The perfect Portsea pad for a getaway. Any day, any season.

Just a coincidence? Hmmm…

That’s what I pondered as I drove myself and my family along a secluded Portsea cul-de-sac towards our getaway accommodation. The street was named Wimbledon and as yet I hadn’t spotted a house that didn’t also have a tennis court. Well, well you’re not in Kansas now Dorothy I thought!

As we pulled up at our holiday home my eyes darted around scanning for our court. I was at first aghast to contemplate that there wasn’t one. No private tennis court; it just didn’t bear thinking about. In a keeping-up-with-the-Federers kind of way. However to my relief we did eventually discover our court. Hewn into the sprawling landscaped gardens at the rear of the property. Oh yes, much more stylish. How brash the other courts were, I thought, placed as they were so commonly next to the roadside.


It hadn’t taken me very long to slip into another world. A lavish lifestyle I was unfamiliar with but was going to enjoy – a lot! We had arrived for a few days at our Portsea pad and first impressions were good. Very good.

A Portsea getaway. Not far away.

At roughly 100 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD Portsea is a great option for a weekend getaway or cheeky midweek escape. We only used half a tank of petrol on our entire trip. Even including plenty of local day drives during our three day stay.

In close to 20 years of living in Melbourne I had only ever been to Portsea once before. And that was more than a decade ago. I guess part of this absence was based on the fact that I didn’t grow up here. I didn’t really know it. I thought Portsea was pretty much a pub, a pier, an enclave of the rich and home to beaches best avoided by Prime Ministers. Moreover I half suspected that there may even be roadblocks preventing Toyota Camry’s like mine from getting through. Ok I’m joking about that but I really didn’t know very much about my destination.

So let’s just say that to me Portsea was like a blank canvas. And I was excited to paint myself a better picture on this trip. My brushes were to be a family stay at the super stylish Portsea mixed with plenty of photography and exploration. The sum of the parts.

When we arrived at our Portsea accommodation we were very impressed. A sleek black house exterior greeted us. This was juxtaposed against meticulously well-kept lawns and gardens that were a deep, rich green. The most striking feature was the elegant – and incredibly enticing – deck. It ran the entire length of the house and was already whispering to my wife and I to return soon with a glass of something appropriate in hand. Before we had even entered the house our kids were giggling and bouncing around upon a vast trampoline.

57f3c9db-1b58-40f9-b9c9-c05a923e325aee29084f-04b3-45b0-88a4-52a43558a49a is clearly a place to be ‘opened-up’ and enjoyed. Both living areas have sliding doors that spill out onto the wonderful deck. I could picture a visit here for most of the year as being one of almost perpetual indoor/ outdoor living. Constantly swapping one for the other. And there are plenty of outdoor enticements beyond that deck.

Two of which you already know about – the trampoline and the tennis court – but I haven’t even mentioned the heated swimming pool.


Yes this property is a wonderful marriage of stylish interiors, enticing grounds and an enviable suite of outdoor activities. This is all wrapped up in a secluded and very private location. The beds and couches are also super comfortable and the kitchen well-stocked so you can easily settle in for a multi day retreat. However if you do want to get out and about there is a fabulous selection of attractions and options a stone’s throw; read short car drive, away.

Any season is a great time to visit. But the fire makes winter special.

Plenty to see and do.

Remember earlier when I admitted to my rather aloof assumptions about Portsea and surrounds. Well how wrong I was. This place is a treasure trove of excursion options and stunning scenery.

I must also highlight the excellent compendium that provides highlighting a bevy of local attractions. I don’t know about you but I love reading these things. It’s the first thing I do once settled into any new hotel room or holiday house. In particular I want to thank them for all the ‘rainy day’ options. Very insightful and useful for families. We were unlucky to strike three days of wet weather during our first stay but that certainly didn’t dampen any spirits.

Dad and mum also delighted in the treasure-trove of board games provided. Great to digital-detox screen obsessed children. Some of the true greats are here including my personal favourite – a game that seemed to teleport me back to my childhood – Battleship. It was so special to spend quality time together as a family. No jobs to go to or school drop offs. We were comfortable, we were relaxed and we were happy.

Doesn’t get much better than Battleship!

Out and about.

On a couple of the days I bid farewell to my brood and headed out to explore. And I’m so glad I did.

The front and back beaches at Portsea are both beautiful. However these beauties differ in their charms. Shelley Beach and others on the sheltered Port Phillip Bay side are restful places where locals walk their dogs or go for a jog. Here waves lap at your feet.

Shelley Beach jetty by Thirty Summers
Shelley Beach jetty with storm clouds rolling in

Whilst the back beaches are home to thunderous, and yes treacherous, bombastic waves. This is a place for kite-surfing and a wind-swept alter to pay reverence to the power of mother nature. I couldn’t get enough and the weather only added to the majesty of the vistas.

The view back to Portsea from Point Nepean

I should point out too that ‘the girls’ did head out one afternoon for an explore of the cafes and shopping precincts close at hand in Portsea and Sorrento. They reported an excellent selection of shops, boutiques and cafes to be found. The broad smiles on their faces told me almost as much about their day as the credit card statement did later on.

Oh and you try the sublime Vanilla Slice from Just Fine Food in Sorrento I’m told!!

The wrap.

A stay at Portsea can be your very own blank canvas.

Make it a restful retreat. Hidden away in a secluded enclave where you can spend your days doing nothing more taxing than getting from the pool to the deck.


Or perhaps a comforting winter getaway where you indulge on cheese-platters, red wine and a good book in front of the fire with your loved one(s).

Alternatively you could fire up your sense of adventure and explore the magnificent coastlines on either side of you or partake in some local retail-therapy in Portsea & Sorrento.

A stay here can be tailored in so many ways. A stylish staycation or a base for exploration. It is completely up to you. Highly recommended and…

We’ll be back (again!)…


More information.

Please note: All photography © Saxon Templeton excluding house photography that was supplied by Dufflebird. I stayed as a guest of All views and opinions expressed are my own without influence.


Festival Lens

Music lover with camera in hand. You see what I saw on Thirty Summers. "If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff" - Jim Richardson.

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