The Mornington Peninsula is one magnificent long beach, beginning in Frankston and wrapping up at Point Nepean. And it’s just an hour out of Melbourne, making it the ideal weekend escape.
When it comes to beaches the Mornington Peninsula has something for everyone. On the bay side you’ll find sandy stretches of family friendly water and shallow rock pools to explore. Then there are the wild ocean beaches popular with surfers, nature lovers and photographers.
This entire coastal region is a sight to behold, with majestic cliffs, foreshore camping, and famous surfing spots. It’s also dotted with wineries and offers fabulous cuisine, luxury spas and golf courses for your indulgence. Let’s take a look.
We’re going to begin in our Mornington Peninsula beach escape in Mornington and take a look at a local favorite called Mothers Beach.
Mothers Beach is located on the coast of Mornington township and faces north out to Port Phillip. It’s a sheltered, shallow beach with soft white sand. It can be accessed via a long pathway from Schnapper Point Drive, or via Shire Hall Beach which is at the eastern end.
The beach has a backdrop of bathing boxes and there are kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards available for hire. There are also picnic tables, toilets with water taps and outdoor showers on the beach reserve.
The adjacent Mornington Marina boasts a large car park and a boat ramp. The Marina precinct has boats for hire and nearby places to eat.
Mills Beach is another popular beach just off the Esplanade, with a grassy picnic area, lifesaving club and a kiosk. Other facilities include toilets, BBQs and tables.
- More Beaches – Shire Hall Beach, Scout Beach
- Experience a heritage train ride
- Mornington Golf Club
- Hire a boat
- Dine at The Rocks Mornington
5 Schnapper Point Drive
Mornington Victoria 3931
Mt. Martha Beach is a wide 2km long beach and the home to a line up of delightful beach boxes.
It is essentially two zones – the wider and busier sand strip of South Beach and the quieter and smaller North Beach, where you’ll mostly find locals enjoying their beach boxes.
- The Village is over the road from the beach, it has great casual alfresco style eateries.
- Toilets and a salt rinse shower
- Stay in a seaside bed and breakfast
- Best dog friendly beach- Hawker Beach where Dogs are permitted off-lead at all times.
- View map
A day at Mt Martha Pillars feels like a delicious summer escape- Mediterranean style. See more
A little further along the road is Safety Beach, a calm sandy bay popular for swimming, paddle boarding, canoeing and boating. Safety Beach is also ideal for families , with it’s clear shallow water for little kiddies to enjoy. There are 100 vibrant Bathing boxes lining the shore of Safety Beach, adding to the seaside charm.
- Boat and jet ski launch area is available with parking for boat trailers
- Parking can be found either on the road or close to the beach.
- For the pooches theres a small sandy doggy beach section known as Tassells Cove (between Marine Cove & Bruce Road)
- Three separate toilet blocks cover long stretch of beach. Picnic tables, and a playground.
- Take a walk along the Safety Beach Bay Trail, which offers a beautiful scenic walk past the Safety Beach Jetty, Sailing Club and Martha Cove underpass.
- See map
Dromana is a vibrant town sitting between Safety Beach and McCrae, it has a laid-back vibe and is bustling with holiday makers over summer. If you want accommodation you’ll need to book well in advance. There’s foreshore camping, a 186metre pier, glistening turquoise water, colorful beach boxes, wineries and tempting cuisine.
For views over the whole bay and even out to the city of Melbourne, take a drive into the hinterland and along the scenic route circuit of Arthurs Seat. Follow Point Nepean Road up to the summit, where you will find a car park at the top that you can stop and enjoy the views from OR take in the view from the Arthur seat Eagle Chair lift.
- Arthur Seat Chair lift
- Drive-In Theatre
- Sunday market
- There are 20 wineries to choose from
- Arthur Seat National Park walking trail
- Xpress Pizza
- Places to stay –AirBnB
Rosebud is a much loved beach destination, known for its gentle shallow water making it a well loved family destination. It has foreshore camping, markets, fresh produce, shops to explore and plenty of cafes. Theres a wine region on one side and the dazzling azure ocean blue on the other. And the best part is the incredible beach playground it even has a flying fox and will entertain the kids for hours.
