Road Trip down to Dromana for Deep Throat Drive-In
Before you dim your beams and tune your dial, here's where to break up the drive to Dromana.
The sleepy coastal town of Dromana plays host to a challenging, celebratory and sex-positive night at the flicks, when Sandi Sissel, Willoh Weiland and James Brennan's Deep Throat Drive-In (book your tickets here) beams out onto the screen at the local drive-in. But before you dim your lights and tune your dial, here's where to break up the drive to Dromana, and ideas for how to build a night at the movies into a weekend break by the beach.
OFF THE FREEWAY
Passing through Langwarrin on the Mornington Peninsula Freeway calls for a visit to McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery. The 16 hectares of bushland are home to over 100 sculptures and the Colin Munro- and Philip Sargeant-designed gallery. For $6 you can take your time exploring the grounds and gallery, where McLelland's 50th anniversary exhibition—featuring works from Patricia Piccinini, George Tjungarrayi, Lisa Waup, Sanné Mestrom, Ron Mueck and more—is on until 15 August.
DINNER IN TOWN
Book a table ahead of time to spend an early dinner on the deck at Alatonero in McCrae. The flavours and feeling of Santorini are infused in every inch of the airy restaurant. The menu features smokey grilled meats, saganaki and seafood—and if you don't order the warm pita and dips to start, you've done it wrong. As a failsafe, go for the 'Greek feast' menu option to feed your carful of friends, then roll the 10 minutes up the road to the drive-in.
BEFORE THE SHOW
Not all drive-ins are created equal. Dromana 3 really makes your drive down to the Peninsula worth it, with a diner that's equal parts pit stop for snacks and attraction for movie fans. You can order from your phone to get food delivered to your car—but it's more fun to visit Shel's Diner in person. Make your way through the displays of memorabilia before you get to the heart of the retro diner. There are the famous burgers and hot dogs, as well as cinema classics like choc tops and popcorn. (You can even buy a blanket or mozzie repellant if you came unprepared for movie watching in the elements.)
STAY THE NIGHT
Don't hurry back too quickly. A few minutes up the road is a cheap and friendly spot to stay the night. The Bay Motel is run by local couple Josie and Frank and guests come away from a stay with plenty of love for the tidy rooms, whirlpool baths, suites for families (or friends who've just had their jaws pulled to the ground at the drive-in) and proximity to the beach. In the morning, order breakfast to your room or head up the road to Mt Martha to grab coffee and pastries from Via Batisti, Higher Ground or Milkbar & Co. Enjoy them at the beach—it's just across the road. If you book a stay at The Bay Motel through their website and use the promo code RISING, you'll also receive champagne on arrival.
ON THE WAY HOME
Hop in the car for about 10 minutes, past Arthur and his Seat, and you'll arrive at Polperro Winery in Red Hill. For the past seven years, it's been pouring and pulling bottles from the cellar to complement a seasonal menu. Sip on some sustainably produced varietals over lunch, have a walk through the 25 acres of grapes, and pop some in the boot to take home—you'll be back within the hour.