Things to do on the Mornington Peninsula in 2024

A magical part of Victoria, today we share what we think are the best things to do on the Mornington Peninsula. From hiking well-known paths like the Millionaires Walk to strolling the pristine beaches and signing up for adrenalin-pumping adventures to wineries and local gourmet food producers, this area has something for everyone.

We acknowledge the Bonwoorrung people are the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waterways of the Mornington Peninsula region.

This page may contain affiliate links. Read our full disclosure policy for more information.

Before we dig into our ultimate list of things to do on the Mornington Peninsula we wanted to share our favourite guided experiences just in case you want to let someone else do the work.

If you are in Victoria without a car you might want to check out these tours that leave from Melbourne. If you have your own wheels scroll on for self-drive ideas.

Top 5 Mornington Peninsula Tours

If you prefer the idea of a guided experience while you are on the peninsula or would like to book a day tour from Melbourne these are our favourite options

  1. Best family experience with teens Sorrento Waterbike Tours – a 90-minute ride on your own water bike from Sorrento to Portsea Pier.
  2. Best animal encounter 2 Hour Snorkel and Swim with Seals – meet Australian fur seals and giant rays up close.
  3. Animal experience for non-swimmersDolphin and Seal Watching Eco Boat Tour – a 90-minute cruise at Ticonderoga Bay Dolphin Sanctuary
  4. Best Foodie experience Mornington Peninsula Hop on Hop off the bus – 8 hours to explore the route filled with breweries, distilleries, wineries and farm door experiences.
  5. Best all-around day tour from Melbourne Mornington Peninsula & Hot Springs Tour – Ride Arthurs Seat Gondolas, Hike Cape Schanak and take a dip in the hot springs.

Where is the Mornington Peninsula?

Just under 80km from the Melbourne CBD, about a 90-minute drive, this spectacular, wild, diverse, and family-friendly destination provides non-stop activities for a day trip or longer stay.

Ok now let’s go see what else you might like to do….

Hikes and walks on Mornington Peninsula

With two National Parks and close to a dozen more official state reserves and conservation parks, the Mornington Peninsula feels eons away from the busy Melbourne CBD.

Miles of beaches, sand dunes, coastal paths, golf courses, and established rail trails offer endless walking and hiking options. Here are some of the best:

The Famous Millionaires Walk

Locals love taking their dogs along this spectacular walk past lovely gardens and the Portsea mansions overlooking their private jetties and boathouses on beautiful Port Phillip Bay.

Millionaire Walk Mornington Peninsula
This private jetty with a pool is something else!

The walk can be taken from either King Street or Lentell Avenue end of the walk. It’s a short, easy walk through the gates and front gardens of the Bayside residents lucky enough to live at this low cliff side location.

For a comprehensive article on everything, you need to know to take the Millionaire’s Walk, see our photo guide of the Millionaires Walk.

Location: King Street and Lentell Avenue, Portsea
Accessibility: This walk is not accessible

Sorrento-Portsea Artists’ Trail

This trail is the best way to discover Sorrento and Portsea. Incorporating the Millionaire’s Walk, the Sorrento-Portsea Artists’ Trail cannot realistically be done on foot in one day but is rather something to do in sections, perhaps on repeat visits, cause let’s face it, when you visit the Mornington Peninsula once you will be making plans to return!

Sorrento Portsea Artists Trail
Sorrento-Portsea Artists’ Trail

The hunt for the stands that display the artworks painted at that site takes you over sand dunes, besides bathing boxes, to landmarks such as London Arch, and along cliffs, foreshores and jetties.

Location: 3236 Point Nepean Road, Sorrento
Accessibility: Most of this walk is not accessible. Download the official brochure of the trail here.

Walk in Port Nepean National Park

This is a fascinating National Park because of the diverse history of this land including its time as a military base. It also holds significance to the traditional owners, the Boonwurrung people.

road in Point Nepean National Park
Point Nepean National Park

There are many aboriginal artefacts here as well as a memorial to the Australian Prime Minister, Harold Holt, who drowned while swimming at the Portsea Back Beach.

