Shoreham (including Merricks, Merricks North and Point Leo)
Small seaside township on Mornington Peninsula
Shoreham is a small and very tranquil seaside township of about 200 people located 80 km south of Melbourne on the eastern edge of the Mornington Peninsula. It is just off the Flinders-Frankston Rd and 200 metres from the western shore of Western Port Bay.
This part of the coast is really very beautiful and quite exclusive. All of the land between Flinders and Point Leo was once part of a large pastoral property which has since been broken up, but not in a suburban manner. The smaller subdivisions take the form of small acreages rather than urban allotments. One reason for this remarkable lack of restraint may be the kinds of people who own land in the area - Lindsay Fox, Daryl Somers, the proprietor of Spotlight Fabrics. At any rate the local council appears to have set ideas about preserving the area's beauty, its estates and fine coastal views across Western Port to Phillip Island and out through the headlands, The Nobbies and Seal Rocks to Bass Strait.
The first run in the area was established in the 1840s and the township began to emerge in the 1870s. Dairying, farming, timber and pastoral enterprises have long characterized the local economy, although the emergence of a few bed and breakfasts, holiday homes and a camping ground in recent years reflect the growing attraction of the area for holiday-makers. The township itself has a general store, an early church hall (the size of which suggests the congregation was never very large) and allegedly the oldest sawmill in Victoria. The main beach gathers about the estuary of a creek and its reefs and rock pools render it of interest to families. It is possible to walk north to Point Leo and, on the rare occasions when the tides are right, south to Flinders. Merricks, Shoreham and Point Leo had a combined population, in 1996, of 1394. Ashcombe Maze is a major local attraction.
Ashcombe Maze and Water Gardens
The 25-acre Ashcombe property features one of Australia's largest hedge mazes, a rose maze (consisting of 1200 roses), a forest of trees from around the world, tea rooms and extensive densely planted and varied gardens. Pony cart rides are offered on weekends and in school holidays. They are open daily from 10.00 a.m. and are located just west of the Flinders-Frankston Rd on the Red Hill Rd, about 1 km from Shoreham, tel: (03) 5989 8387.
Point Leo is a noted surfing location with a static population greater than Shoreham. It developed as Melbourne's closest surfing venue after interest in the activity was stimulated in the late 1950s. Today there is a sizeable camping area which attracts a small fee in peak periods, and a number of holiday homes. The old surf lifesaving club is now a private home. The beach is backed by substantial dunes and is excellent for surfing, wave jumping, wave skiing, body boarding and swimming. It is about four kilometres north of Shoreham by road, just off the Flinders-Frankston Rd.
The small centre of Merricks is on the Flinders-Frankston Rd, 6 km north of Shoreham. It is a transitional area of the Mornington Peninsula, located between the hilly terrain of the hinterland and the quiet seaside towns and ocean beaches of Western Port Bay. Like the hinterland, it is still essentially a rural woodland area but it is located on flatter ground than Red Hill or Main Ridge. One of the oldest farming areas on the peninsula, it is now known as a wine-producing district.
The Stonier Winery
The award-winning Stonier Winery, established in 1978, is open daily from midday to 5.00 p.m. (and from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. in summer) at 362 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Merricks on the Thompsons Lane corner, next to the Merricks general store. It produces chardonnay, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and cabernet blends. The winery building is of interest and there are winery tours. Cheese platters are available daily with lunches and functions caterered for by prior arrangement. There is a playground and picnic area, tel: (03) 5989 8300; fax: (03) 5989 8709, and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Merricks Estate, established in 1977, is located in Thompsons Lane. It is open from 12.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. on the first weekend of every month, each weekend in January, all long weekends and every day from December 27 to January 31, tel: (03) 5989 8416 or (03) 9629 4035. They produce chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. There are picturesque gardens, a lakeside picnic area and barbecue facilities.
