PORT PHILLIP BAY (THE WESTERN COAST)
The western coast starts at Frankston and stretches all the way down the Point Nepean. It is typical of long powder-soft beaches and posh holiday resorts, peaking at the fabulous Sorrento – named after the famous Italian holiday hub; indeed the resort features pretty posh seaside vibes. Yacht clubs, golf courses, restaurants, spas and retreats, and well-dressed people can be seen throughout the town.
The calm waters of Port Phillip Bay offer ideal conditions for water sports, including paddle boarding, sea kayaking, swimming, snorkelling, fishing to boating and yachting. Frankston and Mornington are the biggest towns with great entertainment options, shopping, dining, various tours and recreation.
Mount Eliza, Mount Martha, Dromana, Rosebud, Sorrento and Portsea are small seaside resorts covered with holiday homes and penthouses, and the famed Mornington Bathing Boxes at the Mills Beach cannot be overlooked.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN PORT PHILLIP BAY
BASS STRAIT (THE SOUTHERN COAST)
The shoreline in the southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula offers stunning coastal tracks with views. This part faces the open ocean which indicates it will be windy and rough.
Point Nepean, at the tip of the peninsula, is one of several parks that together are known as Mornington Peninsula National Park. The environment here is exceptionally beautiful, and there are plenty of walks with fantastic lookouts (access via Portsea).
St Andrews Beach and Gunnamatta Beach is a long sandy stretch ideal for surfing, windsurfing and other water sports.
Cape Schanck has a historic lighthouse and lovely beaches, but the highlight is swimming with seals and dolphins. There are many natural attractions here, including hot springs, gardens, reserves, sanctuaries, farms but also a lighthouse and museums where you can learn more about the early lighthouse technology used in the region.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN BASS STRAIT
THE EASTERN COAST OF THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA
If driving inland, the landscape turns into a gently rolling vista of the bush, grazing land, orchards and vineyards, with some great restaurants and wineries. This agriculture and viticulture based region is typical of sheep and cattle stations, farmyards, homesteads and cellar door.
Organic production is a household name, and it is best to see at the local markets, such as Main Ridge, Red Hill, Merricks and Tuerong.
The rustic inland beauty is topped up with coastal nature reserves and breathtaking views. The eastern shores are rugged with high cliffs and stunning lookouts.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN THE EASTERN COAST OF MORNINGTON PENINSULA
THE PHILLIP ISLAND
The premier beach destination and holiday spot for all Melbournians is undoubtedly the Phillip Island. Mainly famous as the “Penguin Island” for its large penguin colonies, it offers not only alluring nature, fantastic beaches, abundant wildlife (kangaroos, koalas) and marine life (seals, whales, penguins) but also excellent food, wines, cultural events and plentiful purpose-built attractions.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES ON PHILLIP ISLAND
The best way to travel in the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island is to hire a vehicle in Melbourne and self-drive (public transport is an option, but it is not very convenient).
Mornington Peninsula can be easily driven around within one day. If you add the Phillip Island into your itinerary, count on 2-3 days. There are many accommodation options on Phillip Island, ranging from campground and holiday parks to B&B and 5-star hotels.
The suggested self-drive route is Melbourne-Frankston-Point Nepean-Flinders-Hastings-Phillip Island.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
The best time to visit the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island is summer (Dec-March), provided you want to enjoy the beaches, walks and views. However, to avoid crowds try not to travel during the Australian school holidays (mid-Dec – early Feb and the Easter time).
We believe that the ideal time is Feb-Mar, albeit weather here is quite unpredictable and it often rains regardless of the season.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Melbourne. Drive along the coastline towards Frankston.
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