Multiple hiking trails run through the park waiting to be walked or e-biked. There is also a shuttle bus out to Fort Nepean and the tunnels where you can join a tour of the fort, the Gunnery, and a range of other military sites.

For ideas on what to see and do in the National Park, see our Point Nepean day trip itinerary.

The Two Bays Walking Track

The Two Bays Track is a 26 kilometre walk from Dromana to Cape Schanck and provides dramatic coastal views. Many people chose to do this as an overnight hike but it can be completed as a day hike if you have a good level of fitness.

Alternatively, choose to walk one of the walks four sections which range from 2.6-12.6km. Along the way, markers featuring a Blue Wren within a circle will help guide you and make it easier to stay on track.

Two Bays walking track
Choose your adventure, from 2.6km to 26km!

The walk begins at the Dromana foreshore on Point Nepean Road and makes its way through Arthurs Seat State Park and Mornington Peninsula National Park.

If you would like to walk just part of the walk, the final section, which follows the main creek down to Bushrangers Bay and is unsurprisingly called the Bushrangers Bay section, is only 5km and will take you about 45 minutes to complete. There is a car park on Boneo Road if you wish to only take this section of the Two Bays Walking Track.

Location: 1350 Boneo Road, Cape Schanck
Accessibility: Most of the walk is not accessible with areas of uneven ground and loose rock.

The Red Hill Rail Trail

Walk, cycle or even ride a horse along the Red Hill Rail Trail for a great day of fun. Following the old railway line between Merricks and Red Hill you will find yourself right in the middle of wine country.

With gorgeous views out over Western Port Bay, a perfect incentive to complete the train is that the wonderful food and wine at either end of the Rail Trail.

Tip: It is uphill from Merricks and far easier to take the downhill trip from Red Hill to Merricks.

Location: Station Ground Recreation Reserve (northern side)
Accessibility: The trail is not suitable for regular wheelchairs although specialised chairs may be suitable. Three wheel prams can access most of the track.

Balcome Estuary Boardwalk Circuit

This Boardwalk follows Balcome Creek and has been well designed with information posts along the way as well as the accompanying Yellow Robin Audio Trail.

The walk continues to a playground with a Lazy Lizard Audio trail and then to Mount Martha Beach and into the shopping district.

At this point, there is another boardwalk on the opposite side of the Creek, or you can return along the Balcome Estuary Boardwalk. This is a very dog and kid-friendly walk.

Location: 499 Point Nepean Highway, Mount Martha
Accessibility: There are gravel sections and a wooden boardwalk. Suitable for prams with assistance in parts.

Sculpture Park Walks

The Sculpture dotted along the Mornington Peninsula has become one of its biggest tourist attraction. Within the Mornington Peninsula’s beautiful wineries are several wonderful walks you can take through their sculpture parks.

Montalto Winery Sculpture Trail.
Montalto Winery Sculpture Trail.

The most stunning of these is the Port Leo Sculpture Park, but the most interesting (and family-friendly) walk is the Montalto Winery Sculpture Trail.

Explore the Mornington Peninsula Beaches

The Mornington Peninsula has the advantage of straddling the ocean and Port Phillip Bay with the beaches and rugged coastline offering miles of stunning scenery. The “Back” beaches are the southern ocean beaches, and the “Front” beaches are the Bay beaches.

Mornington Peninsula National Park Beaches

Most of the back or ocean beaches along Bass Strait are part of the Mornington Peninsula National Park.

  • Sorrento Back Beach
  • Portsea Ocean Beach
  • Koonya Ocean Beach
  • Gunnamatta Ocean Beach
  • Rye Ocean Beach
  • Flinders Ocean Beach

The coves and rock pools at Cape Schanck are popular swimming and surfing spots for international tourists and Melburnians.

