Top 14 Things To Do in Mornington Peninsula, VIC Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

Mornington Peninsula
Source: Visit Victoria/Peter Tarasiuk

The Mornington Peninsula, a captivating region in Victoria, Australia, is a treasure trove of natural wonders, cultural attractions, and unique experiences. Located just south of Melbourne, this picturesque peninsula is surrounded by Port Phillip to the west, Western Port to the east, and Bass Strait to the south, offering a diverse landscape of beautiful beaches, vineyard-dotted hills, and dramatic wilderness.

Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and reveal the top things to do in the Mornington Peninsula, a destination that promises unforgettable adventures. Immerse yourself in the area’s natural splendor, delve into its cultural treasures, and embark on a remarkable journey through the enchanting world of the Mornington Peninsula. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, indulging in local epicurean delights, or simply looking to unwind and relax, this coastal paradise has something for everyone.

Things To Do In Mornington Peninsula, VIC

1. Mornington Peninsula National Park – Coastal Beauty and Native Wildlife

Mornington Peninsula National Park is a stunning coastal destination that offers visitors a chance to explore the diverse landscapes of the region, from rugged cliffs and sandy beaches to banksia woodlands and wetlands. The park is home to a variety of native wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and bandicoots, making it an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts. The best time to visit the park is during spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and the coastal wildflowers are in bloom.

Embark on the Two Bays Walking Trail, which takes you through the park’s diverse landscapes and offers breathtaking views of the ocean. For water-based activities, join a tour to swim with dolphins and seals in the bay or dive down to explore the underwater world of seahorses and sea dragons on a snorkeling expedition. Don’t forget to visit the striking Pinnacles Formation, a collection of colorful rock formations that showcase the area’s geological history.

  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for mild weather and blooming wildflowers
  • Address: Mornington Peninsula National Park, VIC 3939
  • Directions: Access the park via Boneo Road, Cape Schanck Road, or Browns Road

2. Peninsula Hot Springs – Relax and Unwind

Peninsula Hot Springs is a natural geothermal mineral springs and day spa facility located just 90 minutes from Melbourne. The facility offers over 70 globally inspired bathing and wellness experiences, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the healing waters and rejuvenate their mind and body. The best time to visit the hot springs is during the cooler months of winter, as there’s no better feeling than sinking into a hot mineral pool on a cold winter’s day.

In addition to the hot springs, the Mornington Peninsula is brimming with wellness experiences, such as wineries, dining options, open-air markets, and coastal and hinterland walks. After a day of relaxation, consider staying overnight in the Peninsula Hot Springs’ glamping accommodation, which features private decks, ensuite bathrooms, king beds, and bespoke elements inspired by the natural surroundings.

  • Address: 140 Springs Lane, Fingal VIC 3939
  • Opening Hours: Open daily from 7 am to 10 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 10 km from Rye

3. Arthurs Seat Eagle Gondola Ride – Soar Above the Peninsula

Experience breathtaking views of the Mornington Peninsula from the Arthurs Seat Eagle gondola ride. The gondola takes you on a scenic journey above the treetops, providing panoramic views of the coastline, Port Phillip Bay, and the surrounding hinterland. The ride is suitable for all ages and is wheelchair accessible, making it a perfect activity for the whole family.

The Arthurs Seat Eagle gondola ride is located just 3 km from the town of Dromana, making it easily accessible for visitors exploring the Mornington Peninsula. After your gondola ride, consider visiting the nearby Enchanted Adventure Garden, which offers a range of fun activities, including mazes, tube slides, and tree surfing.

  • Address: 795 Arthurs Seat Rd, Arthurs Seat VIC 3936
  • Opening Hours: Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 3 km from Dromana

4. Enchanted Adventure Garden – Family Fun and Adventure

The Enchanted Adventure Garden is a wonderland of outdoor activities for the whole family, nestled in the beautiful hinterland of the Mornington Peninsula. This award-winning attraction features a range of exciting experiences, including tree surfing, zip lines, tube slides, and mazes. The best time to visit the Enchanted Adventure Garden is during the warmer months of spring and summer when the weather is perfect for outdoor activities.

