VictoriaMornington PeninsulaCrystal-clear bay and surf beaches, natural hot springs, strawberry and cherry farms, world-class vineyards and restaurants. It's no wonder 'the Peninsula' is a favourite holiday playground for Melbournians.
Winding around the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay and taking in vast ocean views and sheltered beaches, Mornington Peninsula is home to quaint coastal villages and hinterland hamlets, acclaimed wineries and restaurants, luxurious spas and renowned golf courses. It is possible to travel from top to toe of the region within half an hour, passing colourful bathing boxes strung along the beachfront of Dromana, Rosebud and Mornington, then inland through the rolling hills of the verdant hinterland to orchards, market gardens and wineries. See how the millionaires live in striking homes around Portsea. With everything on the peninsula within easy reach, there's plenty of ways to fill your day, from boutique shopping amid historic limestone buildings in Sorrento and teeing off from the clifftop golf course at Flinders on Westernport Bay. Treat yourself to a soak in Rye's thermal mineral pools, see works of art at Mornington's renowned gallery, or head to the top of Arthurs Seat for panoramic coastal views. Excellent restaurants have sprung up amid the wineries of Red Hill and Main Ridge, where abundant local produce and regional wines share the spotlight with views of the blue waters. Every kind of water activity is available on the peninsula's beautiful sandy beaches, from sailing and surfing to fishing and dolphin swims. The Portsea reef system attracts scuba divers of all levels. There are also majestic coastal walks past dunes, beaches, cliffs and lighthouses. Stay a night in the old Keeper's Cottage at the Cape Schanck Lightstation. For anybody who has ever teed up, the Mornington Peninsula is golfing heaven. Take on the daunting Moonah Links, scenic Flinders, or the acclaimed The Dunes. Mornington Peninsula is an easy hour's drive from Melbourne along the M1, the Eastlink tollway, the Mornington Peninsula Freeway and the Moorooduc Freeway.
The Enchanted Adventure Garden
The Enchanted Adventure Garden is an award-winning natural fun park, just one hour from Melbourne at Arthurs Seat. Featuring four hedge mazes, five giant tube slides, 20 themed gardens, an outdoor sculpture park and an indoor three-dimensional maze, this beautiful outdoor adventure park has something for everyone. Tree surfing is a high ropes adventure with zip lines, swinging rope bridges, suspended tunnels and a giant Tarzan swing set in the native trees of this ancient woodland garden. There are two courses to choose from: the Grand course for adults and teens and the Nip-pers course for young children.
Beautiful views across the bay, a secluded spot to enjoy fish and chips or a coffee on a cool day. Flinders Pier is located at the point where Western Port meets Bass Strait and has great views across Western Port to Phillip Island. The pier is 250 metres long, jutting out from the protected beach and is sheltered from the waters of Bass Strait by West Head. The area is popular for sailing, fishing, and other water sports, and is well known for the abundance of squid caught, especially during spring months. Explore the township of flinders and grab a coffee at the old post office, which has been lovingly converted into a small café.
Indulge in a scrumptious picnic under the shade of ancient trees. Polperro Winery is nestled among the vines and shaded by ancient Angophora trees on a stunning 25-acre property in the heart of Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula. Established in May 2014, Polperro is a boutique winery that offers an on-site bistro, luxury accommodation and intimate cellar door which showcases the Polperro and Even Keel wine. The on-site bistro creates a synergy between the vineyard and kitchen, incorporating the seasonal harvests from the Polperro kitchen garden. Don’t miss the opportunity for a fully catered, private picnic to take with you anywhere on the property.
Arthurs Seat Eagle
Jump in a gondola and enjoy remarkable views across Port Phillip Bay and beyond. Soar the heights of the Mornington Peninsula with scenic views across Port Phillip Bay towards Melbourne, around the coast and beyond. Gliding quietly through the sky in a gondola at Arthurs Seat Eagle, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve been transported a million miles away, rather than one hour’s drive from Melbourne. Named in honour of the Wedge-tailed Eagle, the experience is one of flight through an area steeped in history and surrounded by nature. Glide above and past the trees inside comfortable, all-weather, fully accessible cabins. At the summit, the cafe offers amazing views from nearly every table and an expansive outdoor deck.
Red Hill Market
Tucked into the Mornington Peninsula hinterland, Red Hill and Main Ridge comprise a compact micro-region that sustains sumptuous vineyards, restaurants, food stores, artisan producers and orchards. Criss-crossing through Red Hill's gum tree-lined lanes and gently rolling hillsides laced with vines and olive groves leads to encounters with local winemakers and food producers extolling the virtues of farm-to-table dining. Making a meal from the region's bounty is easy, thanks to locally made cheeses, beer, bread and an abundance of freshly picked vegetables and fruit. Pick your own strawberries from Sunny Ridge Strawberry farm and pluck cherries at roadside farms. The monthly Red Hill Market is famous for its tantalising range of high-quality local produce. Cellar doors are clustered together and winemakers work wonders with their patches of terroir. Travel between cellar doors and compare pi-not noir, pinot gris and chardonnay, the regional specialties. Shuttle service or personalised wine tours are easy ways to tour wineries and their cellar door restaurants that showcase the superb local produce alongside the wines. Several festivals held throughout the year exhibit the culinary richness of the region. The June Winter Wine Weekend keeps the cold at bay, and the International Cool Climate Wine Show in May puts the region on the world stage. The rolling hills and valleys are home to a scattering of small galleries and workshops featuring impressive collections and regular exhibitions. Red Hill is approximately 85 kilometres from Melbourne, or one hour and ten minutes by car along the M1 and Eastlink tollway.
Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve
Stepped in history with spectacular views across Western Port Bay and Bass Strait. The Cape Schanck Lighthouse has served shipping since 1859. Built from dressed lime-stone and sandstone, the lighthouse is significant with the original mechanisms still in place. While there; take a walk to the tip of Cape Schanck and see Pulpit Rock and the spectacular basalt cliffs, enjoy lunch at The Pines Picnic Area (where there are electric barbecues) and observe marine life in the rock pools along the shore.
Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove
Award-winning wines, casual and formal dining and an ever-evolving sculpture park One of the region’s leading wineries – award-winning Montalto offers a wide breadth of experiences for travellers to the region including wine tastings, several dining options (to cater for every budget), their famed sculpture trail (home to 30 permanent pieces littered throughout the property) and their famous private picnics.
Peninsula Hot Springs
Bathe in hot thermal springs in remote bush surrounds. Peninsula Hot Springs is an award-winning natural hot spring and day spa destination on the Mornington Peninsula, just 90 minutes from Melbourne. Natural thermal mineral waters flow into the pools and private baths at this coastal oasis, providing an idyllic setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. These include a cave pool, reflexology walk, Turkish hammam and hilltop pool with 360-degree views of the region. Guests can also choose to enrich and deepen their wellness experience with yoga, pilates, body clay, fire and ice, reformer pilates and aerial yoga.
Point Nepean National Park
Point Nepean is truly one of Victoria's beautiful natural landscapes Point Nepean is truly one of Victoria's beautiful natural landscapes. A special place with so much to see and discover. Point Nepean National Park has a rich history and played an important role in shaping the early settlement, quarantine and defence of Victoria. The park is located at the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula, with outstanding coastal scenery and panoramic views of Bass Strait, the Rip and Port Phillip Bay. Explore the military forts and tunnels, discover the historic Quarantine Station, view the memorial where Prime Minister Harold Holt went missing or simply enjoy the coastal surrounds. Aboriginal Traditional Owners Parks Victoria acknowledges the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Victoria - including its parks and reserves. Through their cultural traditions, Aboriginal people maintain their connection to their ancestral lands and waters. Before you go Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website. Be bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Bushfire Safety section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.
Have lunch at the Portsea Pub
At the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula lies Portsea, playground for Melbourne's rich and famous and buzzing hub for water sports enthusiasts. Portsea has long been a favoured holiday spot of Melbourne's elite. The Millionaire's Walk between Portsea and Sorrento takes you along cliff tops, through landscaped gardens and past private jetties for vantage points of the imposing mansions. Take in stunning views of the calm waters of Port Phillip Bay and the contrasting ocean beaches. In Portsea, it's possible to swim in a safe bay beach and hit the surf at the ocean beach just minutes later. Portsea's beaches are abuzz over summer with surfers and iron-men battling it out, or holidaymakers sea kayaking around the peninsula. Scuba diving lessons are available amid the sea dragons and rays around Portsea Pier. Experienced divers can explore the reef system to the left of the pier, or venture by boat to outlying reefs and historic wrecks, like the HMAS Canberra former warship. Activities back on land include the tackling the 100-kilometre Mornington Peninsula Walk, or one of the shorter components into Point Nepean to take in peaceful bays, wild ocean coastlines, tranquil bush, native animals and important Victorian history. Explore the fascinating labyrinth of nineteenth-century tunnels and fortifications in the Point Nepean National Park, built to guard Port Phillip heads. Pay a visit to the his-toric Quarantine Station, established in the early 1800s as grazing land and repurposed as a haven for refugees. It's customary to end sun-kissed Portsea days with a meal and a drink with friends on the lawns of the historic Portsea Pub.
Discover more in Victoria
- Arthurs Seat
- Barwon Heads
- Daylesford & the Macedon Ranges
- Falls Creek
- Great Ocean Road
- Great Otway National Park
- Halls Gap
- Main Ridge
- Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
- Mornington Peninsula
- Mount Buffalo National Park
- Murray to Mountains Rail Trail
- Ocean Grove
- Phillip Island
- Point Nepean National Park
- Red Hill
- Tarra Bulga National Park
- The Bellarine Peninsula
- The Goldfields
- The High Country
- Wilsons Promontory National Park
- Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges