyung Gallery Mount Eliza this month to view an exemplary exhibition of photographic works by master photographers Beth Mitchell and John Bodin. Both moment-catchers present incredible works that reflect dialogues with the natural world to create art that hangs brilliantly on the walls of both domestic and commercial interiors.

This is photography that speaks to the mind and heart and gives the viewer time and space to reflect on the wonder of nature and what lies beneath. Beth’s The Dome series is “inspired by the brilliance of old-world cultural and artistic explosion and captures the circling of the four seasons by exploring the symbol of Renaissance beauty in rebirth”. This magical collection of strong and seductively romantic female forms taken below the waterline and printed on metallic pearl are full of colour, light and reflective richness.

John’s magnificent photographic works come from a place where natural intelligence reigns. Aesthetics is key in this series of nature-scapes where moments in time reflect the power of environment and the gift of internal monologue pondering it gives. Silent, vast and dramatic, these mood-lifting works act as an escape from the artificial intelligence of the modern-day world and take you into a haven of ambient beauty. John believes that “one ocean transcends all continents”, and his non-site-specific work reflects this notion. One nature. One life.

Manyung Gallery has made yet another artistically adventurous statement with this wonderful photographic exhibition that’s perfect for Peninsula art-lovers who think big. It’s on from March 3-18 at Manyung Gallery Mount Eliza, 60 Mount Eliza Way. Don’t miss it.



A: Sorrento, Mornington, Malvern, Flinders & Mount Eliza

T: 9787 2953 all sites



Feast your eyes on treats at Frankston Waterfront

Street and barbecue food will once again take centre stage at the Frankston Waterfront from March 16-18 when Feast at Frankston Waterfront returns after its successful debut last year.

The event promises to be a treat for foodies and those looking to enjoy live music and a cold beer as Frankton’s Pier Promenade is transformed into an Australian favourite - a beachside barbecue.


Featuring some of Melbourne’s best barbecue-style food vendors, the event will provide a great opportunity to test and try a variety of barbecue styles and flavours. Matched with a selection of popular beers, ciders and wine, there will be a little of something for everyone.

With an array of exhibitors to excite, pop-up bars, artisan market stalls, stage entertainment and flavours of barbecue and street food to tempt the palate, this is another not-to-be-missed addition to Frankston City’s growing calendar of popular events.

Feast at Frankston Waterfront will take place over three consecutive days, including Friday, March 16, from 4-10pm; Saturday, March 17, from noon-10pm;  and Sunday, March 18, from noon-6pm.


Entry $2 entry and kids under 6 are free – but please, leave your pets at home!

Feast at Frankston Waterfront is proudly sponsored by Frankston City Council, Mornington Peninsula Dental Clinic, Costco and Nova. For more information, visit the Facebook page at or the website at

Big Picture Fest changes the face of Frankston


Frankston’s city centre is about to be transformed thanks to the inaugural Big Picture Fest on March 23-25. The three-day festival will bring the community together with renowned street artists who have been commissioned to revamp drab walls in high-profile locations across the precinct.

Headlined by a significant piece by international street artist Smug, from Glasgow, the program includes an art walk, street party, photographic tour, Ironlak jam (group street artwork), and large-scale artworks in key locations across Frankston City starting on March 19.  

Meet the artists working in Frankston during the Big Picture Fest:

Smug is a street artist who has spent years converting the facades of multistorey buildings in Glasgow into significant works of art. Originally from NSW, the expat has gained a reputation in Scotland for creating imagery with photo realism. @smugone

Loretta Lizzio has transformed some of Melbourne’s industrial precincts with images of forgotten fairytales, spectacles of cinema, fleeting glances and dog-eared National Geographics to create art that tells a story.  @loretta_lizzio 

DVATE uses street art to celebrate our natural environment, with significant pieces paying homage to native animals.  @dvate 

Lucy Bonnin has altered significant spaces in Adelaide, celebrating geometric shapes and bold colours. @bonninart

Tristan Kerr creates a patchwork of text, imagery and colour to overhaul spaces and start a conversation.  @tristan_kerr

ZEDR’s works celebrate significant cultural figures, such as Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. He also creates faces with haunting accuracy.  @zedr_one

The Big Picture Fest will be overseen by Brecknock Consulting and Joel Van Moore, the creator of the popular Port Adelaide Wonderwalls festival. It is being funded through the city’s Street Art Masterplan, part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to revitalise Frankston City.


