WHERE IS IT?
Just one-hour’s drive south of Melbourne is a magical region filled with coastal vistas, rugged wilderness, and lush hinterland gardens.
The Mornington Peninsula captivates even the most discerning holiday maker, thanks to its beautiful beaches, thrilling marine encounters, and extensive opportunities to enjoy food, wine and food farmgates, cellar doors, horseriding, walks, cycling, galleries, tree surfing and hot springs.
Public transport access is a breeze, with metropolitan trains to Frankston departing Southern Cross Station every 15 to 20 minutes. You then simply connect through Hastings to Stony Point on Westernport Bay. Buses also travel from Melbourne with local bus routes operating around each Mornington Peninsula village.
You can also access the region via sea ferry. This scenic route enables you to enjoy a stunning ferry ride crossing from Queenscliff on the Great Ocean Road, to Sorrento. If you’re lucky you might even get a dolphin escort! Foot passengers, bicycles, cars, towed caravans and trailers, motor homes, motorcycles and truck are all welcome on board.
Once on the Peninsula, bus and charter travel packages are available via Neptours, who specialise in catering for local groups and travellers who don’t want the hassle of having to arrange transport to and from their destination or group event.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
What’s really special about the Mornington Peninsula is that despite the extensive offering of recreational activities, there still remains a very distinct and authentic village vibe.
Stretching for 190km, the Mornington Peninsula coastline can be explored in hundreds of exciting ways, from relaxing in hot springs, to tasting and tippling your way along the Wine Food Farmgate trail, to sliding into the serenity of the sea, to surfing your way through a canopy of tree tops. The multitude of activities available on the Peninsula make it almost overwhelming to know where to even begin! Be warned: you may come for a day but choose to stay for a while!
WHERE TO STAY
You are totally spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation on the Peninsula, with luxury hotels, seaside cottages, B&Bs, bayside apartments, motels, glamping (glamorous camping) and traditional camping all available. At some places you can even bring your pooch, so don’t be afraid to ask when you make an enquiry.
The Peninsula’s local beaches are renowned for their foreshore camping reserves, and with beach access in Rosebud, Rye and Sorrento, so if you’re into “roughing it” then there’s no shortage of places in which to base yourself. Campsites are close to all local amenities and are just a short drive from surf beaches and Western Port Bay.
WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE
Foodies and wine-lovers will enjoy the local farmgate trails (with maps available); nature-lovers can follow a local coast and aquatic guide with fishing charters and dolphin-swims; art-connoisseurs will indulge in a plethora of galleries and museums that ooze history and culture; the local and award-winning spas and hot springs will tempt anyone in need of some rejuvenation or relaxation; and golfers will appreciate the 18 different courses, especially considering nine of them are ranked in Australia’s Top 100!
Of course, there’s plenty to entertain the kids (big and small!) as well. Learn-to-surf sessions, fishing tours, drive-in movies, horseriding, and state-of-the-art gondola rides will ensure your visit is free from any cries of “I’m bored!” The multi-award-winning Enchanted Adventure Garden and Tree Surfing is a must-do, offering local hedge mazes, tube slides, bushland obstacle courses, a spooky 3D indoor maze, and tree top surfing.
For the animal-lovers, adventures await at the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, where you can experience a first-hand encounter with koalas, colourful birds, reptiles and even dingoes. While over at The Big Goose, kids of all ages are encouraged to learn how to handle and feed guinea pigs, chickens, baby goats and lambs; they can have up-close experiences with cows, camels, ostriches and goats; there are pony rides; a giant tyre maze and an adventure playground boasting three slides, a rock climbing wall, speed boat, a truck with operational windows and steering wheel, sandpit, cubby house, and a jumping pillow.
Boneo Maze is another source of family fun, with bungee trampolines, climbing walls, zorb balls and mini golf. You can also hop in a paddle boat, dig into a scavenger hunt, tackle a giant board game, or grab a ride on a vintage carousel.
If you visit the area between December and April, and you can see what 3,500 tonnes of sand looks like in Lands of Imagination – the largest sand sculpting exhibition in the southern hemisphere. And if you can, pop across Port Phillip Bay from Sorrento, and spend a day exploring all that historic Queenscliff has to offer. The ferries run every hour on the hour from 7am until 6pm, all year round, and if you plan it right, you might even enjoy a high tea on the high sea along the way!
Arthurs Seat Eagle
Enchanted Adventure Garden and Tree Surfing
Lands of Imagination
Mornington Peninsula Golf Tourism
The Big Goose
About Mornington Peninsula