Are you in a need of a day trip or a weekend away?
A fabulous day trip from Melbourne combining lunch with a lake view, an Equine Wooden Horse Museum, and exceptional wine.
This trip is good for anyone who is fascinated by Equines and loves wine and stunning scenery. The day trip suits those from Melbourne, regional Victoria, or you may even those just passing through Victoria. You might like to make a weekend of it as there is plenty to see and do in the area.
How to get there?
If you are driving from Melbourne to Moonambel, it is approx. 2 hours and 20 minutes via the Sunraysia B20 Highway and National Highway N8 (202 kms) from Melbourne. If you are coming from Ballarat, it is just over an hour to Avoca.
We travelled via Ballarat and stopped off for lunch at the Boatshed a fabulous restaurant right on Lake Wendouree. Pipers by the Lake, another lovely restaurant offers lunch near the Botanical Gardens and overlooks Lake Wendouree too.
Things to see and do around Ballarat
Ballarat itself has some interesting places to visit and you may want to combine this with your visit to the Pyrenees region.
- Sovereign Hill Goldfields and Museum
- Ballarat Wildlife Park
- Ballarat Botanical Gardens
- Lake Wendouree
After a delicious lunch, we drove to the Equus Museum Located at Moonambel Vineyard.
The Equus Museum is a further 1 hour and 10 minutes from Ballarat via the Sunraysia or Ballarat Maryborough Highway, close to the small country town of Avoca.
Equus Museum of the Wooden Horses and Moonambel Vineyards
The Equus Museum of the Wooden Horses and Moonambel Vineyards, located at Moonambel in the Pyrenees region, displays an extraordinary collection of rocking horses, carousel horses, and wheeled equines from the 1840s to the 1960s.
The private collection of wooden horses originates from Australia, England, Germany, the USA, and France and all collected by Patricia Mullins. Patricia guides you through the Museum and explains the stories of the wooden horses she has collected, and you can hear how passionate she is about the restoration and her work with the Wooden Horses.
The Museum is part of a cellar door and features original artwork by Patricia Mullins, whose internationally acclaimed work focuses on the importance and beauty of rocking horses from a creative, as well as historical perspective.
Patricia is well known for her work in the restoration of wooden horses for over 50 years and this includes those on the carousels at Luna Park Melbourne and the Melbourne Zoo. Patricia is also an award-winning artist, illustrator, and writer and has illustrated and written over twenty books. Her biggest book project which took over seven years was, The Rocking Horse, A History of the Moving Toy Horses.” The books are available for sale at the Equus cellar door and visitors can also sample the Equus Moonambel organic wine.
The Museum and cellar door, located at the top of the hill offers a spectacular vantage point over the Pyrenees ranges which is incredible.
After our visit to the Equus Museum, we enjoyed a wine tasting at the Equus Moonambel winery cellar door in the same location. To visit you must call ahead and the winery cellar door is open on weekends and public holidays by appointment only. Check the website for opening times and contact details.
Location: 106 Black Mares Lane, Moonambel, Pyrenees
Other wineries in the Pyrenees area
The Pyrenees wine region has over 44 high-quality boutique wineries located in the western part of Victoria near the small country town of Avoca, with the stunning Pyrenees ranges as a backdrop. The region is known for its Shiraz, as well as Sparkling wines made in the traditional style from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Both Taltarni Vineyard and the Blue Pyrenees Estate offer lunch and wine tastings with white, sparkling, and red wine tastings in beautiful settings. Other favourites Summerfield wines has an indoor restaurant and lovely outdoor setting overlooking the winery gardens offering wood fire pizza and a selection of wines for tastings. Sally’s Paddock Redbank Winery is open every day and is a beautiful place to stop off for a coffee or a lunch platter, taste the selection of red wines and soak up the magnificent Pyrenees views. I recommend that you check the local winery websites for opening times, and you may need to call ahead to visit.
If you are wanting to make a weekend of it and stay overnight, some of the wineries offer accommodation and there are local B&B’s in the Pyrenees region as well.
Snaffle Travel loves to travel, explore, and include an equine theme to all our breaks and holidays. Contact Snaffle Travel at email@example.com
Photo credit: The Rocking Horse is an English Horse c1895, Equus Museum of the Wooden Horse Museum & Visit Pyrenees Victoria