The Mornington Peninsula is the most visited day trip location from Melbourne and only a short while after arriving in the area will you realise why. The cool climate and dormant volcano in the area makes it a perfect area to produce top quality wine, there are plenty of golf courses, Victoria’s only natural hot springs, beautiful beaches with calm blue waters on one side and epic waves for surfing on the other and so much more.
We thought we’d put together a list of some of our favourite places on the peninsula to make it easier for you to decide where to head on your trip.
Back in the days when we were all a little more conservative when we are now the concerned fathers of Melbourne were worried about people looking at their daughters when they got changed into their neck-to-knee bathing suits. The bathing boxes were built as a safe place for the changing of clothes to take place but as time went on and we became less conservative the need for the bathing boxes dwindled. Nowadays they are seen as an icon of yesteryear Melbourne and are either privately owned and sold or handed down from generation to generation.
Owners use them for storage and a place to hang out on a day off, but visitors love to get an iconic selfie or photo with the colourfully painted boxes along the foreshore.
Arthurs Seat Eagle
When arriving onto Mornington Peninsula it’s very hard to miss the mountain that comes into view known as Arthurs Seat. Named by Lieutenant James Grant who believed it bared remarkable resemblance to Arthurs Seat in Scotland this mountain is home to the Arthurs Seat Gondola experience.
The Eagle is a great start or end to your Mornington Peninsula trip as you glide up or down the mountain you are treated to panoramic views of Port Phillip bay and the peninsula and have the change too see Kangaroos hopping along in the national park down below.
Sea Winds Gardens
Once you get off the Arthurs Seat Eagle you can enjoy a stroll through the lovely Sea winds Gardens on top of the mountain. There are electric BBQs available, joyful walks, lookouts with stunning views and also the William ricketts sculptures.
Enchanted Adventure Garden
Just up the road from Sea Winds you’ll find the Enchanted Adventure Garden which is a great place to visit especially if you have kids! They have plenty of fun activities to choose from including hedge mazes, the 3d spooky maze, tree top walks and their tree surfing course. They also have the largest inflatable tube slide park in Victoria!
Peninsula Hot Springs
Recently the winner of the world’s best mineral spring spa at the 2019 world luxury spa awards, the Peninsula Hot Springs should definitely be on your list on a visit to the area. Enjoy the 50 plus experiences of their bath house including the reflexology walk Turkish Hammam, Sauna and cold plunge pool or treat yourself to the spa dreaming centre or private bathing. There are plenty of dining options available on site and accommodation as well.
Rare Hare @ Jackalope
Surrounded by Ocean on three sides and embraced by the cool climate of the Mornington Peninsula puts this winery in the perfect spots for making some fine wines and enjoying a delicious meal or overnight stay! Wines from the Rare Hare and Willow Creek range can be sampled on location while enjoying the views of their rolling hills and grape vines.
The quality of the vineyard shines through in the wines here with a less is more approach allowing the wines to speak for themselves and show their true quality. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the main focus here but it’s not all about wine, you can also enjoy a delicious meal at the Rare Hare Restaurant.
Point Leo Estate
Located to the East of the Peninsula between Shoreham and Merricks Beach is the remarkable Point Leo Estate Winery which boasts breathtaking views of rolling vines, western port bay, Phillip island and their unique sculpture park which features 50 Australian and international art pieces by the likes of Dean Bowen and Bruce Armstrong. Did you know we include entry to the Sculpture park on our Mornington Peninsula Food & Wine Taste Trail?
Make sure you sample their range of fine wines, take a stroll through the sculpture park and maybe grab a bottle or two to take home 😉.
Just around the corner from Point Leo Estate you’ll find Montalto with it’s tantalizing selection of wines and restaurant that provides an exemplary dining experience.
With multiple vineyards across the Mornington Peninsula, Montalto has 3 labels to its name that showcase all sides of the name and its character.
