Visitors to Melbourne can take an easy one hour drive south from the city to reach Melbourne’s favourite playground, the Mornington Peninsula which forms the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay. The peninsula was the location of the first European settlement in Victoria.
The Mornington Peninsula is Melbourne’s favourite playground with ocean surf and long stretches of sheltered bay beaches. With three bodies of water enclosing the peninsula, there is an emphasis on water sports and aquatic activities. The area is renowned for its fine wineries, thoroughbred horse studs, orchards and wildlife areas.
After leaving Melbourne, visitors pass through Frankston, the gateway to the peninsula. The town offers beaches, golf courses, public reserves and gardens. A visit to Olivers Hill is recommended for the gracious old period homes and beautifully tended gardens.
Westernport Bay is, as the name implies, on the western side of the peninsula which is also known as The “Coast of Coves”. There are several very scenic golf courses in the area. The town of Hastings is the home port for a large fishing fleet and also boasts an impressive boating marina.
A visit to Coolart homestead is suggested for history buffs as well as a visit to the bird watching hides and platforms on Coolart lagoon. Point Leo has a popular surf beach, but be warned, wetsuits will be needed.
Walkers will enjoy the trail to Bushrangers Bay on the promintory and the tour of the historic Sorrento residences and guest houses. The same tour is available in horse drawn trams.
Charters out on the bay are available to enjoy the fishing or simply take any one of the many motor cruises to see the bay’s population of seals and dolphins.
For a change of pace, enjoy a family day out at the picnic races that are held regularly on the peninsula.
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