DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

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Stay and play – Mornington Peninsula, VIC

Blending a glittering coastline with vineyard-cloaked rolling hills, this pretty peninsula has long been a popular playground for visitors near and far.

Mornington Peninsula shines year round. Pictured: Peninsula Hot Springs.

Where is it?

Mornington Peninsula is southeast of Melbourne with views overlooking Port Phillip Bay on the left-hand shoreline and peering towards Western Port on the right. Frankston, the peninsula’s gateway, is just 55km (50min drive) from Melbourne. At its toe, Portsea is 110km (1hr 40min drive) from Melbourne.

Why go?

For its immense collection of first-class attractions and experiences that charm all ages and tastes across the seasons.  

Wineries. Yep, there's a few. Location: Pt. Leo Estate. Credit: Anson Smart.

Mornington Peninsula beaches

Beaches, oh beautiful beaches – the peninsula is bursting with them. Some highlights are…

Port Phillip Bay beaches

  • Canadian Bay: Sheltered, sandy beach close to Mt Eliza.
  • Mt Martha Beach: Idyllic. Home to those iconic colourful bathing boxes.
  • Rosebud Beach: Popular swimming area that suits families.
  • Frankston Beach: Long stretch backed by a vibrant waterfront precinct.
  • Safety Beach: Calm, shallow, protected. Another family favourite.
  • Sorrento Front Beach: White sand wonder with grassy areas and a backdrop of Norfolk pines.

Mt Martha Beach showcases those iconic bathing boxes.

Ocean beaches

  • Portsea Surf Beach: Spectacular with consistent waves, but care required.
  • Sorrento Back Beach: Amphitheatre-like setting adds appeal.
  • Point Leo Surf Beach: Reliable breaks backdropped by basalt bluffs.

Western Port beaches

  • Merricks Beach: Expansive sandy beach lined by bushland.
  • Somers Beach: Generous stretch of sand and foreshore reserve. 

Wild: Sorrento Back Beach.

Best Mornington Peninsula wineries

In excess of 50 cellar doors are dotted across the Mornington Peninsula with a large concentration around Red Hill and Main Ridge. Where to start? Try one of these:

Crittenden Estate: A must-visit for the true wine connoisseur.

Foxeys Hangout: Vibrant with an elevated lawn area ideal for sipping on sparkling on a sunny day.

Main Ridge Estate: Billed as the Mornington Peninsula’s first licensed winery, established 1975.

Montalto: Fantastic elevated views and a sculpture trail set the tone for a memorable cellar-door experience.

Walk this way: Montalto.

Mont Rouge Estate: French-influenced cellar door complete with a chocolaterie.

Polperro: Gorgeous setting for sampling estate and single-vineyard wines.

Pt. Leo Estate: Delicious vino meets an expansive outdoor sculpture park.

Ten Minutes by Tractor: Cool name and an even better cellar door.

Tucks: Fun and relaxing and a bit different. Try a blind wine-tasting experience.

Swing life away at Tucks.

Mornington Peninsula breweries

If a porter rather than a pinot is your go, you’ll be impressed by the peninsula’s burgeoning brewery scene. It includes:

  • Red Hill Brewery: Regional stalwarts with a rustic setup, excellent outdoor areas, and super reliable beers.
  • Tar Barrel Brewery and Distillery, Mornington: Original home of Mornington Peninsula Brewery, now expanded to include a whiskey and gin distillery.
  • St Andrews Beach Brewery: This converted horse-training facility must rank as one of the most impressive brewery spaces anywhere.
  • Jetty Road Brewery, Dromana: Classic microbrewery setting, solid tap range.
  • TWØBAYS Brewing Co, Dromana: Australia's first dedicated gluten-free brewery. 

Giddy up: St Andrews Beach Brewery.

Galleries and gardens of Mornington Peninsula

Highlighting the peninsula’s diversity is a scattering of great galleries and gorgeous gardens. This handful is among them:

Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery: A premier find with a strong local flavour among its diverse and extensive collection.