Fun for all at family day

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From sheep shearing to storm troopers, there’s something for everyone at next month’s Somerville Family Day.

Somerville’s Fruit Growers Reserve will come alive with fun and entertainment for all ages on Monday, March 12, from 10am-6pm – and entry is free! There will be lots of rides from Mad Fun Amusements, the cha cha, a giant slide, dodgem cars, jumping castles and a pirate ride - the CWA will be there, a smorgasbord of food vans will be on site to satisfy every appetite and there will be a massive variety of market stalls offering an incredible range of goodies. There will be a Show’n’Shine car show as well as displays by the SES and CFA. The stage will be ablaze with live music and dance performers, there will be some special guest speakers and surprise visitors, and the winner of the Citizen of the Year award will be announced.


Money raised at this year’s family day will go to the Somerville CFA and Somerville Community House, so come along for a day full of fabulous family entertainment and at the same time support these vital Somerville services.

For more details, go to


Lady Fox sings the blues By Liz Rogers

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The Brooks Restaurant at Brooklands of Mornington welcomes you this Valentine’s Day with a sultry blues/jazz show to swoon over. The lovely Lady Fox will be headlining this special event on Wednesday, February 14, and you and your loved one are invited.

Lady Fox will take centre stage in the middle of the event space surrounded by intimate tables for two or four, while ultra-sleek black table cloths juxtaposed with vibrant red roses and candlelight set the romantic tone. An à la carte three-course meal delivers on flavour while you enjoy a cabaret-style show reminiscent of the secluded clubs of the golden era of jazz. The luscious Lady Fox will be singing old-world classics and soul-stirring songs to get your hearts soaring.

Bookings are essential for this stellar velvety vocalist event. Call now to enjoy a touch of The Brooks magic this Valentine’s Day.


Brooklands of Mornington

A: 99 Tanti Ave, Mornington

T: 5973 9200


Music+Food+Wine = good times

With just a few days to go, have you booked your tickets to the inaugural Mornington Peninsula Food+Wine Festival? Nepean Events is transforming the historic grounds of Portsea’s Point Nepean National Park into a giant outdoor lounge for a sensational day of food, wine and entertainment on Saturday, February 24, and you’re all invited. Gates open at 11am for 10 hours of world-class entertainment.

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The festival will showcase the fabulous food, wonderful wine and extraordinary entertainment for which the Peninsula is famous. Come and enjoy the sunshine and salt air as producers parade their wares and vignerons display the fruits of their passion.

With a hand-selected range of the Mornington Peninsula’s finest wineries, breweries, cideries and spirit-makers, the Mornington Peninsula Food+Wine Festival will serve up a delectable cross-section of beverages to cater for everyone’s tastes.

The festival will also give everyone the opportunity to experience the region’s greatest gastronomic delights as Peninsula chefs apply their skills with premium local produce to taste. You’ll also be able to wander the market area for all the quality fare from our best artisan producers.

Some of the finest musicians the Peninsula has to offer will be on hand to perform a mix of sublime sounds for you to enjoy, so all you have to do is bring your family, friends and the picnic rug and sprawl out in the summer sunshine within the park’s idyllic grounds overlooking the bay. You’ll hear Nick Barker, Lachlan Bryan, Robb Papp, Lucky-Louise, Kris Schroeder and more.

The Mornington Peninsula Food+Wine Festival promises to be the perfect day out for all food and wine enthusiasts and a real highlight of our summer, so book now and don’t miss it. Tickets are available at


Foreshore festival a feast of family fun

Do you love great food, live music, market stalls and unlimited family fun?  Then you’re invited to the 49th Western Port Festival at Hastings Foreshore, Marine Pde, from Friday, February 23, to Sunday, February 25.

The largest and most spectacular multi-day festival on the Peninsula, this free-entry, family-friendly event is jam-packed with entertainment, children’s activities and something for everyone. Great food vendors will tempt the palate and Chants Amusements will present all-new carnival rides. Relax and enjoy live music across the weekend and explore a wide variety of market stalls, fashion, clothing, jewellery, arts, crafts, community car and bike clubs and so much more.


Saturday plays host to the street parade, after which the foreshore comes alive with amazing displays and attractions. Southern Cross Fireworks will light up Western Port Bay and the night sky with a spectacular display about 9.30pm on Saturday.

