Day Trips Near The Mornington Peninsula

If you’re seeking a vibrant and captivating destination in Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula is the perfect choice. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the peninsula, where you’ll find breathtaking coastlines, charming villages, and a thriving arts and culture scene. There’s no shortage of activities and attractions to discover during your visit. Indulge in the serene beauty of the beach or embark on an invigorating coastal hike. Treat your taste buds to the finest local wines and rejuvenate your body in the soothing hot springs. The Mornington Peninsula offers a diverse range of experiences to cater to every person’s desires. Discover a range of daytrip activities and locations to make the most of your stay in the peninsula.

Cape Schanck

Immerse yourself in the captivating seaside region situated at the southernmost point of the Peninsula. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the charming old Cape Schanck Lighthouse, adding a touch of nostalgia to your trip. This magnificent structure, constructed in 1859, proudly retains its original mechanisms, making it a true architectural relic. This idyllic destination serves as an ideal starting point to discover the countless wonders of the surrounding area. Experience breathtaking views by booking a guided tour and ascending to the top of the lighthouse. Take a moment to pause at the various lookouts and soak in the breathtaking views. Discover the rich significance and captivating history of the site by exploring the on-site museum. Afterward, take a leisurely stroll through the grounds, where the lighthouse is perched on the edge of a magnificent national park. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the walking tracks, awe-inspiring coastal views, and unique native plants that abound in this breathtaking setting.

Peninsula Hot Springs

Experience the breathtaking views and rejuvenation of Peninsula Hot Springs where you can soak in outdoor thermal pools. If you’ve been hiking and need to unwind, head straight to the renowned Peninsula Hot Springs, known for its natural hot springs and numerous accolades. The famous wellness centre has all the amenities you need for a rejuvenating soak, including a number of pools and private baths that use natural geothermal mineral waters. The setting is picture-perfect, with gently rolling green gardens providing the perfect backdrop. Read our Complete Guide to Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs to prepare for the day. 

Visit Local Mornington Peninsula Wineries

When it comes to Mornington Peninsula, the focus is on Pinot Noir, with a touch of Chardonnay and a hint of Pinot Gris. They excel in all of these areas, but the true standout is Pinot. Discover the local Pinot Coast wines by visiting cellar doors from Moorooduc to Main Ridge. Indulge in the breathtaking sights of the picturesque green hills and the mesmerising shades of Port Phillip Bay. Wineries in this area are conveniently located close to each other, allowing for easy exploration. The emphasis here is on site-specific Pinot, giving you a true sense of the essence of this wine region. Popular wineries include Crittenden Estate, Polperro, Stonier, Red Hill Estate, and Pt. Leo Estate. Read our guide to the Best Mornington Peninsula Wineries

Explore Point Nepean National Park

Head out to explore the breathtaking beauty of Point Nepean National Park as you traverse its scenic trails on a bike or on foot. Marvel at the stunning vistas of Port Phillip Bay, The Rip, and Bass Strait, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders that await. Point Nepean National Park is a little-known treasure situated on the Mornington Peninsula’s southernmost point. With its vast expanse spanning over 560 hectares, this park is a true gem for nature and history enthusiasts. It boasts a plethora of natural and historic wonders, along with a variety of scenic walking trails. A visit to this park on the Mornington Peninsula is an absolute must for those seeking an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Exploring the park will take you on a journey through time, as you discover the Quarantine Station and Fort Nepean Historic Site. These landmarks provide captivating glimpses into the park’s history as a quarantine site and military base during the World Wars. With its breathtaking coastal views and a variety of walking trails, the park has become a favourite among those who love exploring the Mornington Peninsula. Visiting Point Nepean National Park is quite budget-friendly, with entry fees starting at a mere few dollars for both adults and children. This makes it an excellent choice for families and groups looking for an affordable outing. It’s an absolute must-visit for anyone exploring the area. Ready to explore the beauty of Point Nepean National Park? Lace up your hiking shoes and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the Mornington Peninsula!

Go Hiking or Stroll the Numerous Trails

Why not head out on a journey along the Coastal Walk, where you can explore the breathtaking cliff tops stretching from Cape Schanck to Portsea. Immerse yourself in the stunning vistas of the surf, sand, tidal rock pools, and lush coastal scrub. Coastal walkers can enjoy breathtaking views for 30 kilometres as they make their way from Cape Schanck to Point Nepean National Park on the southern Mornington Peninsula. Experience the beauty of the Coastal Walk as you explore its various sections, which include both gravel tracks and sandy beaches. As you make your way through Rye and Sorrento, the scenery transforms from the untamed ocean coast at Cape Schanck to the lush coastal flora and, finally, to the world-famous sandy surf beaches. There are multiple sections that can be completed individually as shorter walks if preferred. For a truly breathtaking experience, consider walking from Cape Schanck to Point Nepean. This direction offers stunning views that stretch along the entire Bass Strait coast. 

Tackle the journey from Cape Schanck Lighthouse to Bushrangers Bay on the Bushrangers Bay Trail, where you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of the untamed coastline and the magnificent Elephant Rock spire. Remember that charming lighthouse we talked about at Cape Schanck? This is a must-visit landmark in the area, so be sure to include it in your itinerary. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the walking tracks, awe-inspiring coastal views, and unique native plants that abound in this area. 

