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Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

Mornington Peninsula


Mornington Peninsula has so much to offer it is impossible to include it all. If you're into arts and museums, fine food and local artisan providers, swimming with dolphins, hand-feeding wallabies, walking the trails, wine tasting, soaking in hot springs with a view of the valley, perusing antiques, cookery schools, getting lost in a hedge maze, kayaking or snorkeling, all this and so much more awaits you. To pick up tour maps and brochures, visit an information centre. You'll find them in Frankston, Mornington and Dromana.

Show Mornington Peninsula on the map

Camping Mornington Peninsula

A vacation to Mornington Peninsula need not break your budget. Hire a campervan and you could stay at some gorgeous beachfront locations for as low as $30 a night! 

There are many caravan parks and campgrounds in Mornington Peninsula. We put in hours of research scouting out those with the best reviews in the most picturesque locations, whittling it down to six. You can read all about them in our blog - Camping & Caravan Parks, Mornington Peninsula.

31 Things to do - Mornington Peninsula

To make this list easier to tackle we've divided Mornington Peninsula into four regions: the north, the bay, the pointy bit, and the hinterland and south. Everything on this list has been given a collective four stars or more from reviewers.

THE NORTH
Frankston | Mornington | Mount Martha

1. Beaches and painted bathing boxes

The beaches of Mount Martha are lined with these brightly painted huts and a trip to the Mornington Peninsula is incomplete without snapping a few photos of them.

mount eliza, Mornington peninsula
The painted bath boxes at Mount Martha. Photo: salt_diamond via IG

2. The Briars

The Briars is an historic homestead set on a rural property amongst natural bush and wetlands. 

  • The Eco Living Display House is an example of sustainable living,
  • The Historic Homestead is a house museum in which you can learn about the Mornington Peninsula lifestyle and characters of earlier times,
  • The wetland and woodland walks will give you an inkling of what Mornington Peninsula was like before settlement. They range in distance for 600 m to 4 km.

Balcombe Creek, mount martha
Balcombe Creek, The Briars, Mount Martha. Photo: katewalker.design

3. Frankston Art Centre

Ever changing exhibitions of modern art in a range of media as well as theatre all housed in a beautiful building.

frankston art centre
Frankston Art Centre

4. Frankston Pier

There are lots of piers all along the bay and they make wonderful photo opportunities, especially at dawn and dusk, the magic hours. You can fish off them, and the waters are abundant, but you need a license. Mind the pelicans don't swoop for your bait. I'd take a break if they come too close and cast off when they're gone to avoid hooking them.

frankston pier, mornington peninsula
Frankston Pier. Photo: Bellaqua.photography via IG

5. Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and Oak Hill Gallery

Set amidst beautiful gardens, these two galleries have changing exhibitions and cultural events. The regional gallery has a mix of big name contemporary and past artists such as Max Dupain and Brett Whitely. The Oak Hill Gallery is an artist run gallery representing the impressive talent of local artists.

Sunbaker maxdupain
Sunbather by Max Dupain.

6. McLelland Sculpture Park and Garden

If you want to take in the art while you're outdoors, this is the place. It's well maintained and cheap (gold coin donation). There's a gallery as well, so don't let rain put you off.

mclelland
McLelland Sculpture Park and Garden

7. Mulberry Hill Historic Homestead

An historic homestead that was once the grand home of a artist sir Daryl and author Lady Joan, famous for her novel Picnic at Hanging Rock.

mulberry hill nastya zml
Mulberry Hill. Photo: Nastya_zml via IG

8. Beleura House and Gardens

A grand stone mansion, rambling gardens, orchestral musicians and sumptuous high teas, Beleura House has been occupied by some interesting characters. 

beleura house
Beleura House and Gardens.

9. Pure Peninsula Honey

Come sample the honey, honey cider, honey wine, and all kinds of honey-based cosmedics and food. Manuka honey is famous for his health benefits and antibacterial qualities, which have been backed by science. You can read all about them on WebMD, a medical website.

honey
Sampling the honey.

