The 11 Best Things To Do In Mornington, Australia

things to do in mornington australia

Discover beautiful coastlines, play a round of golf, and swim with the dolphins, or simply relax and enjoy great the local food and wine on the Mornington Peninsula. The Shire of Mornington Peninsula is a local government area in Victoria, Australia and is located to the south of Melbourne. It has an area of 723 square kilometers (279 sq mi) and is located just 57 km (35.4 mi) south of Melbourne’s central business district.

1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user [Unknown] used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Drive out to Cranbourne and visit the Australian Gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens and be well rewarded. The gardens are amazing, very well planned, and beautifully presented. You can avail the little road train, which takes you on a guided tour of the gardens, or you can take bikes or walk your way through the gardens. The Royal Botanical Gardens in Cranbourne has a variety of different planted areas and a wonderful water area where you can spend an hour or two wandering around looking at all the different plants and birds. Beware of snakes as they live in the gardens and can be seen during warmer weather.

Admission to the garden is free with lots of parking and an excellent café/restaurant with good, well-priced food.

The main café in the botanical garden has a delightful view. From the lush bush lands, right through to the red deserts, you can visit it all in the Royal Botanical Gardens, strolling around this beautiful garden all the while keeping a keen eye out for many native species, plus plenty of native birds and enjoy the sounds of the Australian birds like the magpie, cockatoo, and the Kookaburra.

Royal Botanic Gardens

Website: Royal Botanic Gardens

2. Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Pearcedale

Hold lizards and snakes and feed the wildlife at the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park in Pearcedale. This is an excellent option to enjoy a nice family outing without all the fanfare, getting back to nature and get closer to the animals.

You can have a close encounter with koala and feed a lot of wallabies. The sanctuary is comparatively small in size, but this wildlife sanctuary offers close proximity to koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and many more native Australian animals; most of them are free range and unfenced. Do not forget that the State of Victoria law prohibits holding koalas, so the only thing allowed is petting them.

The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable and ready to answer all your questions. There is also a nice cafe on site. Go here to escape the city and enjoy a wonderful afternoon with the kids. This is a great little sanctuary that concentrates on native Australian animals, and allows visitors to go near, pet, or feed the animals.

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

Website: Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

3. Enchanted Adventure

Enchanted Adventure Garden
Source: Photo by user Adam Selwood used under CC BY 2.0

Enchanted Adventure in Arthurs Seat is a family-friendly amusement park with a well-organized setup that caters to groups of all ages. The staff is extra courteous, encouraging, and helpful throughout the day.

Tree Surfing is an activity in the park that is a fantastic experience; nevertheless, be cautious if you are afraid of heights. This activity is up in the treetops, as the name suggests, and gets quite high on some of the levels. Along with the beautiful gardens, the Canopy Walk, and Tree Surfing, there are also a lot of mazes and awesome Tube Slides that will make you ask for more throughout the day.

The term ‘adventure park’ fits the bill perfectly for Enchanted Adventure. It offers plenty to do for both young and old. The staff receives rave reviews from all who visit and are the pillars of this exciting theme park.

Enchanted Adventure

Website: Enchanted Adventure

4. Arthurs Seat Eagle, Arthurs Seat

things to do in mornington australia | arthurs seat eagle, arthurs seat

Arthurs Seat Eagle is a gondola or sky lift that brings you to the top of Aurthurs Seat. This is a trip everyone should experience when in the Mornington Peninsula area. The views are awesome! The whole ride runs along so smooth and peacefully, with the staff attentive and friendly, making your visit worthwhile. Great for all age groups, the views are amazing and there is so much to see at the top. The cable cars are smooth and roomy and makes a great commute while appreciating the vistas of Port Phillip Bay, which is the favorite part of the whole Peninsula experience. At 305 m (1,000 ft), you are able to see right up the bay and pick out some landmarks as well.

The Arthurs Seat Eagle was closed for revamping and has opened again. It now has a fresh looking café and the gondola stations. The walks along Arthurs Seat are magnificent and it is highly recommended for people catching the gondola up to the summit station to hike downhill.

