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Victoria: The Mornington Peninsula

Beach Boxes
Mornington 4
Mornington 2
Golf Mornington
Sorrento Mornington
Victoria Australia
Victoria Australia

Victoria: The Mornington Peninsula

story by: Tom Ricketts

Just an hour south of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is one of the jewels in Victoria’s crown. There’s day tours available from the city, but if you have a couple of days to spare then definitely use the time to see all the wonderful things the peninsula has to offer such as great beaches, world class golf resorts, delectable vineyards, quaint towns, galleries galore, beautiful gardens and plenty of history to discover.

Melbourne’s urban sprawl creeps its way around Port Phillip Bay and finishes a little after Frankston, which was itself once a beach resort, but has since been swallowed by the suburbs. From here though, the lands open up to farms, orchards and vineyards, your first glimpse of the real Mornington Peninsula.

The first seaside towns you’ll come across are Dromana, Safety Beach, and Rosebud. Each has its own small range of village shops to meander through, but the beaches are particularly worth a visit thanks to their colourful collections of bathing boxes. The iconic and historic boxes are hot property, with some recently fetching as much as AUD$250,000!

ontinuing around the peninsula you’ll come to the lovely towns of Sorrento and Portsea. These towns have long been the beach retreats of Melbourne’s elite and that’s more than obvious when passing by the massive cliff top mansions. In recent years some properties have gone for upwards of AUD$20,000,000 making it one of the most affluent post codes in the country. Portsea and Sorrento in particular have many old heritage buildings packed full of wonderful boutiques, cafes and galleries. Thankfully the wonderful old Portsea Pub has stayed true and is an excellent spot for lunch on the lawns overlooking the beach.

On the other side of the peninsula is Bass Strait and the ‘ocean beaches’. These beaches are usually a lot quieter, and surfers will love the waves barrelling up from Tasmania. At the far end of the peninsula is the Point Nepean National Park which is home to a collection of old gun emplacements and bunkers built to defend Melbourne from invasion. It’s also here where you’ll find Cheviot Beach where the Aussie PM Harold Holt went missing one day while out swimming. His body was never found, sparking all sorts of conspiracy theories including one that he had been kidnapped by a Russian submarine!

Heading southeast from Portsea takes you to every golfer’s heaven. Just south of Rosebud are no less than seven golf clubs, the most famous is undoubtedly Moonah Links which has twice held the Australian Open and has significant facilities including restaurants and a hotel. Golf is big business down here and several of the clubs are regarded as being amongst the very best in the country. 

Travelling further east will take you to the Hinterland region, home to most of the peninsula’s vineyards and also lavender farms to explore. The Mornington Peninsula National Park is the best place for you to enjoy some walks through native bush and spot wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, and all sorts of colourful birds.

Finally, the eastern shore of the peninsula is not as built up as the rest, and is home to quiet beachside towns, and across the harbour you’ll be able to spot Phillip Island and French Island.

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