The Western Port Festival committee is a dynamic and passionate team of people who strive to deliver a safe free-entry event the whole family can enjoy. Its volunteers are unpaid and work all year round to raise money to run the event. Through its work with Western Port Festivals Inc, the committee’s aim is to organise an amazing event while supporting Hastings businesses and community groups.

The committee also welcomes new sponsors and would love to have you or your business on board, so get in touch with Yvens de Camargo at [email protected] or phone 0490 661 553, or Jill Underwood at

[email protected] to find out how you can be part of this much-loved festival.

With a theme of ‘Wonderful Western Port’, the 49th annual Western Port Festival promises to be masses of fun for all ages, so mark February 23-25 on your calendars and in your diaries and head to Hastings Foreshore for this awesome community event. See you there!


Star power comes to Stellar


The Stellar Short Film Festival is bringing some big names to Frankston City. On Saturday, March 3, you’ll be wondering if you’re dreamin’ when both Stephen Curry and Michael Caton – the stars of one of Australia’s most loved feature films, The Castle – attend the premium outdoor short film festival as guest judges.

Held at the stunning McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery in Langwarrin, Stellar will showcase 12 of the best award-winning Australian short films from 2017. The ‘Stellar 12’ will compete on the night for cash prizes, with Best Film and Runner-Up winners selected by the panel of judges (follow on Facebook and Instagram for more announcements soon), as well as an Audience Choice award. The charismatic Stellar MC for the evening is actor/producer/director/writer Scott Major.

General admission ticket holders can relax with an afternoon of musical entertainment from DJ Nige (with his 1970 Kombi van), play lawn games or wander around the park before enjoying the films and their gourmet picnic pack - all included in the ticket price.

VIP ticket holders will indulge in a cocktail-style dinner party in the indoor gallery, with drinks at the VIP bar before the screenings, plus receive a gourmet showbag of treats, dedicated live entertainment, reserved seating, and an invitation to the Stellar after-party.


There’ll be a mini dessert market featuring mouthwatering gourmet-flavoured popcorn, cookies, fudge, cupcakes and more from local producers, as well as a selection of Peninsula wines, beers, and coffee available for purchase.


Stellar is proudly supported by major sponsor Illumin8, the Mount Eliza accounting firm with a whole lot of personality.  Don’t miss the hottest new event on the entertainment calendar – it’s coming to Frankston City for one night only. Tickets are on sale now from

World-class blues returns to Mornington


The Mornington Peninsula Blues Sessions is back. The Peninsula’s boutique live blues event, now in its fourth year, is attracting an enthusiastic following and returns on Saturday, March 3, at the Peninsula Community Theatre in Mornington.

Summer 18 will feature four of Australia’s best blues musos - Jimi Hocking, Lloyd Spiegel, Iseula Hingano and Dan Dinnen.  The unique sessions format has each artist interchanging in an acoustic first half and electric second half with a guest rhythm section comprising Karl Willibrandt on bass and Tim Burnham on drums.

The intimate theatre/nightclub vibe of the venue where blues fans are seated at tables provides a rare opportunity to see these great artists in combination and up close and represents a unique live music experience on the Peninsula.

The popular Red Hill Brewery will provide local wine and craft beer on tap, with delicious food from Brazilian Bites and wood-fired pizza that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your table. With just 25 tables and 250 tickets available, sessions director Patrick Elliget suggests that blues fans secure a spot asap at

The Mornington Peninsula Blues Sessions is definitely a not-to-be-missed, world-class blues event on the Peninsula.


February blues festival hits new heights

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Fresh off the back of a successful 2017, the Peninsula’s ‘best-kept secret festival’ races into its sixth year of showcasing the best blues and roots in the country and farther afield. Organisers Minx and Rob Ramsay have some surprises for patrons at The Briars in Mount Martha this year.

“This year’s Blues At The Briars demands attendance,” says Rob. “Showcasing three international acts and the best local and interstate artists, the quality of the line-up cannot be ignored. A massive upgrade in state-of-the-art sound and stage will do justice to the likes of AJ Ghent (US) Z Star Delta (UK) Ben Waters (UK) and amazing Australian acts.

“We have completely revamped the children’s activities with free facepainting, arts and crafts, sand art, bouncy castle and much more. The little blues lovers will be entertained all day in a safe and secure environment so bring the whole family. Children under 14 are free to attend.”