Explore Queenscliff, Geelong & the Bellarine

Connecting the Mornington Peninsula to the Bellarine Peninsula is the Sorrento to Queenscliff ferry, a delightful 45-minute journey that provides a one-of-a-kind experience for tourists. If you’ve bought a return ticket, you have the opportunity to extend your stay and savour the journey back to Sorrento. On the ferry you might just be graced by the presence of a delightful pod of dolphins. Discover the vibrant waterfront of Geelong, with its stunning art deco swimming pool, captivating Ferris wheel, captivating art trail, and charmingly colourful bollards. Indulge in a mouth-watering lunch and experience a wine tasting in the Geelong region is an absolute must. When exploring the Bellarine, make sure to include some of the popular wineries in the area such as Jack Rabbit Vineyard on your itinerary. Make a detour to Portarlington, a hidden gem renowned for its abundance of fresh seafood. Indulge in the local delicacies such as mussels and oysters. Queenscliff boasts a rich history and a charming seaside ambiance, complete with the renowned Fort Queenscliff Museum, a delightful array of shops, galleries, and delectable dining options. Furthermore, Point Lonsdale offers a delightful stroll to the lighthouse, a tranquil front bay beach, and a picturesque Bass Strait back beach.

Explore the Beer, Cider & Spirits Trail in Mornington Peninsula

Why not set aside a day to follow the Beer, Cider & Spirits Trail, discovering the most innovative and delightful cellar doors in the Mornington Peninsula. This region is known for its exquisite dining options, picturesque vineyards, and impressive accomplishments in winemaking. Additionally, it has become a thriving centre for artisanal breweries, charming cideries, and unique distilleries. Experience the unique flavours of exclusive brews at a vibrant and welcoming tap house. Indulge in the exquisite taste of freshly pressed cider made from locally sourced apples. Discover the hidden world of small-batch spirits, such as single malt whisky, gin, and rum, by connecting with the passionate creators at intimate craft distilleries. You’ll discover a wide array of delectable dishes on the menus, ensuring that you stay satisfied while enjoying your drinks. There’s a cellar waiting to offer you a selection of wine, spirits, or a tasting experience, just a short drive away throughout the peninsula. 

Taste the Food Farmgate Trail 

Discover the hidden gems of the Mornington Peninsula along the Wine Food Farmgate Trail, a paradise for food enthusiasts and wine connoisseurs. Indulge in a wide range of culinary delights along the trail, from exquisite dining experiences to delectable seafood and aromatic coffee served at charming cafes and bakeries. Tourists can eat at highly regarded locations and experience the innovative cooking of chefs, stock up on organic vegetables, handcrafted sausages, gourmet cheeses, and berries, and sip wine from nearby vineyards. Along the trail, guests can visit more than fifty cellar doors run by brewers, distillers, wine makers, and cider makers in the area. Visitors have the opportunity to engage in conversations with the owners of charming, family-operated wineries. Along with learning about regional production techniques and enjoying the finest honey, strawberries, cherries, vegetables, olives, cheeses, and seafood, the route offers opportunities for seasonal meals.

Take a Day Trip to Phillip Island

Phillip Island is a sought-after spot for both local and international tourists. It boasts stunning surf beaches, a laid-back vibe, breathtaking cliffs, warm and welcoming locals, scenic walking trails, and an abundance of wildlife. Departing from Stony Point Jetty , the Western Port Ferry Service takes you on a scenic journey, with stops at Tankerton Jetty on French Island and Cowes on Phillip Island. Experience a delightful 40-minute journey on this passenger-only ferry, where you can soak in breathtaking ocean views. If you don’t want to take the ferry, you can drive from Mornington Peninsula to Phillip Island, taking roughly an hour and a half.
Once you arrive in Cowes, you’ll have plenty of options to indulge in some retail therapy, soak up the sun on the beach, and savour delicious meals at local restaurants. If you’re planning to visit the famous Penguin Parade, your itinerary will change depending on the time of year. The arrival time of the penguins can range from 8:45 PM to 5:15 PM, and attractions such as the Koala Conservation Centre and Nobbies Antarctic Journey will close an hour or two before to the penguins’ arrival.
Situated on the picturesque westernmost tip of Phillip Island and conveniently located just a short five-minute drive from the renowned Penguin Parade, the Nobbies Antarctic Centre provides an immersive educational experience that delves into the wonders of the Antarctic region and its fascinating inhabitants. Make sure to arrive at the penguin beach well in advance of the penguins’ scheduled arrival time. Secure prime seating at the bottom near the sand and on the sides for the best views. For a truly immersive experience, consider choosing the Penguin plus or Penguin underground ticket. These options allow you to get up close and personal with the adorable Little Penguins, bringing you to eye level with them.

Mornington Peninsula Accommodation

With a wealth of options for day trips on the Mornington Peninsula, why not stay for a long weekend, or a luxurious week. Book your stay on the Mornington Peninsula and enjoy all the Lively Benefits, making your trip to the peninsula one to remember.

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