The Single Vineyard range capture the essence of a selected vineyard and display their quality with each wine being unique. The Estate wines are crafted from the best parcels of fruit across Montalto’s vineyards whereas drinkability is what their Pennon Hill range is known for.
On your visit you can sample the award-winning wines from their different labels at the warm and welcoming cellar door as you are guided through your tasting by the team. If you are hungry then the restaurant has a selection of dishes to satisfy your appetite with views to match.
St Andrews Beach Brewery
To the south of the peninsula is a 38-hectare property near St Andrews Beach that produces outstanding beers. The property is unique as it is based in an old horse training facility allowing visitors to enjoy beers in the old horse stalls with names like Makybe Diva on them.
The owners of the brewery like to keep things simple here, hops for the beer and fruit and vegetables are grown on the property for their food. The beers and food menu are a testament to what can be made on the Mornington peninsula, so grab a tasting paddle and enjoy. Don’t forget to select a few takeaways on your way out.
The Town of Sorrento
Taking a stroll down the main street of Sorrento on a sunny morning is just the ticket to starting your day off the right way. You can see the historic buildings grab a famous vanilla slice or enjoy a nice coffee in one of the many cafes. There’s also plenty of nice shops to pick up something for yourself or a loved one.
A 5-minute drive from Sorrento will bring you to this charming area just before Portsea. You can walk out to the flagpole where the union jack flag was first raised to proclaim Australia as part of the commonwealth and take a stroll along the beach below. A look back from the ocean will provide you views at the millionaire mansions along the shore here and a glimpse into what you can possibly get for yourself one day when you strike it rich.
Sorrento to Queenscliff Ferry
A stroll down from the main street of Sorrento you’ll find yourself at the Sorrento Ferry terminal where the Sorrento to Queenscliff ferry runs operated by Searoad Ferries. You can take a one-way trip to Queenscliff to continue exploring or take a return trip to enjoy the sights and possibly see dolphins and seals!
Those keen on treating themselves can enjoy the Captain’s lunch or high tea with a return bay sail(book in advance).
Point Nepean National Park
If you’ve got half a day or so spare then a trip here should definitely be high up on your list, with so much history, landscape and things to see and do it’s definitely worth the trip. It’s right on the point of the peninsula next to Port Sea.
You can walk or take the courtesy shuttle bus all the way to the point and explore the military forts and tunnels that were paramount to Victoria’s defence in the early 1900’s, visit Cheviot beach where Prime Minister Harold Holt mysteriously disappeared and explore the museum at the Quarantine station or just explore the coastal surrounds.
Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie
From the same people that brought us the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie comes this fine establishment in the town of Flinders, replacing the Chocolaterie that was previously here.
Come and enjoy the many different delicious chocolate creations made here or grab yourself a tasty treat in the café, there really is something for everyone.
Highfield at Mornington National park
Between the small town of Flinders and Cape Schanck lighthouse just off Boneo road lies highfield which is part of Mornington Peninsula National Park. This part of the national park is home to the largest population of Eastern Grey Kangaroos on the Mornington Peninsula making it the best place to come and spot them on your visit. It’s never very busy here as the road is easy to miss, just make sure to walk quietly with your camera/binoculars at the ready.
Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
Fresh Strawberries picked straight out of the ground ready to eat, do I have your attention? If the answer is yes then it’s probably time for you to pay a trip to this awesome spot! Pay to pick your own strawberries and fill up your punnet with the freshest fruit you can possibly get.
Those not keen on picking can enjoy something from the café, strawberry ice cream, strawberry cake, strawberry milkshake, strawberry scones … you get the picture. Delicious!
Ashcombe Lavender Maze
Home to Australia’s oldest hedge maze as well as the circular rose maze and lavender labyrinth, Ashcombe is a fantastic place to explore for the young and old alike. Explore the many mazes and walks (don’t get lost!) and after you find your way out you can check out the gift shop or enjoy something to eat at the lovely café.