From the olive groves and vine-covered hills of the hinterlands to the gold-sand beaches along the coast of Port Phillip bay, the Mornington Peninsula is Melbourne’s natural playground. Less than two hours from the city, it offers wine tasting, hiking, wildlife reserves, and spectacular ocean views.
Most visitors opt to explore on a day tour from Melbourne or take in the views en route to Phillip Island. A full-day Mornington Peninsula tour gives you plenty of time to take in the highlights, such as the view from Arthurs Seat, Point Nepean and Mornington national parks, and the beach town of Sorrento. Food and wine tours are also popular, and Main Ridge, Merricks, and Red Hill are the top wine-tasting destinations, famous for their pinot noir and shiraz.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Temperatures can reach 77°F (25°C) during the summer months (December–February), so sun protection is a must.
- If hiking or picnicking during the summer months, be aware of the bushfire risk and adhere to the fire ban and other recommended precautions.
- There is no public transport to the hinterland areas, so you will need your own car or to visit as part of a tour.
- Be sure to book tours, hotels, and activities in advance during the summer months, as they can book up quickly.
How to Get There
The Mornington Peninsula is located along the south coast of Victoria around an hour’s drive from Melbourne. The easiest way to get around is with your own transport or by joining a guided tour, but train and bus service runs from Melbourne to coastal towns including Frankston, Mornington, and Portsea.
When to Get There
Summer (December–February) is the most popular time to visit the Mornington Peninsula, but the winter months (June–August) can also get busy. The quietest time to visit is during spring and autumn, when the milder temperatures can be ideal for hiking and outdoor activities, and tours and accommodation are often cheaper.
Family Fun on the Mornington Peninsula
See koalas and kangaroos at the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, go dolphin watching along the coast, or take a ride on the Mornington Railway steam train. Other fun activities to enjoy as a family include berry picking at the Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, chocolate and ice cream tasting at Mornington Peninsula Chocolates, and navigating the mazes at the Enchanted Adventure Garden.