Baluk Arts: This leading Aboriginal community arts centre displays and sells a vast range of art and craft.

McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery: View 100-plus outdoor sculptures in scenic, spacious surrounds. Inside, there are thousands of artworks to admire.

Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens: Australia's oldest hedge maze and impressive sprawling gardens combine to make this a must-visit attraction.

Mornington Botanical Rose Gardens: Thousands of bloomin’ beautiful roses create a carpet of colour.

Everything is a-maze-ing at Ashcombe.

Mornington Peninsula golf courses

There are more than a dozen first-class golf courses in these parts, and public access is readily available. Highlights include:

  • Moonah Links: Two amazing courses. Multiple host of the Australian Open.
  • St Andrews Beach Golf Course: Regularly rates among the nation’s best public access courses.
  • Peninsula Kingswood Country Club: Home to two outstanding and contrasting layouts.
  • Flinders Golf Club: Fabulous fairways and breathtaking coastal views.
  • The National Golf Club: Simply magnificent. Three courses, but restricted access for Victorian residents.

Absolutely ace: The National.

Best family attractions on Mornington Peninsula

We’re putting this pair out for special mention…

Enchanted Adventure Garden, Arthurs Seat

Little ones will be wide-eyed with wonder at the sight of this grand garden and its feast of fun. A general admin ticket grants access to garden mazes, an enchanted lake, giant tube slides, themed gardens, and more. At an additional cost are tree climbing challenges and a thrilling zipline experience. 

Fly in for a feast of fun at the Enchanted Adventure Garden.

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Pearcedale

View dozens of native animals in spacious bushland and enjoy intimate encounters that include kangaroo feeding, koala petting, and keeper talks. Bigger kids are sure to be enthralled by the after-dark tours.

Koala encounters are among the exciting experiences at Moonlit Sanctuary.

Other things to see and do on Mornington Peninsula

Peninsula Hot Springs

Soak in a series of thermal mineral pools and private baths sprinkled within tranquil surrounds. The views from the hilltop pool are hard to top. Spa treatments and various wellness experiences are available, too.

Hilltop happiness.

Arthurs Seat Eagle

Reach the summit of Arthurs Seat the easy way! Gondolas make the epic climb to the peninsula’s highest point where stunning 360-degree views are on offer. There’s a café at the summit and walking tracks that reveal more of those pretty panoramas.

Soar high with Arthurs Seat Eagle.

Mornington Peninsula National Park

Rugged surf beaches, coastal walks with high visual rewards, wetlands, and the chance to spy wildlife and birds are among the highlights of this glorious area. 


Point Nepean National Park

Spotted at the absolute southern tip of the peninsula, this park is dotted with variable points of interest. There’s Fort Nepean with its extensive military history and associated artefacts, a quarantine station, and a succession of spectacular coastal views, among more.

Point Nepean is armed with interest.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve

Expect more jaw-dropping coastal outlooks from this vantage point, dominated by a historical lighthouse. A walk to witness Pulpit Rock and dramatic basalt cliffs serves up even more sweet treats for the eyes.

Eye candy galore: Cape Schanck.

Random fact

Mornington Peninsula has a total of 192km of coastline. This equates to roughly 10% of Victoria's total coastline.

Mornington Peninsula accommodation

If you’re looking for accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula, we have you covered.

BIG4 Mornington Peninsula Holiday Park

Park type: Holiday.

This leafy park occupies a position at the top of the peninsula and boasts a relaxing ambience. An assorted cabin range is supported by plentiful powered sites, including drive-through options.

Accommodation sorted: BIG4 Mornington Peninsula.

Park highlights include a pump track, swimming pool, inflatable trampoline, flying fox, tennis court, and a rec room alongside a camp kitchen and an additional BBQ area.

Tell me more

Kids will be pumped with the in-park entertainment.

Time for a seaside escape? Plan your next break with BIG4 now.

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