on your way down to Rye

We regularly make two stops on our way back down to Rye from the city. Tully’s & Yabby Lake winery. You don’t have to deviate off track too much and both places are well worth it. Plus if you have little kids, it adds to the adventure and the holiday feels.

fresh produce

Tully’s Corner Produce Store is brilliant foodie heaven. Load up on all of your fancy charcuterie, fruit & veg, nut milks and the daily essentials you’ll need for your Aquabelle stay. Once the site of an apple orchard, Tully’s fresh produce is second to none and they compliment their offering with the most delicious deli section, cafe, gourmet butcher, sweets & flowers. Find them at the corner of Moorooduc Highway & Wooralla Drive, Mornington.

wine tasting

Yabby Lake winery cellar door and restaurant is the perfect lunch stopover before your 2pm check in at Aquabelle. The Red Claw Rose, the Pinot, I can’t decide, all delicious. And the menu is impeccable. Cold days the restaurant is warm, bright and light. On warmer days linch on the lawn overlooking the vines and the lake.Take exit 19 from Mornington Peninsula Freeway/M11.

We also love the Dromana IGA if you still need to stock up. Newly refurbished it is really quite wonderful. Shopping options in Rye include Woolworths and Montino Deli.

coast trekking

The Peninsula is non stop beauty, everywhere you look. Such a variety of walking trails to lead you on a 2 hour dawdle or a more hefty all dayer. One of our all time fave walks is Coppins Track. It’s relatively easy and ridiculously stunning. Set off from Sorrento Cafe.

For the community minded.. try Coastrek. Walk 30 or 60kms to raise funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation with 3,000 of your closest friends.

We can accommodate 5 teams of 4 for next year’s girls weekend must do. Stay in touch with the foundation here –

Formulate your team for 2021 now. Such a fab thing to do.

peddle power vine tours

Imagine a long, relaxed bicycle tour through some of the peninsula’s finest wineries. Every level of cycling ability is catered for and can be tailor-made to include wine tastings, lunch and visits to local produce farm-gates along the 20km circuit.

Begin the day taking in the incredible views across Port Phillip Bay to the city beyond from Arthur’s Seat. A leisurely cycle amongst the many vineyards and berry farms dotted throughout the region with idyllic avenues of cedar trees providing shade along the way. Try local Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays this area has become famous for. 

Super popular with family groups and hen’s weekends. We will happily book in for you.

peninsula hot springs – soak it in!

This award-winning destination is a short 10 minute drive from Aquabelle. There is a range of bathing options in pools that are emptied each night and refilled each morning by geothermal waters from more than 600m below the ground. Continuously changing, upgrading and improving the experiences for first timers and regulars.

Ok. We’re all are here. Now what?

We are often asked what our kids love to do in Rye. Vesna and I have kids ranging from 19 years through to 6 years so we are well practised at keeping them occupied whilst not spending a bomb. Here is our top things to do with them this summer.

Rye Beach – all of our kids have learned to swim at this super safe beach – no swell and only knee deep for days. Great atmosphere, get there early to stake your position for the day. Just across the road from your Aquabelle apartment means you don’t have to go far for lunch, a drink or a gelati!

Price Guide: Free

The strawberry and cherry picking farms in Red Hill  are a delicious way to show the kids not everything comes from Woolies and Coles. Eat fresh from the plant and fill up your bucket for sensational snacking later. Super fun few hours.  Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm  Red Hill Cherry Farm.

Price Guide : $25 per family

Tree Surfing at Enchanted Adventure Garden is amazing! Swing and zip your way over 50 aerial obstacles. Don’t worry.. super safe and if you’re are not into heights.. the gardens are sensational and include hedge mazes and formal gardens. Enchanted Adventure Gardens

Price Guide: $20 – $60 per person

The Mornington Peninsula has a truckload of coastal and bush walks that cater for all abilities. Vesna and I are BIG on walking with the kids – it not only gives them an appreciation for the amazing place they live but is also brilliant exercise. Up sand hills, through ti tree forests, along wide tracks, through the Quarantine Station… it’s endless instagram heaven. Spot the echidas and wallabies. Walks

Price Guide: Free

The Peninsula Hot Springs is fantastic for kids. Whilst you probably think it would be best to go without them we completely love going as a family. We’ve had some amazing chats and relaxed moments sitting with our teens in the numerous hot pools and settings at this magical place. The little kids are often asleep in the car on the way back to Aquabelle so leave the visit until late afternoon. The mineral springs seem to knock them out!

Peninsula Hot Springs

Price Guide: $25 – $55 per person

Coastrek, May 25, 2018 – Aquabelle’s One , Two and 3 Virgins & a Fish

We walked and we walked and we walked some more (30kms in fact).. and we raised close to $8,000 for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

For the second year running Aquabelle has sponsored the accommodation for three teams, 12 ladies across three apartments.

We all arrived at Aquabelle on Thursday evening and caught up over a few red wines. The walk began on Friday morning at 10:15. We decided it was not a race this year so rather than stress about the finish line, we decided to just enjoy the scenery… and it was spectacular! The Coastrek Team ensured we were on track, hydrated, motivated and entertained via  “Love Stops”  dotted along the route.