10. Mornington  Peninsula Brewery

Small batch beers, free brewery tours, local wines and spirits, wood fired pizza, a rustic beer garden, and live music on Sundays. Their symbol is derived from a medieval alchemy sign for Aurum Potabile, drinkable gold. Taste it for yourself.

mpbrew
Free brewery tours at Mornington Peninsula Brewery

11. The Big Goose 

Get all cuddly with the farm animals at The Big Goose. There are pony rides for the kids ($5), tractor rides (free), baby rabbits, lambs, chickens, calves, wallabies, snakes to hold and plenty of geese.

the big goose
The Big Goose farm experience

12. Tullys Corner Produce Store

A cornucopia of local produce - fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, fresh flowers and more - all under the one roof.

tullys
Tullys Corner Produce Store

UPDATE: The Pillars used to be a place you could jump off cliffs into the turquoise waters below, but since social media pictures went viral from 2015 onwards, and crowds flocked to the cliffs, it became a safety issue (try getting out of the jump zone in a crowd) and the foot traffic was eroding the soft clifftops. It is now fenced off.

THE BAY
Safety Beach | Dromana | Rosebud | Arthurs Seat

13. Franklins Lookout at Arthurs Seat

This 2km circuit walk takes in the Matthew Flinders Cairn, Seawinds Gardens, William Ricketts sculptures, the Seawinds Nursery Volunteers Indigenous Garden and all of the major lookouts. It starts and finishes at the Arthurs Seat Summit Carpark and is clearly marked.

franklin lookout, Mornington Peninsula.
Arthurs Seat summit climb. Franklins Lookout. Photo: thestudenttravels

14. Enchanted Adventure Garden

Ever wanted to fly through the tree tops? Here you can zip line and test your mettle on the ropes, platforms and tree climbing ladders. There is also a hedge maze and lots of other fun things to do. Admission is $30 (adults) $20 (kids).

enchanted adventure
The Enchanted Adventure Garden.

15. Peninsula Fresh Seafood

The Mornington Peninsula is famous for its mussels and locally caught fish like locally caught fish like flathead, garfish, calamari, whiting, snapper and mullet. You can buy it at the seafood restaurants all over Mornington Peninsula, or drop into Peninsula Fresh Seafood and take some back to camp.

peninsula fresh seafood, Mornington Peninsula
Dromana Bay Mussels

16. Octopus's Garden

The Octopus's Garden is an 800 metre underwater trail at Rye Pier rich in marine life. You'll encounter see sea slugs, seahorses, sponge gardens, squid, urchins, hermit crabs and, if you’re lucky, weedy sea dragons. It's great for kids and adults. A sign near the Pier gives detailed explanations of how to follow the trail.

octopuses garden, mornington Peninsula
Octopus's Garden. Photo: Babyology Blog

17. Crittenden Estate Wine Centre

There is a lengthier section of wineries below, but if you're in Dromana and want to taste some wine without having to drive, drop into Crittenden.

THE POINTY BIT
Portsea | Sorrento | Blairgowrie | Rye

18. Fort Nepean

Located on the very tip of the peninsula, Fort Nepean embattlements were used right up until the end of World War II. Give yourself an hour to explore properly. You can wander through the tunnels and gun emplacements and listen to recorded stories from the soldiers.

Walk to Nepean Fort
Walk to Nepean Fort. Photo: Keiran Stoneau

19. Diamond Bay, Sorrento Back Beach and Blairgowrie Rock pool

These are our favorite magical swimming places. Calm clear water, fascinating rock pools teaming with marine life, and protected sandy coves. Explore them all!

Blairgowrie Back Beach, Mornington peninsula
Blairgowrie. Photo: rachelgrixti

20. Swim with Dolphins and Seals

Polperro and Moonraker are two highly reviewed companies that will take you swimming with these charismatic creatures. A 3 hour swim with dolphins and seals is around $145 - $165. If you don't want to get out and swim, it's around $65.

polperro dolphin swim, Mornington Peninsula
Swim with dolphins. Photo: Polperro

21. Water Sports - Stand-up Paddleboard, kayak, cruise to seals, snorkel tours.

The Mornington Peninsula has calm water and a great coast of cliffs and caves to explore. This makes it ideal for kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and snorkeling. BayPlay in Portsea can rent you the gear you need. They also take tours. A 3 hr kayak tour to Dolphin Sanctuary is $99. To hire a kayak for 3 hours is $66 and $15 for each additional hour.

kayaking mornington peninsula
Kayaking the coast. Photo: jakedoh

22. Sorrento Museum

The Sorrento Museum will teach you about the region's history.