The entire 9 km long Rosebud Beach is backed by a 100 m wide foreshore reserve. The reserve contains numerous facilities including the 300 m long Rosebud Jetty, a boat ramp, swimming pool and camping area. The beach faces north-west, exposing it to westerly winds and waves, making it more suitable under easterly or calm conditions.
- A safe beach under low waves and calm conditions, apart from the change in water depth associated with the shoreline protrusions. Keep a watch on young children, particularly at high tide. Waves greater than 0.5 m will generate currents in the rip holes and gutters.
- Rosebud Life Saving Club is located 2 km east of the Rosebud Pier.
Rye’s main beach, fronting Port Phillip, is ideal for swimming and boating. There are several boat ramps, and attractive foreshore facilities with picnic areas, shelters, playgrounds and walking tracks.
The water at Rye is beautiful and clear, offering the perfect conditions for snorkelling.
Beach notes- the octopuses garden
Discover an underwater world of plants and fish by exploring a 200m long underwater trail that leads along under Rye Pier. Underwater signs explain about sea life that may be found including seahorses, sponge gardens, sea slugs, hermit crabs and goat fish. If you are very lucky you might see a weedy sea dragon.
A sign by the Pier gives instructions of how to follow the trail. You will need your own snorkelling equipment (mask and snorkel). Water depths vary from 0.5m to 3m.
Blairgowrie is a sandy bay beach with barbecue and picnic facilities in the foreshore reserve, a boat ramp suitable for small craft and a walking and cycling track. It has a yacht club and is a short walk from the shops and cafes. Perfect for lazy afternoons.
However, if you’re hankering for an adrenaline rush, Blairgowrie’s back beach is for you.
On the back beaches of the Mornington Peninsula you’ll discover the Blairgowrie jumping rock. A jagged cliff perches over a turquoise rock pool. Bridgewater Bay is incredibly scenic and there’s plenty of rock pools to explore. View more
Sorrento is hands down the prettiest village on the Mornington Peninsula. Spend the morning having a leisurely breakfast, then browse the limestone shops filled with galleries, luxe homewares, and stylish cafes.
Exploring the rock pools at the back beach is my favorite thing to do in Sorento but don’t forget your reef shoes. Try sea kayaking. Surf the waves on the the wild, rocky back beach. Take a seal and dolphin swimming adventures, book a fishing trips or bay cruises, or explore the waters below on a scuba diving expedition.
- Take a scenic walking trail
- Foreshore camping
- Pack reef shoes and snorkel
- View map for Ocean back beach
- View map for Sorento beach
Portsea’s ‘Front Beach’ is nestled within a sandy cove. The beach can be accessed via a pathway to the historic 100 metres along Portsea Pier. The pier is a haven for sea life, and a popular spot for sunbathing, making a splash and snorkelling.
Portsea’s location at the tip of the Mornington Peninsula means you can take it slow at a calm bay beach and be riding the surf at the ocean beach just minutes later. And when the sun goes down, collect your friends and head over to the green lawns of the Portsea Pub.
portsea beach notes
- Stop for lunch at the famous Portsea Pub
- Scuba diving lessons from Portsea Pier
- Take a scenic walking trail
- Book a boat tour to outlying reefs and ship wrecks
- Don’t forget your snorkel
- View map
Point Nepean offers some of the best views on the Mornington Peninsula across to Queenscliff and out the Port Phillip Bay Heads. Situated at the southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula you’ll find the Point Nepean National Park, famous for its walking trails, beautiful landscape and rich history. There is a range of informative and scenic walks visitors can explore, and historic buildings that served various purposes during the early history of the region.
There’s a Shuttle bus (fee) that goes to the end of the Fort Nepean walking track and back if you get too tired. We started at the Observation point walk and then went around the coast to Fort Pearce and Eagles nest walk. Great flora and fauna along the way. Lots of information and the Defence history of the area. Memorial to Harold Holt
Take food and water. Due to Covid, the water fountains are not in operation.
Car parking is good. Arrive early in peak times.