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Mornington Peninsula

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Mornington Peninsula lies south of Melbourne, Australia forming the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay.

Cities[edit]

Map of Mornington Peninsula
  • Balnarring - A small town towards the western side of the Peninsula, it has a more rural feel to it with many local camping sites and surf beaches nearby
  • Blairgowrie
  • Dromana- The small coastal village of Dromana sits in a valley between Arthurs Seat and Mount Martha and with a beautiful beach with brightly painted boat sheds lining the shore, its a pretty spot to spend a few days.
  • Mornington - The largest of the towns on the Mornington Peninsula, with one long main street leading down to the beach and pier. Mornington is a beachside town that is rapidly growing in response to the growing population around it and on the Peninsula, but don't shy away from it, it still has a wonderful atmosphere and good transport links (buses) out to the rest of the Peninsula.
  • Mount Eliza - Located between Mornington and Frankston to the north, Mount Eliza is home to a select few wineries, but is mostly made up of large upper-class houses and schools.
  • Mount Martha - Located mid-way between Mornington and Dromana, this little town consists mostly of houses and a small strip of shops opposite the beach. It's also not on the main road, only discovered for those taking the scenic ocean route.
  • Portsea- Glitzy, ritzy Portea at the tip of the Peninsula is resident to some very expensive holiday homes and the iconic Portsea Pub that sits literally right on the forshore. From watching the sunset over a beer on the Pub terrace to catching some waves at Portsea backbeach you won't soon be bored!
  • Red Hill- With green rolling hills, amazing wineries, fresh produce and a popular community market this is rural Australia at its best.
  • Rye - A popular Summer tourist area, boasting some of the nicest beaches for swimming and snorkeling. During the Summer months Rye holds a carnival, with many rides, sideshows, and attractions. Rye also has some of the nicest beachfront cafes and dining on the Peninsula.
  • Sorrento- Sorrento is lucky to boast two very different yet equally interesting beaches. The Sorrento Ocean Beach is spectacular and dangerous while the bay beach is both calm and relaxing. Take your pick! Sorrento was also the site of Victoria's first official settlement in 1803.

Understand[edit]

The Peninsula is at its very best and busiest during the summer months but don't disregard the winter months altogether either. Walking the beaches that line Bass Straight in the cold grey months of winter, and being witness to the drama of the oceans fury is an experience you won't soon forget. Just bring a jacket! That said, spending a warm summers evening with some fish and chips on the foreshore watching the sun set with some friends is a great way to enjoy life.

Tourist Information[edit]

Get in[edit]

Surburban Trains leave from Melbourne to Frankston regularly, taking approximately one hour to Frankston (where they terminate). [1]. Tickets can be purchased at train stations.

A train line operates from Frankston to Stony Point.

From Frankston Buses run to Portsea, the most western settlement on the Peninsula – 90 minutes and Mount Martha, Flinders and Hastings. Pay driver when boarding or use a pre-purchased ticket.

Timetables - see Peninsula Bus Lines and Portsea Passenger Services routes at bottom of page

  • Bus 781 Frankston - Mount Martha via Mt Eliza, Mornington [2]
  • Bus 782 Frankston - Flinders via Coolart Road, Hastings [3]
  • Bus 783 - Frankston - Hastings via Coolart Road [4]
  • Bus 782/783 combined - Frankston - Coolart Rd - Hastings/Flinders [5]
  • Bus 788 Frankston - Portsea via Dromana, Rosebud, Sorrento [6]

Car/passenger ferries cross the mouth of Port Phillip Bay between Sorrento and Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula. They depart each terminal on the hour every hour 7AM-6PM every day. From 26 Dec. until end of daylight saving there are also 7PM sailings. Foot Passengers Adult $8 5-15 years $6 Under 5 years $1 Foot Passenger’s Bicycle $2, Tandem $3 Passengers with Vehicle Adult $4 5-15 years $2 Under 5 years $1 vehicle rates Vary with season – car up to 5.5m between $38 and $45.

There is also a passenger ferry that crosses Western Port Bay to Stony Point from French Island and Phillip Island.

Your own transport is handy for getting around the Mornington Peninsula as public transport and taxi services are limited beyond the centre of major towns.

There is only one major road down the peninsula, so you won't get lost.

See[edit]

Festivals[edit]

  • Colour the Sky Kite Festival, Rosebud Foreshore, Jetty Road, Rosebud. March.
  • Western Port Festival, Hastings Foreshore. February.