23. Peninsula Hot Springs

This place is an oasis on the hill in Fingal overlooking the surrounding countryside. Hot thermal mineral waters constantly flow through the pools at temperatures of 38 - 42 C. There are also cool plunging pools, private baths, a family bathing area, a Turkish steam bath (Hamam), a cave pool, sauna, reflexology walk, massage and spa treatments and a restaurant serving healthy food. If you wish to bring your own food, there's also a picnic area. Entry ranges from $25 - $40 depending upon your arrival time.

mornington peninsula hot springs
Peninsula Hot Springs. Photo: kisforkani via IG

mornington peninsula hot springs
Peninsula Hot Springs. Photo: brevent weekend

HINTERLAND & SOUTH
Red Hill | Main ridge | Flinders | Merricks | Cape Schank

24. Cape Schank Lighthouse

Take a 20 min guided tour of the lighthouse, walk the boardwalk and enjoy the ocean views, or trek across Flinders Fields to Bushrangers Bay. 

Cape Shanck
Cape Schank boardwalk. Photo: lauraalycebell

Cape Schank Lighthouse
Cape Schank Lighthous. Photo: btl.photography.mornington

cape shanck flinders fields
Flinders Fields, Cape Schank. Photo: lucy.cliffe

25. Wine Tasting

Mornington Peninsula is famous for its wines and you could spend a day going to four or five of them interspersed with some of the attractions below while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

  • Merricks Wine Store and Art Gallery
  • Port Phillip Estate Winery
  • Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove
  • Main Ridge Estate
  • Foxey Hangout
  • Polperro
  • Paringa Estate
  • Panton Vineyard
  • Blue Ridge Estate
  • T'Gallant Cellar Door
  • Ocean Eight
  • Stonier Wines
  • Myrtacea
  • Bayview Estate
montalto winery, mornington Peninsula
Wine tasting at Montalto Winery. Photo: oliviarestuccia

26.  Mushroom Reef Marine Park

This mushroom-shaped marine park off the coast of Flinders is teaming with life. Shellfish, sea dragons, fish, seaweed gardens inhabit the sandstone rock formations that extend from the shore. You don't need to snorkel to enjoy it because you can explore the many rock pools on foot, but you can explore the sub-tidal reef with a mask and snorkel.

mushroom reef marine park
Sea Dragon at Mushroom Reef Marine Park

27. Art

The Gordon Studio Glass Blowers has a blowing room where you can experience the searing heat of the furnaces and see the glassblowing take place.

  • Merricks Wine Store and Art Gallery - paintings
  • Gordon Studio Glass Blowers - glass works
  • Cook Street Collective in Flinders - painting, etching, printmaking, sculpture, glass and jewellery.
gordon studio glassblowers
Gordon Studio Glass Blowers

28. Mock Red Hill Cidery

Mock Red Hill Cider is demeter certified organic and biodynamic and they do more than cider. You'll find apple vinegar, apple juice, pear juice, fresh fruit, apple orchards to run in, and local cheese boards.

mock red hill cider
Cider tasting at Mock Red Hill Cidery

29. Bass and Flinders Distillery

Not just a gin joint, Bass and Flinders distills gins with botanicals to deliver seasonal flavours. Experience the journey of gin from vineyard to glass and sample a range of award winning spirits including Gin, Vodka Limoncello and Crema di Limoncello.

bass and flinders distillery, Mornington Peninsula
Gin tasting

30. Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens

Tea and scones, well-maintained gardens, lavender fields and products, and a giant hedge maze! 

ashcombe maze lavender
Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens

31. Foodie Tour

Goats are charismatic creatures. If you love them as much as I do, visit Main Ridge Dairy. Some of the best FOOD stopovers on your foodie tour include:

  • Mornington Peninsula Chocolate
  • Red Hill Cheese (near Main Ridge Estate)
  • Main Ridge Dairy
  • Sunny Ridge Strawberries
  • Staples Apples and Cherry Orchard

main ridge dairy
Main Ridge Dairy goats. Photo: lovethepen

Sydney to Melbourne Drive

This article is part of our Sydney to Melbourne Drive series for campervans. It's a 14 day self-drive tour along the coast and we give you the best places to stay, the top things to do, and key places to stop.

Next step

  Hire a Campervan

  Campervan Hire Sydney

  Sightsee Sydney

  Day Trips from Sydney Tips

  Sydney to Melbourne Alpine Coastal Drive

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