by Chris Burns, Hop To It Tours
Looking for a fun trip just outside of Melbourne? With lots of things to do, the Mornington Peninsula is your perfect destination.
The Mornington Peninsula sits an hour south east to the Melbourne CBD. It is an area famous for its great beaches, beautiful national parks and amazing wine. While well known by Melburnians, the Mornington Peninsula is not as well known to tourists as, say, the Great Ocean Road. This is a trend though that is changing for a number of reasons, and below we’ll show you why with some great activities to put on your Mornington Peninsula things to do list.
The article you are about to read is going to go help make your holiday that much better by showing you some fun Mornington Peninsula activities to put on your to do list. We won’t be looking at the wineries or national parks as this blog has already written articles on those topics. Feel free to click on the below links if you’re looking for information on them:
Okay, let’s kick on with some fun things to do on the Mornington Peninsula!
The activities to do listed below are divided into regions of the Mornington Peninsula starting with those closest to Melbourne. All are recommended and if you want to try them all then more than a few days will be needed!
Arthurs Seat describes the mountainous area above Dromana, 85km south east of Melbourne. Since it is perched above the bay it offers amazing views of Port Phillip Bay. It is worth going up just for the windy drive with the various viewpoints. When on top you arrive at the Arthurs Seat state park, a beautiful area for a picnic and short walk.
The best way to enjoy the amazing views of the region is Arthurs Seat’s very own gondola service, the Arthurs Seat Eagle. With the base station just off the Mornington Peninsula Freeway in Dromana, you can park there and enjoy the 30 minute return trip. Whilst riding you can spot the various localities of Melbourne. Another option is to look down at the manna gums where you might be lucky enough to see grazing kangaroos or echidnas. Once atop you are in the Arthurs Seat State Park so you can choose to enjoy as much time as you’d like in this beautiful location. Adult return tickets cost $24 with one way, child and concession rates all available.
Just a kilometre or so along from the Arthurs Sat Eagle is the Enchanted Maze Adventure Park. With a range of tree surfing courses, zip lines, tube slides, bushland obstacles and mazes there is lots of fun to be had for the kid inside all of us! General admission to the Enchanted Adventure Garden includes about 2-3 hours of fun over 10 of their activities. Then if you’re looking to be more adventurous why not upgrade your ticket to the tree surfing course or 300m zip line. A general admission adult ticket will cost you $30. With the zip line upgrade it’ll be $40 and for the ultimate package, the treetop course will cost $60. Once again rates are cheaper for concessions and children.
If you make your way from Arthurs Seat towards Western Port Bay to Shoreham you’ll find the Ashcombe Maze which is Australia’s oldest hedge maze. The traditional hedge maze is made up of over 1000 cypress trees, creating a hedge more than three metres high and two metres thick. Along side the traditional maze is also a circular rose maze making this stop not just a great brain teaser but also extremely picturesque. Also boasting a cafe famous for its lavender scones the Ashcombe Mazer is the original fun attraction in the area and at $18.50 for an adult entry is another great stop to visit on the Mornington Peninsula.
Ever fancied the idea of a sunset horse back ride along the beach? Never ridden before and want to give it a try? Or are you an experienced rider wanting to go through some challenging yet beautiful scenery? If so the guys at Gunnamatta Trail Rides can cater for you. Situated near the St Andrews beach, Gunnamatta Trail Rides have many group and private packages on offer for all levels of riding experience. Priced from $160 for a two hour beach ride, you can check out their website to find the right option for you!
The Mornington Peninsula sits upon a geothermal area and the guys at Peninsula Hot Springs have made the most of this, creating an award winning bathing experience. The main attraction here is their bath house which has over 50 attractions to try out including many hot spring pools of various temperatures as well as a Turkish hamam, ice room and plunge pools. With options to upgrade your package to wine and dine or get a massage this is definitely the place to go and relax. Adult admission to the bathing house starts at $35 an early bird ticket.
If you’re a golf enthusiast then there isn’t many better places to stay a while in than the Mornington Peninsula. Sitting on a sand belt the terrain here creates opportunities for some of the world’s best golf courses to be produced. The best rated public course here is The Dunes, a links course not for the faint hearted, particularly if the wind is up! The Dunes offers a 18 hole championship course and also the Cups 9 hole course for those that are a little more beginner. To play the 18 hole Championship course midweek will set you back $78.
Port Phillip Bay is a massive bay with a small entrance that spans only 3.5km between Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale. To drive this would take approximately 4 hours, going right along the bay. There is another option though and that’s to take the Sorrento to Quennscliff ferry with Searoad Ferries. The ride itself goes for about an hour and you can take your car if you’d like. There is no need to though to still have a fun day activity as the ferry ride itself is extremely picturesque. Looking back at the mansions of Portsea and the Fort at Point Nepean is impressive, but what is better is to use the time to try to spot a pod of dolphins! When you arrive at Queenscliff you can check out the old town and grab some lunch before heading back to Sorrento with plenty of time left in the day. Return adult tickets cost $26. To take your car is quite a bit more expensive at $128 return. One way fares can be bought too.
Our last stop on our Mornington Peninsula things to do list is in Portsea, right on the Portsea Pier with Bayplay. Bayplay offer lots of fun in and on the water, either in organised groups or just to hire equipment. One option is to grab a kayak and paddle along the bay through the dolphin sanctuary but our major recommendation is to grab a snorkel or scuba dive equipment and go for a dive underneath the Portsea Pier where you can find sea dragons! Bike and stand up paddle board hire is on offer too giving you a great range of activities to choose from at various prices.
All of the things to do mentioned in this articles are from private, local companies who have been entertaining locals for years. They come with a price tag but are also highly recommended, especially if you have children you’re travelling with. There are plenty of free activities to do in the Mornington Peninsula too and also if you’re Mornington Peninsula to do list needs to include culinary options then there’re local produce farms, chocolateries, fromageries and strawberry picking places all open. What we’ve given in this article is the opportunity to support local business if you’re into a little adventure on your holiday. Want to organise a trip to Melbourne and would prefer to check out he Mornington Peninsula on tour? Why not hire us, at Hop To It Tours, for a private day tour to the Mornington Peninsula. We’d be happy to tailor make a tour for you, including wineries, hikes or any of the activities above!