Easy 2 Day Mornington Peninsula Itinerary

Our 2 day Mornington Peninsula itinerary is perfect if you are Looking for a quick getaway from Melbourne? Why not take a weekend road trip and head down to the Mornington Peninsula? This easy to follow itinerary takes the hard work out of planning a fabulous short getaway.

Located an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula’s 190 kilometres of coastline and rolling hinterland hills offer something for everyone.

Experience scenic coastal drives, visit acclaimed wineries, walk at national parks, and unwind at the hot springs. A weekend on the Peninsula is a great all-rounder trip for both beach lovers and mountain climbers.

Here’s a guide for a 2-day Mornington Peninsula road trip. So pack a picnic and let’s head off and explore this beautiful part of Victoria.

The Mornington Peninsula is the land of the Bunurong/ Boon Wurrung Aboriginal people

Day 1: Explore the Mornington Peninsula Hinterland

Begin your peninsula road trip by driving down the EastLink Highway from Melbourne CBD. As you travel, you’ll see four large artworks that belong to the longest open-air sculpture park in Australia.

Scultpure of a man Pt Leo Scupture Park
Point Leo Sculpture

Don’t stop your vehicle. These pieces are designed to be seen in motion.

Emu Plains Market

Arrive at your first stop in the hinterlands, Balnarring’s Emu Plains Market. This market is held every 3rd Saturday of the month from October to April, from 9am to 2pm.

Located within a sweeping canopy of stringybarks, there is plenty of shade to keep you cool as you walk the circular track around the market stalls.

Look at what’s for sale from over 200 stallholders, including handmade items, vintage collectables, fresh farm produce, and gourmet food.

Take a break from shopping to enjoy the live music and refresh yourself with a cold local beer or cider.

Where: Coolart Rd Balnarring
When: 3rd Saturday of the month from October to April, from 9am to 2pm.

Pt Leo Estate

After you finish shopping at the market, drive down to Pt Leo Estate on the eastern side of the Mornington Peninsula. There are plenty of activities to choose from at Pt Leo.

Dine at Laura or Pt Leo Restaurant for a multi-course menu or relax with a casual lunch option at Wine Terrace. 

Point Leo Cellar Door Mornington
Pt Leo Estate Cellar Door

Savour the wine tasting at Pt Leo Estate Cellar Door, where each wine’s flavour is shaped by Western Port Bay’s seasons, and weather.

Or walk around 330 acres of the estate’s sculpture gallery. This outdoor gallery features 60 works by international and Australian artists. You can choose between the 1.9km short walk or the 3km longer route.

Point Leo Estate Sculpture
Point Leo Estate Sculpture Park

It’s an easy stroll along a circular promenade, perfect for working off the lunch you had earlier.

Where: 3649 Frankston-Flinders Road Merricks
When: Sculpture Park 11am-5pm daily.
Cost: $10 for adults $5 for kids over 12 years.

Mornington Peninsula National Park and Cape Schanck

Your next stop is the Mornington Peninsula National Park, located at the southernmost tip of the peninsula in Cape Schanck. Entry is free, a great option for budget travellers. There are plenty of activities to choose from at this National Park.

Search the coastal cliffs, woodlands, and beaches for native wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, and bandicoots. At low tide, head down the boardwalk, walk past pebble beach and check out Cape Schanck Rock Pools.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse Mornington
Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Or, relive history at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse and Museum. Follow the signs at the carpark to find the entrance to Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve. The Lady of History offers Lighthouse Keeper Cottage tours on the weekend, every hour from 11am to 2pm.

Cape Schanck coastline, Victoria
Walk along the Cape Schanck Boardwalk to the tip of the headland

Finish your visit with a walk down the stairs and across the wooden boardwalk towards the very tip of Cape Schanck’s headland.

Look out for the awe-inspiring Cape Schanck Pulpit Rock and the Devil’s Desk on your right. These geological formations were made by volcanic activity millions of years ago and are a must-see on your peninsula trip.

Where: Lighthouse – 420 Cape Schanck Rd, Cape Schanck
When: 10am-4pm, seven days a week.

End the day with an old school drive in experience.

Dromana 3 Drive-In

Before you settle in for the night, check out Dromana 3 Drive-In at Dromana. This heritage-listed outdoor cinema is a great place to experience the nostalgia of a retro drive-in. And with the gates opening at 8pm, it’s an excellent location to catch a late-night movie without leaving your car.

Dromana Drive In
Dromana Drive In

Showing the latest movies in cinema on 4 different screens, Dromana 3 Drive-in offers plenty of choice on what to watch. Don’t worry if you miss the first screening, every movie has 2 sessions, one in the early evening and one at night.

Complete your drive-in cinema experience with in-car food delivery from Dromana’s 1950s retro diner.

If you are road tripping during March, you won’t want to miss the Peninsula Film Festival at the Dromana 3 Drive-In. This year, 20 short films will be screened and will be judged live by a panel of celebrities.

Where: 133 Nepean Hwy Dromana
When: Summer & School Holidays – 7 Nights per week. Check the website for other times.

Day 2: Sightsee Coastal Scenery in the Mornington Peninsula

Peninsula Hot Springs

With all that walking and sightseeing yesterday, it’s time to unwind on the 2nd day of your Mornington Peninsula trip. Take a rest at the Peninsula Hot Springs in Rye.