5. Polperro Dolphin Swimming, Sorrento

Polperro Dolphin Swims

Polperro operates out of Sorrento Pier, which is under two hours from Melbourne CBD. Spend a beautiful afternoon on Port Phillip Bay the Polperro Dolphin Swimming. The boat crew really care about “their” bottlenose dolphins, which are unique to Port Philip. The uniqueness of the crew is that they are genuinely interested in the small group of passengers and take the time to know you by name!

The boat may not be the fastest, but it rides well and can chug along at up to six knots. There’s also no engine noise and it leaves no fuel emissions in the water. Be prepared for a memorable experience to be so close to dolphins. To prevent crowding, visitors must take turns entering the water to swim with the dolphins. Meanwhile, seize the opportunity to gaze at them from the boat as these magnificent beings put up a little show for you jumping out of the water from time to time to highlight their skills. Once you had your chance to see and hear the dolphins clicking and playing, you’ll head off to the seals at Chinaman’s Hat, which functions as a shipping canal marker.

Things to consider are to limit the number of bags you carry with you as the boat is small. It is a good idea to bring something to eat, but they also provide tea and freshly baked scones with jam. You will be surprised how hungry you get. Don’t worry about bringing drinking water as it is available on the boat. Bring a camera as you are not going to want to miss capturing the images of dolphins jumping out to greet you. It is worth doing this trip on a weekday when there are fewer people on the boat.

Polperro Dolphin Swimming

Website: Polperro Dolphin Swimming

6. Point Nepean National Park, Portsea

Artillery at Point Nepean 3
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ottre used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Visit the Point Nepean National Park at the very tip of the Mornington Peninsular and you’ll be impressed. At the beginning of the park is the old quarantine station, which operated until the 1980s, where ships carrying people with diseases were dispatched. Myriad historical and interesting buildings can be seen in the park, with the addition of an amazing beach where you can swim, perhaps see a pod of dolphins, or even watch seals fishing close to the shore.

The scenery of the ocean on one side and Port Phillip Bay on the other is spectacular. The Old Quarantine station is well maintained and plenty of it is open to walk through and explore. There are also signs with good explanations about what the facility did and descriptions of its history available to read as you walk around the park. The fort installation is in pretty good state considering its age and usage, and is great for exploring. It is also a nice place to take children as there are plenty of space to run around.

There is so much to see and do here. Spectacular views, beautiful walks to suit all levels, and history to be learnt in the tunnels. It is recommended to arrange a picnic and making a day of it!

Point Nepean National Park

Website: Point Nepean National Park

7. Frankston Beach, Frankston

Bridge at Frankston Waterfornt (November 2007)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user NouvelleAuteur used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

One of the numerous beautiful beaches that stretch along the coastline in this part of the world is Frankston Beach. Frankston Beach has the added benefit of a charming pier, kiosk, cafe, information centre, and ample parking along the shore. The beach itself has lovely, fine white sand and calm clear water that stays fairly shallow initially, so it is great for little kids.

The beaches at Frankston are world class and the water is always excellent. The boardwalk is a joy to stroll on in the cooler months and the newly built pier is a perfect place to sit down and enjoy the scenery.

Amenities for visitors are everywhere. Sculptures delight children and adults alike as does a truly excellent playground serviced by clean, well-maintained toilets.

8. Rye Beach, Rye

Kitesurfing Rye Australia DSC 1990
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Peter Campbell used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Rye Beach has large sandy beach that is great to walk or jog on, or just simply enjoy lying down with a book. This is a beautiful beach ideal for young children to play or swim in the shallow water. Clear water and soft white sand along the long stretch of beach has a lot of action and landmarks. You will see lots of cruises, personal yachts, and jetties, too.

9. Cape Schanck Boardwalk, Flinders

Cape Schanck Upper Trail View
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Danilo Ramirez used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Walk along the Cape Schanck Boardwalk and enjoy the gorgeous views. With few stairs, it is a manageable walk and kids can enjoy the scenery without getting tired. This is a highly recommended boardwalk to visit, particularly for those with limited mobility. Enjoy the fresh air that the high wind exposure brings. The bush-walking around the area is fantastic as well!