In addition to the thrilling adventures, the garden also offers a more relaxed experience with its beautiful gardens, sculptures, and picnic areas. The Enchanted Adventure Garden is located just 3 km from the town of Dromana, making it easily accessible for visitors exploring the Mornington Peninsula. After a day of fun and adventure, consider visiting the nearby Arthurs Seat Eagle gondola ride for breathtaking views of the peninsula.

  • Address: 55 Purves Rd, Arthurs Seat VIC 3936
  • Opening Hours: Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 3 km from Dromana

5. Point Nepean National Park – History and Natural Beauty

Point Nepean National Park is a must-visit destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike. The park is home to a rich history, including military fortifications and the Quarantine Station, which played a significant role in Victoria’s early settlement. The best time to visit the park is during spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the coastal wildflowers are in bloom.

Explore the park’s walking and cycling trails, which offer stunning views of the coastline and the opportunity to spot native wildlife, such as kangaroos, wallabies, and a variety of bird species. The park also features beautiful beaches, such as Observatory Point Beach and Gunners Cottage Beach, which are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and picnicking.

  • Address: Point Nepean Rd, Portsea VIC 3944
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for mild weather and blooming wildflowers
  • Directions: Access the park via Point Nepean Road

6. Wine Tasting and Tours – Crittenden Estate, Mont Rouge Estate, and T’Gallant Vineyard

The Mornington Peninsula is renowned for its exceptional wineries, and a visit to the region wouldn’t be complete without a wine tasting and tour. Sample the finest wines at Crittenden Estate, Mont Rouge Estate, and T’Gallant Vineyard, each offering a unique and memorable experience. The best time to visit the wineries is during spring and autumn when the vineyards are at their most picturesque.

Crittenden Estate is a family-owned winery that has been producing award-winning wines for over 30 years.

Mont Rouge Estate is a boutique winery that offers a range of premium wines, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Shiraz.

T’Gallant Vineyard is known for its cool-climate wines, such as Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir, and offers a rustic cellar door experience.

  • Crittenden Estate Address: 25 Harrisons Rd, Dromana VIC 3936
  • Mont Rouge Estate Address: 232 Red Hill Rd, Red Hill VIC 3937
  • T’Gallant Vineyard Address: 1385 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge VIC 3928
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for vineyard tours and tastings

7. Moonraker Dolphin Swims – An Unforgettable Marine Experience

Experience the thrill of swimming with dolphins and seals in their natural habitat with Moonraker Dolphin Swims. This eco-tourism certified operator offers guided snorkeling and scuba diving tours in the crystal-clear waters of Port Phillip Bay, where you can encounter bottlenose dolphins, Australian fur seals, and even little penguins. The best time to join a tour is during the warmer months of spring and summer when the water temperature is more comfortable for swimming.

Moonraker Dolphin Swims is located in Sorrento, making it easily accessible for visitors exploring the Mornington Peninsula. After your unforgettable marine adventure, consider visiting the nearby Sorrento Back Beach for a day of sun, sand, and surf.

  • Address: 2 George St, Sorrento VIC 3943
  • Opening Hours: Tours operate daily, with departure times varying depending on the season
  • Distance from town: Located in Sorrento

8. Cape Schanck Boardwalk – Stunning Coastal Views

The Cape Schanck Boardwalk offers visitors a chance to experience the rugged beauty of the Mornington Peninsula’s coastline. The boardwalk winds its way along the clifftops, providing stunning views of the ocean, rock formations, and surrounding bushland. The best time to visit the boardwalk is during spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the coastal wildflowers are in bloom.

Cape Schanck Boardwalk is accessible via Cape Schanck Road and is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and photographers. After exploring the boardwalk, consider visiting the nearby Cape Schanck Lighthouse for a glimpse into the region’s maritime history.

  • Address: Cape Schanck Rd, Cape Schanck VIC 3939
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for mild weather and coastal views
  • Directions: Access the boardwalk via Cape Schanck Road

9. Cycling Vine Tours and Red Hill Trail Co – Scenic Bike Rides

Explore the picturesque landscapes of the Mornington Peninsula on two wheels with Cycling Vine Tours and Red Hill Trail Co. These guided bike tours take you through the region’s beautiful vineyards, coastal trails, and rolling countryside, offering a unique and active way to experience the area. The best time to join a bike tour is during the cooler months of spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the scenery is at its most vibrant.