Special events[edit]

  • Australia Day January 26th - Mornington has fireworks.
  • 1 Mornington Cup, Mornington Racing Club, Racecourse Road, Mornington.. February
  • 2 Balnarring Picnic Races, Emu Plains Racecourse, Coolart Rd, Balnarring. March

Other attractions[edit]

  • 3 Arthur’s Seat State Park. Take the road to the summit (305m) from where there are great views.
  • 4 The Briars, 450 Nepean Hwy, Mount Martha, +61 3 5974-3686. Every day of the year 9AM-5PM. Closed Christmas Day.. A delightful old Homestead on 230 hectares, which is steeped in local history, flora and fauna. Entry to the wildlife sanctuary is free. Homestead entry is Adult $10, Concession $5, Child $5, Family $15.
  • 5 Bush Rangers Bay. A picturesque bay about a 20 minute hike from the car park with a good chance of seeing kangaroos along the way.
  • 7 Coolart Wetland and Homestead. Is a great place to see Ibis and other waterbirds, the grounds also feature an historic homestead and gardens and an annual jazz festival.
  • 8 Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve, 106 Two Bays Rd, Mount Eliza (Main access point: opposite carpark on Two Bays Road. Other access points: Allison Road, Canadian Bay Road, Station Street.). Features a large lake surrounded by towering cliffs and is located near Moorooduc Railway Station. Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve on Wikipedia
  • 9 Mornington Racecourse, Racecourse Rd, Mornington.
  • 10 Mornington Railway, 1300 767 274 (local rate). A heritage railway running steam and diesel trains on the first three Sundays of each month between Moorooduc and Mornington.
  • 11 Point Nepean. Features an old fort and quarantine station. Entry fees apply.

Itineraries[edit]

  • Cape Schanck walks including Bushrangers Bay Track which is a great place to see Kangaroos, 2 hours, 6km.
  • Coppins Track walk, Sorrento Ocean Beach.
  • Two Bays Walking Track is a 26km track running between Dromana and Cape Schank. From Dromana it runs through Arthurs Seat State Park, then the Greens Bush and Bushrangers Bay sections of Mornington Peninsula National Park.

Do[edit]

  • There are a good many Golf Courses on the Peninsula
  • Swimming and Surfing. The inward side of the peninsula is lined with sandy beaches, sheltered by the bay providing a safe bathing spot for families with small children. The ocean side of the peninsula is popular with surfers.
  • 1 Karina Vineyard.
  • Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, +61 3 5978 7935. Open daily between 10am and 5pm. Encounters with Australian animals. Koala cuddling available at 12.15 and 3.00pm daily. Feature is the guided evening walks, as most Australian mammals are nocturnal. Evening tours must be booked. Located at Pearcedale at the top of the Mornington Peninsula.
  • Boat hire / fishing
  • Peninsula Hot Springs, Springs Lane, Fingal 3941, +61 3 5950 8777. Open 7 days a week 9AM - 9PM. For the first time in Victoria you can now bathe in the naturally healing waters of mineral rich thermal pools, up to 50ºC in temperature. These beautifully landscaped natural hot springs continue the tradition of the historic and famous spa centres of Europe, Asia, the Americas and New Zealand. (Please note: Children under 5 not currently admitted, pending construction of a family pool). $30 per adult (peak).

Buy[edit]

Markets[edit]

  • Balnarring Racecourse Market, +61 3 5983 2590. – 3rd Saturday of the month from November to April. 8am - 1pm Coolart Rd. Balnarring. Enquiries
  • Bittern Market - every Sunday
  • Boneo Community Market, +61 3 5988 6253. Third Saturday of every month. Boneo Road (cnr. Limestone Rd), Boneo. Oct-Mar 8am-12noon Apr-Sept 9am-1pm.
  • Coolstores Market - First Sunday of the month
  • Dromana Drive-In Market - Every Sunday. Nepean Highway, Dromana.
  • Frankston Market - every Sunday
  • Hastings Street Market - Every Thursday
  • Mornington Race Course - Second Sunday of the month, all year, 9am - 2pm
  • Mornington Main Street Market – Every Wednesday of the year
  • Oak Hill Gallery - Fourth Sunday of the month. 100 Tyabb Road, Mornington.
  • Red Hill Market – First Saturday of the month. Sept - May. 8am-1pm
  • Rosebud Market – 2nd Saturday of the month. Cnr. Point Nepean and Jetty Road, Rosebud.
  • Sorrento Market - Fourth Saturday of the month. Sorrento Foreshore, Sorrento.
  • Tootgarook Market - Fourth Saturday of the month. Tootgarook PS, Carmichael Street, Tootgarook