Cape Schanck Boardwalk is a hidden treasure on the Mornington Peninsula. It is very impressive and is a beautiful walk, with the wild ocean views surrounding you. Additionally, the lighthouse up above makes for a truly spectacular landscape.

Cape Schanck & Flinders

Website:Cape Schanck & Flinders

10. Cape Schanck Lighthouse, Flinders

Cape Schanck (Mornington Peninsula) -1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Stevenhoyk used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Take a tour of one of the oldest lighthouses in Australia, which was built in 1859 with local limestone and a spectacular lantern. The lantern’s focal plane is situated 100 meters (382 feet) above sea level and with its powerful one million candela luminous power, the light has a range of 48 km (~30 mi). Climb the stone steps to the top of the lighthouse to admire this example of Australia’s first stone step lighthouse and look out over the sapphire Bass Strait and the Southern Peninsular coast from the balcony. Let the spectacular natural beauty of Cape Schanck mesmerize you to a world beyond.

Guided tours of the lighthouse are available with the Park Victoria approved tour operator. Booking a tour of the Cape Schanck Lighthouse in advance before visiting is advised, since the lighthouse is a working maritime navigation aid and hence access is restricted. However, special times are allotted for tourists. The tour starts at the museum building, which was once the Assistant Lighthouse Keeper’s quarters, leading to the steep winding stone steps, taking you through moments of maritime history and interesting tales of the lighthouse keepers and the community committed to preventing ships from being wrecked.

Cape Schanck & Flinders

Website:Cape Schanck & Flinders

Tour Bookings

Facebook:The Lady of History

Email: [email protected]

11. Peninsula Hot Springs

Peninsula Hot Springs, Victoria, Australia
Source: Photo by user ThinkGeoEnergy used under CC BY 2.0

When traveling to Australia, make sure to come and spend a few days at Mornington Peninsula. This part of Victoria just in the south of Melbourne city boasts of many idyllic and entertaining activities like the Peninsula Hot Springs. Travelers who wish to just take it slow and relax can visit Peninsula Hot Springs, just 90 minutes from Melbourne center. The Peninsula Hot Springs features a Bath House with 50 uniquely crafted bathing experiences with a reflexology walk and cave pool guests can take advantage of. There is also the Spa Dreaming Centre which guests can enjoy including a thermal mineral pool, cold plunge pool, massaging bamboo showers, and a traditional sauna to cap off a relaxing weekend at Peninsula Hot Springs.

Peninsula Hot Springs

Address: 140 Springs Lane, FIngal Victoria, 3939

Website: Peninsula Hot Springs

Opening hours: 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Sundays to Mondays

Price: 55 USD to 110 USD

12. Rum making at the Jimmy Rum Distillery

Source: Pixabay

If you’re traveling with a group, there’s definitely a lot to do and a great activity to do together is to go rum tasting. Visit Jimmy Rum Distillery and get the chance to learn about Australia’s venture into rum production from head distiller James McPherson himself. Join this fascinating tour and enjoy a cocktail and several types of rum to test out. Make it a point to finish the tour by sunset to enjoy one last sip of Jimmy’s crafted rum as you enjoy the scenic Australian sunset.

Jimmy Rum Distillery

Address: 6 Brasser Avenue, Dromana Victoria 3936

Website: Jimmy Rum Distillery

Opening hours: Friday: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM; Saturday: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM; Sunday: 11:00 AM to 09:00 PM

Price: 545.45 USD

A trip to experience

With its beautiful vistas and gardens, you cannot miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful Mornington Peninsula and the things that it has to offer. Get up close and personal with kangaroos and enjoy a walk along the clean beaches and boardwalks admiring the shore and watching the sun go down. Your trip to Mornington will indeed be a memorable one.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Darryl Gonsalves is a serial entrepreneur and owns a business intelligence consultancy company and a web content solutions providing company both based in Mumbai, India....Read more

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