Peninsula Hot Springs Mornington
Peninsula Hot Springs was the first natural hot spring resort in Australia

A GPS or a map on your phone is a must for traveling stress-free to this next stop on your road trip itinerary. Entry to the springs can be difficult to find, as it’s located on a long, winding dirt track.

The springs are very popular with tour buses during the colder months and the venue fills to capacity very quickly. I recommend booking a few weeks in advance to avoid being turned away at the door.

If you’re feeling adventurous, go during the summer months. You’ll be surprised at how cool the venue is inside, as the hot springs are located high in the mountains. And if it gets too hot, there are plenty of cold pools to jump into.

Don’t forget to climb to the very top of the springs. If you go in the early morning, you can experience the sweeping views of the sun rising over picturesque mountains and bushland.  

Where: 140 Springs Ln, Fingal
When: Open 24 hours

Point Nepean National Park

Head to the westerly tip of the Mornington Peninsula to experience history, adventure, and scenic walks at your next stop, the national park at Point Nepean.

Point Nepean National Park
Point Nepean National Park

The warmer months are the best time of the year to explore the park. Some areas are inaccessible and are closed during severe storms. Keep an eye out for updates on Parks Victoria before you travel to the park for any changes.

There are many activities to enjoy at this park. For history buffs, check out the national park’s historical precinct at Quarantine Station. This place features 50 historic heritage-listed buildings, including some of the first permanent quarantine stations built in Australia.

The Boon Wurrung people know Point Nepean as Monmar

Head to the very tip of the peninsula to explore the military fortifications and tunnels at Fort Nepean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful beaches, sea and coastal scenery of Port Phillip Bay and Bass Strait as you walk around the circular track at Fort Nepean.

Hikers will enjoy the 8km there and back sandy bushland walk between Quarantine Station and Eagles Nest.

Where: Ochiltree Rd, Portsea VIC
When: 7am–5pm for vehicle entry, walk in and out 24 hours, Quarantine Station 9am – 4:30pm

Arthurs Seat Lookouts

Head inland and start the drive back up to the city. The next stop on your trip is great for those on a budget and looking for free things to do in the Mornington Peninsula. Arthurs Seat State Park has many lookouts, which are the perfect place to see the sunset over the peninsula region.

Sunset over Mornington Peninsula viewed from Arthurs Seat in Melbourne, Australia
Sunset over Mornington Peninsula viewed from Arthurs Seat

Climb the short walk to the summit by foot. Take in the scenic panoramic views from the first lookout, Arthur’s Seat Lookout. Here you will see views of Port Phillip Bay, the Mornington Peninsula hinterlands and Melbourne beaches. Bring a pair of binoculars to see out over the bay and towards Bellarine Peninsula.

Continue the climb up towards Murray’s Lookout. From Murray’s Lookout, you can see Safety Beach, Red Hill, and Sorrento Beach in the distance.

Aim to visit in the warmer months and avoid visiting early in the morning as the fog makes it difficult to see.

Where: 791 Arthurs Seat Rd, Arthurs Seat 
When: open 24 hours a day

Arthurs Seat Eagle

Avoid walking back down the Arthurs Seat road. Instead, take the Eagle down to the base to re-experience the sights and scenery of your Mornington Peninsula road trip.

Arthurs Seat Eagle cable car
Gondolas of the Arthurs Seat Eagle Skylift

The Gondolas will fly you down from the Summit Station and over the breathtaking scenery of this region, including Red Hill town, Main Ridge, the Melbourne beaches and Victoria.

Where: 1085 Arthurs Seat Rd, Arthurs Seat
When: 10am-5pm weekdays, 6pm pm weekends

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Where to Stay for Your Mornington Peninsula Getaway

There is accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula to suit all budgets from resort style properties to holiday houses and caravan parks.

Here are a few of our favourites:

Splurge Accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula

These 5 star options are perfect if you are planning a special birthday, anniversary or romantic weekend away!

Villas at Crittenden Estate
Crittenden Estate Credit: Visit Victoria

Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate – All one-bedroom villas feature a fully equipped kitchen, surrounded by beautiful vineyards, these holiday homes are a 2-minute drive from Hickinbotham of Dromana and a 6-minute drive from Dromana Estate.

Port Phillip Estate – The suites at Port Phillip Estate feature a contemporary design. The deep bathtub adds a bit of extra luxury, as do the views.

RACV Cape Schanck Resort – Looking out over Bass Strait and Port Philip Bay Cape Schanck Resort offers a heated outdoor pool, restaurant and bar. From deluxe hotel rooms to 3 bedroom villas the range of accommodation is among the best on the peninsula.

Mt.Martha Guesthouse By The Sea – Just a one minute walk from the beach this guesthouse offers two suites, one with sea view and double spa.

Quality Budget Accommodation Along the Mornington Peninsula

Portsea Hotel
Portsea hotel

Portsea Hotel a 2 minutes walk from Portsea Beach, Portsea Hotel offers a number of suites and double rooms some with balconies. There is an onsite restaurant and bar.

Quest Frankston on the Bay – Quest is right in the centre of the Frankston restaurant precinct and less than 200 m from the beach – a great choice for families and groups with everything from studios to 2 bedroom apartments.

Mercure Portsea – Mecure Portsea on London Bridge Road,

Kangerong Holiday Park – Offering free WiFi and an outdoor pool, Kangerong Holiday Park is located 2 minutes’ walk from Dromana Beach.

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