The walk takes in the back beach coastline as well as Sorrento main street and bay beaches. It took us about 6 and a half hours and is quite do-able with little to no real ‘coast walk’ training. Last year we spent many Sundays walking the Brighton to Black Rock track. Trying to get us all together this year was like herding cats.. impossible!! So we decided to wing it. I was solely motivated by the glass of promised sparkling wine (or seven) at the end. And that first sip felt amazing. Well deserved back patting and cheers’ing followed when we all gathered in the amazing space of Aquabelle One. 12 ladies, feet soaking in Radox foot baths would not be possible in most holiday apartments, but this One is huge! Interpretive dance and lots of singing followed and then off to our own bedrooms for a very well deserved sleep.

Our treat the following day was lunch at Yabby Lake Estate.

Girls who travel.. we got you!

The saying goes.. it takes one to know one. And when it comes to girls and their travel needs.. we got you!

At Aquabelle our holiday apartments have been designed, are run and overseen by a team of gals…..who runs the Aquabelle world.. girls!! Ok so I might have lifted from a Beyonce song line…but as a statement it adds weight to the fact that we know how to cater to you because we know what it’s like to travel with girlfriends, kids and/or our other halves. We all want things to be a certain way and have certain things on hand when we arrive.

Our apartments really do have everything..  you don’t have to pack all the creature comforts of home because things we deem necessary for a fab break are already in the cupboard. We say, bring your clothes and your food and a good book.. everything else is in place.

I booked a trip to Brunswick Heads for this coming long weekend in March… a short flight on Jetstar with my hubby and two teens. Weight limits dictate that we need to pack light. But the house I booked on Airbnb said that I need to bring my own beach towels… grrr so annoying. Out goes my hefty summer read and in goes the beach towel x 4.

At Aquabelle not only do we have beach towels (standard), we have high speed internet (given), heaps of crockery, glassware – champagne, wine and water (in that order), cutlery, heavenly soaps, shampoos, hand wash, laundry powder for our front loader washing machines (because who doesn’t love a cheeky load before home time), Nutribullet for ‘the wellness craze’ green super smoothies, DVDs for the kids and soon to be added.. streaming via Google.

We can also shop for you so all your favourite bits and pieces are in the fridge/cupboard on arrival. We can organise priority entry Peninsula Hot Springs passes, in-room massages, balloons, cakes, flowers, catering… you name it! Anytime we are asked for something special, we add it to the growing list of ‘can dos’ for our next guests.

Read our TripAdvisor comments here;

Book Direct with Aquabelle – the reasons why you should are coming soon!

School holidays again??

Can you believe it’s holiday time again.

If you are looking for the perfect place to bring the kids (and not have to travel for hours) look no further than Rye. Centrally located along the Mornington Peninsula, Rye has the most child-friendly beach alongside the Pier and is perfect for families with its relaxed vibe.


Our child-friendly apartments are located in the centre of town, overlooking the beach. Take a tour of each apartment and book the best one for your family’s size. We have thought of everything so you don’t have to. Think of Aquabelle as your very own holiday house – beach towels, toys, games, books.. all there plus the most gorgeous water views.

You are here .. so now what?

So you are in Rye. Now what to do with the kids. Our tip is this…plan one or two short events each day and then relax with a board-game or a movie in your apartment. Here’s a few activity ideas.

Peninsula Hot Springs. A fam’tastic place to sit, soak and catch up with each other. Head out later in the day and the mineral springs will mean your kids will be pretty relaxed and ready for bed (mine have fallen asleep in the car ride back to Aquabelle, and that is just 11 minutes long!)

Top Fun. A top pick for the kids and the kid in all of us. 36 hole mini golf, bowling and the myriad of token producing parlour games means a couple of hours fun for everyone. Top Fun! Oh and the perfect place if the weather turns all Melbourne’y. Undercover!

RIP Charters. RIP are the leading fishing charter crew in Victoria. They are out all year round and specialise in chasing the finest fishing so you’ll catch something! Trawl for salmon or try casting for big red snapper. You are in fine hands.

Bay Play. Bay Play provide all the toys you will need to make your stay more adventurous. Rent all types of gear – kayaks, bikes and SUP boards plus diving, snorkelling whatever takes your fancy.  Nothing beats a sunset paddle on Port Phillip Bay. And even if you haven’t ever Supped.. it is an easy thing to get a handle of (the kids will think it’s hilarious while you wobble along). Think laughs, think core workout, think seeing the Peninsula from a totally new perspective.

Polperro Dolphin Swims. This is an amazing day to have with the kids. Something they’ll remember always. Leaving from Sorrento Pier you will set sail in search of wild Bottlenose Dolphins and Aussie Fur Seals. Safe and fun for all ages.

Try out The Eagle at Arthurs Seat. Leave your car in the carpark and travel up the side of Arthurs Seat. Take in the spectacular views while you coast gently upwards, suspended, a truly Instagram’able moment.

This winter get some vitamin sea!

Stay at the perfect family friendly Aquabelle!