Cycling Vine Tours and Red Hill Trail Co offer a range of tour options, from leisurely half-day rides to more challenging full-day adventures. After your bike tour, consider visiting one of the many wineries in the area, such as Crittenden Estate, Mont Rouge Estate, or T’Gallant Vineyard, for a well-deserved wine tasting.

  • Address: Various locations across the Mornington Peninsula
  • Best time of the year: Spring and autumn for mild weather and scenic rides

10. Searoad Ferries – Scenic Journey Between Sorrento and Queenscliff

Embark on a scenic journey across the waters of Port Phillip Bay with Searoad Ferries. This comfortable and convenient ferry service connects the towns of Sorrento and Queenscliff, offering stunning views of the coastline and the chance to spot dolphins, seals, and seabirds along the way. The best time to take a ferry ride is during the warmer months of spring and summer when the weather is perfect for enjoying the views from the outdoor decks.

Searoad Ferries operates daily, with departure times varying depending on the season. The ferry terminal is located in Sorrento, making it easily accessible for visitors exploring the Mornington Peninsula. After your ferry ride, consider visiting the nearby Point Nepean National Park for a day of history and natural beauty.

  • Address: Sorrento Pier, Esplanade, Sorrento VIC 3943
  • Opening Hours: Ferries operate daily, with departure times varying depending on the season
  • Distance from town: Located in Sorrento

11. Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park – Encounter Australian Wildlife

Visit the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park for an up-close experience with Australian wildlife. This award-winning wildlife park is home to over 60 species of native animals, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and a variety of bird species. The park offers both day and evening tours, allowing visitors to experience the unique behaviors of nocturnal animals under the stars.

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park is located approximately 30 km from Frankston, making it easily accessible for visitors exploring the Mornington Peninsula. After your visit to the park, consider exploring the nearby art galleries and studios along the Peninsula Studio Trail.

  • Address: 550 Tyabb-Tooradin Rd, Pearcedale VIC 3912
  • Opening Hours: Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 30 km from Frankston

12. Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens – A Romantic Escape

Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens is a beautiful and tranquil destination perfect for a romantic day out or a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle. The gardens feature Australia’s oldest and most famous hedge maze, as well as a circular rose maze and a fragrant lavender labyrinth. The best time to visit Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens is during the warmer months of spring and summer when the flowers are in full bloom and the gardens are at their most vibrant.

In addition to the mazes, the gardens also offer a range of other attractions, including a woodland walk, a rock garden, and a café serving delicious homemade treats. Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens is located in Shoreham, approximately 5 km from Red Hill, making it easily accessible for visitors exploring the Mornington Peninsula. After your visit to the gardens, consider exploring the nearby wineries, such as Crittenden Estate, Mont Rouge Estate, or T’Gallant Vineyard, for a wine tasting experience.

  • Address: 15 Shoreham Rd, Shoreham VIC 3916
  • Opening Hours: Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm
  • Distance from town: Approximately 5 km from Red Hill

13. Mornington Peninsula Brewery, Red Hill Brewery, and St Andrews Beach Brewery – Craft Beer Experiences

Discover the thriving craft beer scene of the Mornington Peninsula by visiting Mornington Peninsula Brewery, Red Hill Brewery, and St Andrews Beach Brewery. Each brewery offers a unique experience, showcasing their range of locally crafted beers, as well as delicious food options and a relaxed atmosphere. The best time to visit the breweries is year-round, with seasonal beer releases and events to enjoy.

Mornington Peninsula Brewery is known for its award-winning beers and lively taproom, offering a range of core and seasonal brews. Red Hill Brewery is a boutique brewery set amidst the picturesque hinterland, focusing on European-style beers made with locally sourced ingredients. St Andrews Beach Brewery is a unique brewery set on a former racehorse training facility, offering a range of beers and a paddock-to-plate dining experience.