Elgee Park is located in a picturesque setting in Junction Rd. They produce chardonnay, riesling, viognier, cabernet/merlot, pinot noir, pinot gris and methode champenoise cuvee brut, and, apart from the Sunday of the Queen's Birthday weekend, they are open by appointment only, tel: (03) 5989 7338. Enter from Wallaces Road.
Merricks Rd heads north off the Flinders-Frankston Rd. After 4 km it intersects with the Dromana-Bittern Rd. This area is known as Merricks North. The land here is of a rural cast. Scenic and quite beautiful, it is also expensive and given over to few subdivisions. White settlers were first drawn to the area by minor gold finds in the mid-19th century. Farming later developed with the area becoming known for its horse and cattle studs and its pear and apple orchards. Indeed, the town's main coolstore only closed in 1973. It now houses Barn Country Crafts. Wineries have more recently supplemented local industry.
Tussie-Mussie Farm is a herb and rose farm which offers visitors the beauty of its fine gardens, herbal posies and a range of rose and herbal products. It is located at 206 Bittern-Dromana Road, at Merricks North, and is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. from Thursday to Monday, between November and May, tel: (03) 5989 7348.
Hanns Creek, established in 1987, is open for cellar door tasting every day from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. with French cuisine available on weekends and public holidays at 1.00 p.m. or any day for groups of 20 or more (bookings are essential). The winery produces pinot noir, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. Petanque games and vineyard tours are available. They are located at 26 Kentucky Rd, Merricks North, tel: (03) 5989 7266, or fax: (03) 5989 7500.
Willow Creek Vineyard
Willow Creek Vineyard, established in 1989, is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. at 166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North. They have splendid views and produce unoaked and oaked chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet and sauvignon blanc, tel: (03) 5989 7448, fax: (03) 5989 7584 or contact their email address: email@example.com. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and on Friday and Saturday evenings, tel: (03) 5989 7640
Craig Avon Vineyard
Craig Avon Vineyard is located in Craig Avon Lane, Merricks North. It is open weekends and public holidays from midday to 5.00 p.m., tel: (03) 5989 7465.
Tanglewood Downs is located on Bulldog Creek Rd at Merricks North. The winery is set amidst pleasant bushland scenery and offers views of Port Phillip Bay and lunches each Sunday for those who book in advance. The cellar door offers chardonnay, gewurztraminer, riesling, pinot noir and cabernets and it is open daily from midday to 5.00 p.m., tel: (03) 5974 3325, or fax: (03) 5974 4170.
Osborns Harwood Vineyard, established in 1988, produce pinot noir, chardonnay and cabernet merlot. They are located in a picturesque setting at166 Foxeys Rd, Tuerong, and they are open by appointment only, tel: (03) 5989 7417; fax: (03) 5989 7510, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Merli Vineyard is open by appointment only. It produces chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet and shiraz and is located at 19 One Chain Rd, Merricks North, off Tubbarubba Rd, tel: (03) 5989 7435; fax: (03) 9380 2555, or email: email@example.com
The Barn Country And Craft Centre
The Barn Country And Craft Centre and the She's Apples Coffee Shop are located in the town's original apple coolstore at 51 Old Bittern-Dromana Rd , Merricks North, east of the Tubbarubba Rd corner. The Barn features over 700 square metres of indoor craft studios and displays by local craftspeople. There are activity workshops for children, wood fires in winter and a working pianola. It is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday and every day in the Victorian school holidays, tel: (03) 5989 7482.
Black Rabbit Country Retreat
30 Hillcrest Rd
Shoreham VIC 3916
Telephone: (03) 5989 8500
Shoreham B & B
35 Nelson St
Shoreham VIC 3916
Telephone: (03) 5989 9038
9 Nelson St
Shoreham VIC 3916
Telephone: (03) 5989 8532
Facsimile: (03) 5989 8800
Le Pavillon Cottage
I Pine Grove
Shoreham VIC 3916
Telephone: (03) 5989 8433