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Red Door Mornington, 787 Esplanade, Mornington (opposite of Mornington Park), +61 3 5975 2055. Th-Su 12pm-late. Tasty dumplings are served in this charming restaurant next to the beach.
  • Fork to Fork, 105 Latrobe Parade, Dromana, +61 3 5984-7318. Heronswood's Fork to Fork café strives wherever possible to use fruit and vegetables which are in season, regional and organic. Many of our vegetables are heirloom varieties from the Heronswood garden that you may well have never seen or tasted before, purple carrots or green and yellow tomatoes all dripping with freshness and flavour. By using local growers and producers we support the local economy, using fewer food miles and promoting environmentally sustainable agriculture.
  • Red Hill Cheese, 81 William Road (off Arthurs Seat Rd), Red Hill, Victoria 3937., +61 3 5989-2035. 12 noon to 5PM weekends and public holidays. A seasonal range of specialist cheese is made using fresh organic cow milk and free-range goat milk, each from a single herd. Red Hill cheeses use vegetarian rennet, and are free from genetically modified organisms, artificial stabilisers and preservatives. Please note: there are no facilities for groups of more than 10 people. Luncheon platter $25.
  • 2 Baha Taco Joint & Live Music Bar, 2203-2209 Point Nepean Rd, Rye (On the beach road, just past the Safeway complex.), +61 3 5985 2077. Mon-Fri from 6pm, Sat-Sun from 12 noon. Baha is an excellent, low-cost Mexican restaurant and bar. With a great atmosphere both inside and out, and truly nice staff, it's a popular place for both locals and tourists. Live music, cheap drinks, great atmosphere and just across from the beach - a great place.
  • 3 DOC Pizza, 22 Main St, Mornington VIC 3931 (A short walk from the beach, near the police station on Main Street.), +613 5977 0988. Mon-Sun 9:30am to 10:30pm. DOC Pizza is a mid-high priced Italian restaurant serving classic pizzas made from fine imported and local ingredients. They also have a small gourmet delicatessen & produce store.

Drink[edit]

There are many popular wineries of varying styles along the Mornington Peninsula. T'Gallant of 1385 Mornington Flinders Rd, Main Ridge is a good example of a funky place to eat and drink on a summer afternoon, often with live music.

  • 1 Grand Hotel Mornington.
  • Portsea Pub. A popular place to drink in the Point Nepean part of the Peninsula.

Sleep[edit]

  • Hilltonia Homestead (Mornington Peninsula accommodation), 282 Browns Road - Rye, +61 3 5985 2654, e-mail: . Check-in: 2pm, check-out: 11am. Luxury secluded self-cater cottages and B&B suites set on 30 acres with inground pool and tennis court. Current March 2011: Off peak $190 to Peak $330 per night.
  • Sorrento Beach House, 3 Miranda St, Sorrento (788 bus from Frankston Station to Sorrento, Stop 18), +61 3 5984 4323. Check-in: Reception hours 8-10AM, 5-10PM. Not actually on the beach.
  • Moody's Motel, 2867 Pt Nepean Road BLAIRGOWRIE VIC 3942, +61 3 59 888 463. Very much a budget motel - inspect the sheets upon checking in. From $80 per double ($110 on Fridays and Saturdays).
  • Peninsula Holiday Park, 10 Ponderosa Place, Dromana, Victoria 3936, +61 3 5987-2095. Cabin accommodation. Deluxe ensuite cabin from $115 per couple (peak season).
  • cbreeze, 8 Permien Street Dromana, 1300 300 377 (local rate). Dromana accommodation. Self contained accommodation close to Dromana Beach
  • 1 Cape Schanck Lighthouse (Cape Schanck Lightstation), 420 Cape Schanck Road, Cape Schanck VIC 3939, +61 3 59886184. Cape Schanck Lighthouse is a working lightstation at the tip of Mornington Peninsula protecting the ships coming and going from Melbourne in Bass Strait. Accommodation at the Lighthouse includes 3 self-contained cottages and a motel style suite. Accommodation was once used by lighthouse keepers, visiting inspectors and staff. Cape Schanck Lighthouse was built in the 1850's and remains a heritage listed building.

Stay safe[edit]

The Mornington Peninsula provides easy access to both the calm waters of Port Phillip Bay and the surf beaches of Bass Strait. The bay side is dotted with family friendly sandy beaches from Frankston in the north down to Sorrento on the southern tip of the Peninsula with foreshore camp grounds open in summer at the more popular Sorrento, Blairgowrie, Rosebud and Rye beaches.

The ocean beaches (or "back" beaches) such as Gunnamatta, Portsea Surf Beach, Sorrento Back Beach, and St Andrews Beach provide big waves to attract surfers and the more intrepid. The ocean beaches can be dangerous and only for strong, competent swimmers. All swimmers should swim between the flags at patrolled surf beaches in the summer months. Bridgewater Bay in Blairgowrie features rock pools exposed at low tide which are safe for swimming.

The ocean beaches have single large waves on rare occasions. Standing on the rocks above the shoreline is not safe; people do get swept off on occasion.

Go next[edit]

  • Queenscliff is a short ferry ride from Sorrento and offers car and passenger services. Dolphins can often be seen during this journey.
  • Frankston - The largest city close to the Peninsula with rail links to Melbourne and Stony Point.
  • Stony Point has passenger ferry services to French Island and Phillip Island. There is also a ferry connection between the two islands. Stony Point is easily accessible by diesel train from Frankston.
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