The Mornington Peninsula lies to the southeast of Melbourne, bordered by Port Philip, Western Port and the Bass Strait. Its mainly rural area encompasses the indigenous ecology of the Mornington Peninsula National Park as well as numerous small towns and villages. It’s a popular summer retreat for Melbournians, with its population increasing by 100,000 or more in the summer months.Scenic beauty, beaches both open-sea and sheltered, charming fishing villages, historic towns, vineyards, orchards and magnificent views are on offer in this ideal holiday location, along with the good life in dining and entertainment. Historic Mornington town itself is a seaside haven with old-fashioned bathing cabins, sidewalk cafés and the Mornington Steam Railway, as well as a main street with many heritage buildings and a popular golf club.
Hastings is a charming fishing village in Mornington Peninsula known for its pelican flocks, fascinating antiques stores, craft shops and vintage fashion outlets. Close by is the award-winning Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park with its cuddly koalas, kangaroos and wallabies, and several of the peninsula’s 19 golf courses are within easy reach.
Sorrento’s imposing heritage buildings and great choice of waterside eateries, boutiques and yet more antiques shops combine with viewing bottlenose dolphins and feeding pelicans along the foreshore for a unique Mornington Peninsula experience. The town’s plethora of art galleries supports the annual January art festival, and the Sorrento-Portsea Artists Trail shows the glorious reality of scenery captured in paint by renowned artists. Colns Settlement Historic Site and Pioneer Cottage celebrate the peninsula’s settlement history.
Accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula is arranged to suit all pockets and tastes, and varies from luxury villas to beachfront campsites, bed and breakfasts, motels and winery cottages. Boutique hotels are favourites with weekenders from Melbourne, with many offering spa facilities as well as good restaurants and charming locations. Public transport options from Melbourne include overland rail, buses and a stunning ferry trip.