Mornington Peninsula is 1 hour’s drive south of Melbourne and is known for its beautiful beaches, relaxed atmosphere, tranquillity, and good wine. Here are some places and activities that you shouldn’t miss during your stay on the peninsula.
Discover Mornington Peninsula
A must-see when visiting the peninsula is the village of Sorrento. On the agenda: shopping, coffee or a glass of wine on the terrace, gelato galore and going out. The Back Beach on the open sea side is frequented by surfers, while the front beach in the bay is more suitable for families and children. The Back Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the peninsula.
Other beautiful coastal villages such as Mornington and Dromana provide a relaxed atmosphere. The Mornington shopping street offers a wide variety of restaurants and bars that are equally appealing.
The Beach Boxes (colourful huts) of Mount Martha, less known than those of Brighton Beach, are also pretty. The beach is much less touristy. In Martha, where many cafes serve brunch throughout the day, you can feel the “chill vibe”. A little further south, on the other hand, it’s more about adrenaline. On the famous “Pillars”, many Australians and tourists gather for cliff jumping!
The summit of Arthur Seat Hill offers stunning views across the peninsula and the ocean. The ascent is possible by car or chairlift!
Vineyards & Tastings
Near Red Hill and Dromana, there are several vineyards, distilleries, and breweries. The selection is so wide that it’s hard to choose!
Panton Vineyard is a beautiful vineyard open only on weekends. They offer a small but excellent wine list and cheese platters. Particularly recommended is the Sangiovese, an Italian grape wine that is rare in this region. Karen, the owner of the vineyard, welcomes you into her “garden”, a small paradise.
Main Ridge Estate
A visit to the Main Ridge Estate is also a must. It is one of the oldest vineyards in the region. Libby and her son produce good wines in an idyllic environment.
Point Leo Estate
For a “spectacular” experience, visit the Point Leo Estate, the novelty in the region, where extravagance and luxury are paramount. The sculpture park around the vineyard displays impressive works of art from all over the world.
The 100% organically grown Trofeo Estate winery is one of the few wineries that produce wine in terracotta amphorae. This is a very old tradition that is mastered at Trofeo. Excellent and fruity wines are the result and worth the trip!
Jetty Road Brewery
Those who prefer beer and cider will find tasty craft beers at Jetty Road Brewery. They offer an affordable menu and good local produce in a relaxed and musical environment. The Jetty Road team offers exceptional and incomparable service.
Mock Red Hill Cider House
This quaint wooden cabin offers delicious organic cider, made on-site by grandfather Mock and served by the granddaughter. A family story, but above all a beautiful love story!
Breathtaking views, live music, home-cooked food and a great atmosphere – this is Tucks Ridge! You can also walk to the winery and restaurant “Montalto”, only 100 meters away.
Barn & Co
An affordable menu, huge homemade pizzas, a beautiful wooden house with a cosy interior, reminding you of the Alps, and playgrounds for young and old. Rachael and her children will definitely make you feel welcome.
Things to do
Do you need a full of relaxation and well-being? Go to the natural Mornington Peninsula’s Hot Springs! You can spend half the day there to enjoy all the hot and cold baths, spas and other spa activities. Don’t forget to book in advance (preferably on a day under 25ºC) and avoid the weekends and school holidays.
For a bit of exercising and exploring, there are two trails that I particularly like:
Point Nepean National Park, at the end of the peninsula, overlooking the Bass Strait on one side and Port Phillip Bay on the other. In this park you will find secluded beaches, beautiful lookouts, a cemetery and fortifications from the 19th century. From Gunner’s Cottage, the loop is 6km long. It is also possible to walk only 3 km and then return by bus.
In my opinion, the Bushrangers Bay Walking Track is one of the most spectacular trails in Victoria. From the Cape Schanck Car Park you walk along the coast towards Bushrangers Bay (a bay that is only accessible on foot). You can cool off with a swim on an almost deserted beach. At low tide, you can see the rock pools. On foot, the trail is less than 6 km.
There are also a few nice and quiet picnic spots in the shade: Seawinds Gardens at Arthur Seat, Coolart Homestead and Wetlands at Somers, Historic Park at Sorrento or Schnapper Point at Mornington.