Some beaches along this stretch of the coast while beautiful can be treacherous. If you are visiting an ocean beach, always make a point of looking for the red and yellow flags and never swim alone.

Sorrento Back Beach

Sorrento Back Beach has the advantage of being close to Sorrento and Portsea and offering facilities such as free car parking, toilets, and a cafe. The rock pools are an added bonus.

Sorrento Back Beach
Sorrento Back Beach

Location: Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento VIC

Portsea Ocean Beach

Not for the faint-hearted, the waves crashing along the long span of the Portsea Ocean (Back) Beach can be treacherous in bad weather.

People enjoyiing Portsea Beach
Portsea Beach

The many small rock pools are however a lovely spot for small children.

Location: Portsea Ocean Beach Access Upper Rd.
Accessibility: The beach can be viewed from a platform above but access is via a steep track.

Sorrento Front Beach

Stretching along the Sorrento foreshore and promenade, this is a long stretch of white sand with the calm bay and jetties that are a favourite place for families.

Location: Point Nepean Rd, Sorrento
Accessibility: A beach mat is available (next to the Baths Restaurant)

Rye Beach

Facing the small towns of Rye, this is a long, beautiful, and clear bayside beach, perfect for walking, and swimming, and great for families.

waves at Rye Beach Mornington Peninsula
Rye Beach Mornington Peninsula

Location: Bay Trail, Rye VIC

Mount Martha Beach

A 2km long family friendly beach Mount Matha attracts Instagrammers with its colourful bathing boxes. It’s considered by many to be the best beach on the peninsula. There are BBQs, a playground and a beach access map you can book at the surf club.

Mount Martha Beach Victoria
Mount Martha Beach

The southern end of the beach is preferred for swimming and relaxing.

Location: 465 Esplanade, Mount Martha 

Discover the coastal towns of Mornington Peninsula

There are many vibrant towns along the coast and a longer stay at the Mornington Peninsula is highly rewarding

Snoop around Sorrento

Sorrento boasts a beautiful foreshore, some wonderful small bars and restaurants, and a shopping strip that includes upmarket clothes boutiques and art galleries.

Sorrento Hotel
Sorrento Hotel

It has more accommodation than neighbouring Portsea. It also has everyday necessities for an extended stay such as banks, postal services, and supermarkets.

Wander Portsea

Portsea is the premiere holiday house destination for wealthy Melburnians. The clifftop mansions are best seen on the aptly named Millionaire’s Walk.

Portsea Hotels 131824 56
Portsea hotel

The small town includes the Portsea Pier where you can look for weedy sea dragons, and is home to the Portsea Hotel which has great views over the pier and Bay.

Portsea ends in the Point Nepean National Park. As a result, there is limited accommodation but it draws crowds because of its beauty and affluence.

Shop Markets and Local Produce

Weekend visitors on the hunt for some fresh produce should check out the Red Hill Community market. This Farmers Market is the best one-stop shop for tasting and buying the region’s best produce.

Other markets to check out include:

Check the dates of the Mornington markets here

Rocky Creek Strawberry Farm

The popular U-Pick activities that were previously offered under the name Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm have returned to their previous owners the Gallace Family. There are now four generations of the family working the farm so you can be sure to find some great strawberries here.

Strawberries can be picked here from November through to April between 10am and 5pm. Year-round you can visit the onsite cafe and shop for some delicious strawberry ice cream, fresh jam or a delicious Devonshire tea.

Location: 244 Shands Road, Main Ridge

Main Ridge Dairy

This is one of the best stops to try and stock up on the variety of local cheeses produced in eastern Victoria. It is the only farmhouse cheesery and dairy on the Mornington Peninsula.

Meet the goats at Main Ridge Dair
Meet the goats at Main Ridge Dairy Credit: Peter Tarasiuk

Location: 295 Main Creek Road, Main Ridge

Red Hill Truffles

Organic Périgord truffles are grown at this truffière where owner, Jenny McAuley will help you hunt under the oak and hazelnut trees. Hunts and tasting are great fun here and you can purchase the truffle that you find on your truffle hunt.

A farmgate shop sells all things truffle from butter and salts to honey and mustard. A must for truffle aficionados.

Location: 235 Arthurs Seat Road, Red Hill

Green Olive Farm

The number of experiences on offer at Green Olive Farm is pretty amazing. Choose from a sustainable farm tour, a native bushfood experience or even a wildflower crown workshop!

Grazing plates at Green Olive Farm
Grazing plates at Green Olive Farm

For hungry visitors, there are picnic packs, and both brunch and lunch are served in the cafe.

Location: 1180 Mornington Flinders Road, Main Ridge
Accessibility: Green Olive offers an excellent experience for wheelchair users in both indoor and outdoor dining spaces. There is also an accessible bathroom and parking area.

Mornington Peninsula Attractions

Regarding family-friendly attractions, there is plenty to choose from in the region.

Point Nepean Quarantine Station

Point Nepean Quarantine Station
Point Nepean Quarantine Station

Located within the Point Nepean National Park, this abandoned Quarantine station contains dozens of buildings free to walk through. It is an eerie, beautiful, and haunting location.

Initially set up to isolate ship crew and passengers during the last global pandemic, the Spanish Influenza, the station is a fascinating look at how large-scale infrastructure was created in Australia to deal with housing and feeding passengers, and disinfecting baggage.

It’s also fascinating to see how different “types” and “classes” of people were treated. Consumptive and lepers areas were created and there is a cemetery, morgue, and memorial to those who died.

Mornington Peninsula Wineries

The Mornington Peninsula is home to large and small vineyards, many with organic and boutique restaurants, cellar doors, and accommodations.

There are some exceptional cool-climate varieties produced here and the vines have been in production since the 19th century.

Whites such as Chardonnay have traditionally been produced here, with Point Noir a more recent favourite.

Port Phillip Bay Dolphins

There are approximately 80 wild bottlenose dolphins in Port Phillip Bay. If you are visiting between October to April there are tours that include, snorkelling, swimming, and looking for sea dragons!

Dolphin and Seal Swim
Dolphin and Seal Swim

There are also lots of fur seals to experience swimming with and there is no minimum age for participants.

Several companies (including Moonraker and Polperra) operate these eco-friendly tours that range from 90 minutes to three hours. Find out more about the dolphin and seal swims and prebook your experience.

Sorrento to Queenscliff Ferry

The Sorrento to Queenscliff Ferry connects the two heads of Port Phillip Bay. In practical terms, that means it connects Melbourne’s two main ocean attractions – the Mornington Peninsula and the Great Ocean Road.

Queenscliff Ferry
Take a day trip on the Queenscliff ferry

The ferry port is located at the Sorrento Pier. Seaport Ferries operate every hour, on the hour, from 7am to 6pm.

It is a passenger and vehicle service and the crossing only takes 45 minutes, making it a great way to get out onto Port Phillip Bay as well as a great way to extend your holiday to the Bellarine Peninsula. Tickets are approx $14 each way for pedestrians.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Cape Schanck Lighthouse has been guarding ships against coming aground from the treacherous Bass Strait 80 meters below, since 1859.

Tours of the working lighthouse and maritime museum are offered daily.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse
Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Whale watching, a boardwalk and stairs to the beach below, and a series of coastal bush walks are all reasons to venture out to Cape Schank.

The RACV Cape Schanck Resort is a great base to explore the lighthouse and its surroundings.

Location: 420 Cape Schanck Rd, Cape Schanck
Accessibility: There is disabled parking and ramp access to the site. There is also an all abilities toilet. See this video guide on the accessibility of the site for more details.

Arthurs Seat Eagle

This is a spectacular gondola ride up through the bushland of Arthurs Seat State Park with Port Phillip Bay far below. Perhaps the best known of the Mornington Peninsula attractions the Gondola will take you to the highest point on the peninsula.