With a bar stocking Peninsula craft beer, wine and mixed spirits at very reasonable prices, patrons can enjoy the day in comfort, while the VIP area provides the option of food and beverage packages and an exclusive secure area with a view of the stage in the comfort of your own marquee. Once again this is proving very popular with patrons and will sell out.

So grab your tickets, folks. This will prove to be an experience that will linger with you for a long time after the final act. Bring a picnic rug and relax for the day and into the night at Blues At The Briars on February 24, all set in the amazing surrounds of The Briars Homestead in Mount Martha. Gates open at 11am with live music until 11pm.

This event is not to be missed!




FB: @bluesatthebriarsfestival


Kite festival soars again

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The skies above Rosebud will be ablaze with colour when the Rosebud Kite Festival returns for its 14th year on Sunday, March 11. 

This year’s festival will feature maxi kites from across mainland Australia and New Zealand, including sea creatures such as dolphins, whales, stingrays and octopuses, together with winged dragons and floating astronauts. These giant kites are so large they take a string of runner kites and a team of people to get them into the air and some pretty strong cabling attached to a car or two to keep them anchored to the ground. Flying high in the sky against a backdrop of blue, they never fail to impress. 

This popular family festival is packed with free family activities, circus workshops, kite workshops, a kids’ carnival, local bands on stage throughout the afternoon, roving entertainment and food stalls, and is suitable entertainment for all ages.

You can visit the festival on Saturday, March 10, for a preview of maxi kite displays from 10am-1pm before Sunday’s main event from 11am-5pm with a full program of entertainment. 

For more information, visit or phone 0403 889 559.


Spectacular Flinders gardens open on Australia Day weekend

Garden-lovers are in for a treat on Saturday, January 27, when two very special gardens open with Open Gardens Victoria in Flinders.

Villa Lettisier, at 1936 Boneo Rd, boasts a formal garden designed by Paul Bangay to complement the symmetry of the Palladian architecture of this imposing cliff-top house.

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A walled garden is divided into a series of rooms coming off a central axis. These provide sanctuary from the coastal wind and create a wonderful sense of intrigue. Some rooms feature roses organised by colour, with obelisks adding height and espaliered Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ adding structure. In other rooms visitors will find reflection ponds, manicured hedges and wisteria-clad fountains.  

It is fun speculating what will come next! There is even an elegant pool set in lush grass with walls lined by fruiting figs. This rarely opened property is magnificent.

Nearby Drik Drik, at 63 Bass St, has long been a favourite of local residents, much admired for its interesting and quirky architecture, its garden and general charm. The original front garden has a simple planting scheme of low hedges, coastal tea-tree and rosemary, which allow the design of the original stone cottage and the stone front fence to shine. A highlight is a large manna gum, estimated to be up to 200 years old. 

The modern extension is framed by an ornamental pear transplanted from the site of the extension and a cork oak, while a new garden bed along the driveway draws from a palette of plants that can cope with harsh coastal conditions. Echiums, clipped westringia balls and groundcovers make for an attractive tapestry of form and texture. 

The rear of the property backs on to Flinders Golf Course and has a different, softer mood. Deep, curvaceous beds of trees and shrubs surround a graceful lawn and an ivy-covered walkway lends mystery. Make sure to explore the walled garden behind the modern extension.

Both gardens are open from 10am-4.30pm on Saturday, January 27. Entry for adults is $10 for Villa Lettisier, $8 for Drik Drik, $5 for students and free for children under 18.  Details:

Green light for Gig line-up

An enticing array of emerging and established bands has been confirmed for Gig on the Green in Mount Eliza Village on Saturday, February 3.

Visitors to the free community festival will be spoilt for choice, no matter what their tastes.  The line-up includes Blues Mountain, The Ben Whiting Band, SugaTree, Ben Jansz, Delsinki, Young Vincent, Chango TRee, Simon Phillips, Slumplifter, Andy Phillips, Pete Millar Duo, Jackie Sannia and the evergreen Captain Spalding. 

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Based on the Village Green outside Canadian Bay Hotel, the music will run from 2-8pm outdoors, with supporting performances in local cafes and restaurants ‘til late. A family activity zone will be based in nearby Rotary Park. 

So leave the car at home and head into the heart of Mount Eliza to enjoy another amazing, foot-tapping festival.  It’s all about bringing the community together, and it’s the community that makes our little Village so special!  

Gig on the Green is brought to you by the Mount Eliza Chamber of Commerce.