The WeekenderTravel

The Weekender: Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Rye Ocean Beach Mornington Peninsula. Photographed by urbancowboy. Image via Shutterstock

South of Melbourne, Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is a little slice of heaven you need on your next weekend getaway.

If you’re ready to pack the bags, load the car and start driving, for Australians, the Mornington Peninsula is the perfect destination in Victoria for a coastal getaway.

More than just a short break, your trip to the Mornington Peninsula will be a weekend to remember thanks to our guide of the best and top-rated things to eat, drink, do and places to stay.

How far is Mornington Peninsula from Melbourne?

Under an hour-and-a-half drive south of Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula makes for the perfect short weekend getaway destination in Victoria.

The Best Places to Eat in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria:

The Rocks Mornington

Previously winning the Best Seafood Restaurant in Victoria and Tasmania, The Rocks Mornington is not only an amazing place to eat in Mornington Peninsula, but also one of the best places to admire the view. The waterfront restaurant has an amazing outlook and the food is simply to die for. Mainly serving up seafood, the ocean vibes are strong and the luxury is assured. We recommend the Crystal Bay Cooked Prawns ($29) and the Rocks Pavlova ($12) that’s served withvanilla chantilly cream, champagne and strawberry consome.


The Rocks Mornington | 1 Schnapper Point Dr, Mornington VIC 3931


Assaggini Wine Bar & Restaurant

Italian food and wine: a match made in heaven. This tapas and wine bar serves Italian food for those who like to taste several deliciously executed dishes to accompany their drinks and conversations. Assaggini Wine Bar & Restaurant is nestled on Albert Street and is just a touch away from other bars, cafes and eateries to explore. But, with the likes of Beef Brisket Sliders ($6 each), Prawn Risotto ($28) and Lamb Rump ($36) on the menu, you won’t need to try anywhere else.


Assaggini Wine Bar & Restaurant | 1C Albert St, Mornington VIC 3931


Gods Kitchen

When we say that it’s a slice of heaven, with Gods Kitchen, we mean it. Situated within a heritage listed church built in 1876, Gods Kitchen has a little bit of everything including tapas, a la carte, gourmet pizza and steak. Cocktails and a wide-ranging wine list also feature, which can be enjoyed in the front garden courtyard, the glassed restaurant atrium or garden bar.


Gods Kitchen | 53 Barkly St, Mornington, VIC 3931


The Best Places to Drink in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria:

Mornington Peninsula Brewery

Now recognised as one of the best craft breweries in Australia, Mornington Peninsula Brewery has got it all. Tours, specialty brews on tap, entertainment and takeaway beer. Beer lovers, what more could you want? Some of their best brews include the Mornington Pale a passionfruit and bold citrus-based pale ale; or, their current special, Mornington Squid Supremacy, a pineapple and melon IPA with flavours of peach, apricot and mango.


Mornington Peninsula Brewery | 72 Watt Rd, Mornington, VIC 3931


Brass Razu

If you’re looking for a place to drink in the Mornington Peninsula that will suit all types of tastes, Brass Razu Wine Bar must be on your list. Serving up everything from locally sourced wine to craft beer and cocktails, Brass Razu is the perfect destination for a late night tipple. If you’re stuck on what to order, we’d recommend the Chilli Espresso Martini ($20) that is sure to spice up your visit.


Brass Razu Wine Bar | 13 Main St, Mornington, VIC 3931


Kirks on the Esplanade

A classic pub, water views and floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall glass windows is what comes to mind when describing Kirks on the Esplanade. One of the best places to drink in Mornington Peninsula, this local joint is perfect for a quick drink after the beach, or to stop and have a generous ‘pub feed’. The beautiful view of Port Phillip Bay, the extensive choices of drinks and the excellent service makes it a memorable dining experience.


Kirks on the Esplanade | 774 Esplanade, Mornington, VIC 3931


Things to Do in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria:

Mornington Peninsula National Park

One of the most striking things about Mornington Peninsula are the beaches and the landscape, all of which are encapsulated within the Mornington Peninsula National Park. The activities on offer include walks, horse riding, a blowhole, Rye Ocean Beach and Portsea Ocean Beach – both of which are incredibly beautiful – and just two of many beaches within the park.


Mornington Peninsula National Park | Cape Schanck Rd, Cape Schanck, VIC 3939


Fort Nepean

Located at the very end of the peninsula, Fort Nepean allows you to step into the boots of the soldiers once posted there. Fort Nepean was used for defense from the 1880s to 1945, and was the largest and most heavily armed installation around Port Phillip. Today, Fort Nepean is not only on of the best things to do in Mornington Peninsula, but it is an amazing sight and example of Australia’s early defense strategies.


Fort Nepean | Defence Rd, Portsea, VIC 3944


Peninsula Hot Springs

The Peninsula Hot Springs are geothermal hot springs and day spa based in the Mornington Peninsula. Founded by brothers Charles and Richard Davidson in 1997, the inspiration for the project began when Charles visited several hot springs while living in Japan in 1992. One of the best things to do in Mornington Peninsula and a definite must for your weekend away, a visit to experience the geothermal waters which come from a natural well, deep below the earth’s surface, is perfect to rejuvenate the spirit and body.


Peninsula Hot Springs | 140 Springs Ln, Fingal, VIC 3939


The Best Accommodation in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria:

RACV Cape Schanck Resort

Located at the southern edge of the Mornington Peninsula is a resort that is unique, luxurious and shaped by the land around it. RACV Cape Schanck Resort pride themselves on being in a place where you could take a hike in the morning and then easily follow up with a relaxing spa treatment immediately after, all thanks to their outstanding location. From luxury rooms to golf villas, this resort has it all.


RACV Cape Schanck Resort | Trent Jones Dr, Cape Schanck, VIC 3939


George’s Boutique Hotel & Culinary Retreat

With stunning views and a limited number of rooms, George’s sits atop Arthur’s Seat overlooking Port Phillip Bay and is in the middle of Mornington Peninsula’s prestigious wine region.  With enough room for eight people, George’s can be made into a weekender all on its own, as they offer an itinerary of culinary delights and experiences to the intimate group over three days, earning their name as a culinary retreat.


George’s Boutique Hotel & Culinary Retreat | 776 Arthurs Seat Rd, Arthurs Seat, VIC 3936


Peppers Moonah Links Resort

In 2012 Peppers Moonah Links Resort was voted number four on the Luxury Travel Gold List for Best Australian Golf Resort. As a result, today Peppers Moonah Links Resort is very popular with avid golfers, housing two championship courses. The resort of course not only for golfers, is exceedingly opulent in its design, as is the food and drink they have on offer and their stunning accommodation. The rooms have been designed to harmonise the resort with the land, optimise the course-side position and reflect the natural rolling green landscape.


Peppers Moonah Links Resort | 55 Peter Thomson Dr, Fingal, VIC 3939


Looking to explore Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula some more? Well, here you can discover one of Australia’s most magical places to stargaze. Or, if you want to stay in Melbourne’s CBD, let the Mornington Peninsula come to you at this new luxury cellar door. For more weekend getaway inspiration, our guide to the Top 10 Unique Getaway Gems around Victoria will help.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land mentioned in our article, the people of the Boonwurrung Nation, and we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Feature image: Rye Ocean Beach Mornington Peninsula. Photographed by urbancowboy. Image via Shutterstock.
This article was first published on January 11 2019. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on April 20 2021.
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