Gondolas of the Arthurs Seat Eagle Skylift Credit: Travmedia
Gondolas of the Arthurs Seat Eagle Skylift Credit: Travmedia

The ride from the bottom station to the summit 314m above sea level takes 14 minutes giving you plenty of time to take in the stunning views over the bay and all way back to Melbourne.

From the summit station, you can walk to the lookouts or pause at the cafe before beginning your descent.

Location: 795 Arthurs Seat Road, Arthurs Seat
Accessibility: The gondolas are accessible with level access to the gondola, ramps and a changing places facility at the summit station.

Enchanted Adventure Garden

Kids get to experience their bodies soaring through the sky on treetop zip lines, zooming along in tube slides, getting confused in hedge mazes, navigating aerial obstacles and tree surfing, and walking through the treetops on a canopy walk in the Enchanted Adventure Garden.

Enchanted Adventures Morington Peninsula
Enchanted Adventures Credit: Tourism Australia

The Garden is minutes away from the Arthurs Seat Eagle and together it’s a pretty great day out for kids! Add in a beach and you might just be the most popular parent in Victoria that day!

Enchanted Adventures Tourism Aust
Slides at Enchanted Adventures Credit: Tourism Australia

Location: 21 Purves Road, Arthurs Seat
Accessibility: 2 accessible bathrooms, ramps to cafe and some areas of the park and limited car parking spaces. See more details on accessibility here.

Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens

If you need more mazes in one day, then Ashcombe Maze is definitely worth a visit. It is an famous hedge maze and not at all simple to successfully navigate!

Ashcombe Maze Victoria
Ashcombe Maze

The rose maze here is believed to be the oldest circular rose maze in the world. Many people come here to visit the lavender gardens and there is also a “Great Gnome Hunt.”

Location: 14 Red Hill – Shoreham Road, Shoreham
Accessiblilty: Lavender Labyrinth and Circular Rose Gardens are accessibly however the Maze is very narrow in spots and may not be suitable for wheelchairs and prams.

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

Another great experience for kids and also visitors from other countries, the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park is a 25-hectare site that is part of the Peacedale Conservation Park.

a koala at Moonlit Sancutary South Australia
Moonlit Sanctuary Credit: Tourism Australia

The Sanctuary provides animal experiences including getting up close and personal with dingoes and dingo puppies, wombats, koalas, wallabies, Barn Owls, Pythons, and Kangaroos.

Location: 550 Tyabb-Tooradin Road, Peacedale
Accessibilty: The park is accessible and you can even use one of their wheelchairs if you need to. There are accessible toilet facilities adjacent to the visitor centre.

All this natural beauty has attracted artists to the region for decades. Consequently the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery is a must for art lovers.

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

Location: Civic Reserve, Dunns Road, Mornington
Accessibiliy: The gallery is accessible and has an accessible bathroom.

Peninsula Hot Springs

One of the most popular weekend attractions on the Mornington Peninsula is the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs. The property takes advantage of the natural geothermal hot springs to offer a relaxing break for city slickers.

Hot Springs Mornington Peninsula
Hot Springs at Mornington Peninsula Credit: Tourism Australia

On offer is a cave pool, hilltop pool, Turkish steam bath, a family bathing area and even a reflexology walk .

For some special pampering there is a day epa, bath house massage service, are all part of the relaxation experience offered at the Peninsula Hot Springs.

Location: 140 Springs Lane, Fingal
Accessibility: Some areas of the Hot Springs are accessible. They recommend you contact the staff before booking to discuss your visit.

Where to Stay on the Mornington Peninsula

Here you have a choice of hotels, including a handful of resorts, which you need to book early, and camping along the beautiful foreshore of the main towns of the Peninsula. 

InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula
InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula

Further Resources

Have questions about exploring Australia?
Head over and join our Facebook Group and we will be happy to help