As locals, we get to enjoy our little seaside town all year round. Trying to sell a stay in winter to our traditionally summer-only visitors is quite difficult. They don’t see the Peninsula as a winter time destination.. it’s all crowds, sand, summer, BBQ smells and the carnival  for them!

Sure, we agree, Rye is quite possibly the quintessential Australian summer destination; campers on the foreshore, fisherman on the pier, a sea of umbrellas, a flotilla of blowup flotation devices and the smell of sunscreen…. all of it screams holiday. But the winter… the blowy beach walks, the pristine coast, the quiet, less frenetic pace, the relaxed long brunch reading the paper in a sunny cafe window..soooo good! We want to share.

So I decided to try something….

I offered a pretty irresistible deal to one of our family of Aquabelle regulars to stay in Rye on a weekend, during the deepest darkest coldest month of the year. I wanted to see if I could change just one family’s perception about when to come to Rye.

Mrs X immediately said , “no thanks.. Rye is our summer place.. it’s not where we’d even think to pack the kids up and go in winter.”

I insisted they try it, threw in some discount vouchers and at such price how could they say no! Surprisingly I didn’t hear from them all weekend.

On the Monday, I called the Mrs X and asked… “Well?”

She gushed, “I have already written my TripAdvisor review! We had the best time! And guess what.. the weather was really horrendously bad on the first day.. so we stayed in, talked, cooked and chatted and really enjoyed just hanging out, so rare these days with the kids running off all the time. That list of winter time things to do was a winner and the board games were great. The sun just streams in through the balcony doors and somehow the sky blue is more intense. When the sun finally came out we ran through the mazes at Boneo, sat in the steaming Peninsula Hot Springs like a family of 4 Japanese baboons and then we ate a huge parmigiana at the Rye Pub while the kids ran around and we drank red wine. The best thing was, we had most of the places to ourselves without the summer scramble.

You were right.. we were wrong.. A family getaway in winter.. in Rye is quite the opposite of what I expected ….fantastic..” YES!

We say.. how very Aquabelle!

Recently we invited our favourite photographer Breeana Dunbar down with her little family to document her stay in a photo essay. Enjoy her lovely photos and at the same time get some inspiration for your next family getaway in Rye.


Winter, the Peninsula’s speciality!

Don’t just think of the Mornington Peninsula as Melbourne’s summer playground because winter takes on its own beauty and opens up some amazing treats when you visit. And the cooler weather means a less crowdy vibe so you can enjoy the slower pace and extra attention.

As locals we get to experience the beauty, hidden secrets, award winning restaurants and wineries at our leisure, in the down time and we think its probably time to share.

So some of Aquabelle’s favourite businesses have passed on exclusive discounts for our guests to use now until the end of November… a little encouragement for you to come down and explore the region as well as eat, drink and shop!

So it’s the perfect time to put together a girl’s weekend or romantic little getaway with over $250 of discounts to enjoy while you’re here. And an Aquabelle Apartment has everything you need for a great Rye holiday.


Peninsula Galleries is a major fine art gallery in Red Hill showcasing an impressive register of gifted artists specialising in oil, acrylic, watercolour, contemporary sculpture, ceramics and exquisite jewellery. Oh and the drive will surely get you hungry and thirsty for their brilliant menu. A glass of house wine or a Devonshire Tea with any main lunch order is yours courtesy of Peninsula Galleries and us!


“You can never get a cup of tea large enough for a book long enough to suit me.” C.S Lewis

The best beach holidays can be measured by the books you’ve read and loved. Jane, from Antipodes Bookshop & Gallery in Sorrento, and her staff will help you find the perfect book to while away your time during your wintery stay. The gorgeous gallery/bookshop with exceptional customer service, and well-read staff, will delight and we’ll give you a voucher for 10% off full priced purchases as an incentive to visit and find that bestseller!


Walking distance from Aquabelle is Steam, modern Asian-fusion cuisine designed to be shared. The freshest seasonal shellfish from the best oyster producing regions in Australia are displayed in the live oyster tank. The tasting menu is the recommendation this winter. An there is nothing better to wash it down with than a complimentary house wine or bottled beer from their huge selection, courtesy from Steam and Aquabelle.


The Cups Estate is a fabulous venue for a simple tasting of their delicious range and cellar door sales but the lunch is especially fantastic. 11 of my girlfriends (we had completed the Coastrek 30 km walk the day before) and I enjoyed an amazing tasting and set menu luncheon .. a special treat!

The light-filled dining room overlooks the vineyard and is a spectacular backdrop for the food and wine we shared over many stories and laughs. Loved it!

The Cups Estate has given us two special offer vouchers for our guests;

15% off The Cups Estate cellar door case purchases

Free wine tasting at The Cups Estate cellar door

Stay for lunch. Delicious!

NIBBLE platters’r’us

Montino Delicatessen, located just outside Safeway in Rye, is the perfect place to put together the best nibbles platter for your girls weekend or romantic evening in. The best of ‘Italy on a plate’ – salumi, cheeses, olives, oils. French baguettes and preserves, other sweet treats and one of the best coffees in Rye.