  • Mornington Peninsula Brewery Address: 72 Watt Rd, Mornington VIC 3931
  • Red Hill Brewery Address: 88 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South VIC 3937
  • St Andrews Beach Brewery Address: 160 Sandy Rd, Fingal VIC 3939
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, with seasonal beer releases and events

14. Bass and Flinders Distillery and JimmyRum – Spirit Tasting and Tours

For those who prefer spirits over beer, the Mornington Peninsula is also home to Bass and Flinders Distillery and JimmyRum. These distilleries offer a range of unique and locally crafted spirits, as well as guided tours and tastings. The best time to visit the distilleries is year-round, with seasonal spirit releases and events to enjoy.

Bass and Flinders Distillery is known for its artisanal gin, brandy, and liqueurs, made using traditional methods and locally sourced ingredients. JimmyRum is a craft rum distillery that offers a range of premium rums, as well as a relaxed tasting bar and distillery tours. Both distilleries provide an insight into the craft of spirit-making and the opportunity to sample their unique creations.

  • Bass and Flinders Distillery Address: 232 Red Hill Rd, Red Hill VIC 3937
  • JimmyRum Address: 6 Brasser Ave, Dromana VIC 3936
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, with seasonal spirit releases and events

Towns Nearby Mornington Peninsula, VIC

Here are some nearby towns/suburbs around Mornington Peninsula, VIC, Australia, along with their highlights, attractions, distance from Mornington, and reasons why they are worth visiting:

  1. Mount Eliza, VIC (about 12 km from Mornington): Known for its beautiful beaches and parks, such as the Mount Eliza Regional Park and Ranelagh Beach. It’s a great destination for nature lovers and beachgoers.
  2. Frankston, VIC (about 20 km from Mornington): A vibrant coastal city with attractions such as the Frankston Beach, Ballam Park, and the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park. It’s an ideal destination for families and art enthusiasts.
  3. Rosebud, VIC (about 17 km from Mornington): A charming seaside town with beautiful beaches like Rosebud Beach and Rosebud Pier. It’s a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing.
  4. Hastings, VIC (about 27 km from Mornington): A historic fishing village with a colorful foreshore and marina. The town is also home to the Western Port Marina, offering a range of water-based activities and attractions.
  5. Mount Martha, VIC (about 8 km from Mornington): Offering stunning beaches, rolling hills, and spectacular views of Port Phillip Bay, Mount Martha is an ideal destination for beach lovers and those seeking a relaxing escape.
  6. Flinders, VIC (about 40 km from Mornington): A historic coastal town with attractions such as the Flinders Pier, Flinders Golf Club, and the Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens. It’s a great destination for history buffs, golfers, and nature lovers.
  7. Dromana, VIC (about 15 km from Mornington): A popular beachside town with attractions like the Dromana 3 Drive-In, Arthurs Seat Eagle gondola ride, and the Enchanted Adventure Garden. It’s an ideal destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

Getting To Mornington Peninsula, VIC

To get to Mornington Peninsula, VIC, Australia from common destinations or origins as a local tourist, you have several options for both public transport and driving.

From Melbourne CBD:

  • By train and bus: Take the Frankston Line from Melbourne Central or Flinders Street Station. The journey takes approximately 1 hour. From Frankston Station, there are buses available to various destinations on the Mornington Peninsula, such as Route 788 to Portsea and Route 781 to Dromana.
  • By car: Drive southeast on the M1 and take the Mornington Peninsula Freeway exit. Follow the freeway until you reach the Mornington Peninsula. The drive takes approximately 1 hour, depending on traffic.

From other nearby towns:

  • From Mount Eliza, VIC: Drive south on Nepean Highway for about 12 km or 15 minutes.
  • From Frankston, VIC: Drive south on Nepean Highway for about 20 km or 25 minutes.
  • From Rosebud, VIC: Drive north on Nepean Highway for about 17 km or 20 minutes.
  • From Hastings, VIC: Drive west on Frankston-Flinders Road for about 27 km or 30 minutes.
  • From Mount Martha, VIC: Drive south on Nepean Highway for about 8 km or 10 minutes.

For public transport options from other nearby towns, use the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) or app to plan your journey, as it provides detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.