5 Places on the Mornington Peninsula that you’ve never heard of
This Mornington Peninsula guide is written by our guest contributors Christopher and Laura from Chris and Laura Travels
The Mornington Peninsula is not only our home but it’s also home to some of the best beaches, cafes and the cleanest air in the world!
Chances are high you’ve heard of the chic retail therapy in Sorrento, or the crystal clear waters of Rye and the delicious wineries in Red Hill…but if you’re a local then you know there’s more to the Peninsula than meets the eye.
We’ve teamed up with Bunyip tours to give you the most insightful and intricate look at 5 places on the Mornington Peninsula that don’t make the tabloids!
- Cape Schanck boardwalk to Pulpit Rock
Scientists flock here year in and year out to bottle the air that passes through this side of the Peninsula down at Cape Schanck to study it for its cleanliness! Seriously, it’s some of the cleanest air in the world.
Driving down south to the southernmost tip of the Mornington Peninsula is Cape Schanck; lined with a wooden boardwalk that traverses the rocks and waters edge down to the open sea with incredible views of Bass strait.
The winter months host pods of migratory humpback whales and southern right whales that flock through these waters and are easily visible from the top of the boardwalk.
Right at the end of the walk is Pulpit Rock; a jagged and historic rock formation that’s loved by both tourists and photographers alike. Just don’t swim in any of these waters as the swell can get quite big out here and is known to drag people out to sea.
- Cairns Beach
A little further down the coast from Cape Schanck heading towards the seaside town of Flinders, where Western Port Bay meets the waters of Bass Strait. Most easily accessible from a small car park near the intersection of Boneo Rd and Keys Rd, a short 5-10 minute walk towards the beach leads to an impressively secluded and unpatrolled beach.
Take a short walk to the left of the beach and follow the rocks that will eventually lead to a series of rock-pools that become exposed on low-tide.
The main reason people flock here during the summer months is to sit in the rockpools closest to the edge that are larger and more clear than the rest. We often trek down this part of the coast to escape the crowds and familiarity of it all.
A beautiful location on a warm sunny day, you can then go and relax on the beach back towards the staircase before you head back in the car.
- Fort Nepean National Park
Previously the site of Victoria’s old Quarantine station during the world wars and European migration, now turned Mornington Peninsula national park is home to a diverse range of wildlife and history.
Walk through the tunnels built by generations gone by at the quarantine station and fort, explore the old gunnery stations and resting quarters of military personnel and their families.
Fort Nepean National Park has a wide array of wildlife, everything from brown snakes, tiger snakes, wallabies and a variety of native bird species. Be careful where you tread!
To make a day at the park, you can hire a bike from the tourist information centre near the entrance to the park or ride the hop on hop off shuttle bus service that operates daily.
- Diamond Bay Beach
One beach that’s very well hidden and you’ll miss it if you blink kind of beach sits at the end of Diamond Bay Road. This dirt track will eventually lead you to a small dirt car park that can hold 10 or so cars, before a short but steep descent down to this enclosed bay that has some of the clearest waters around.
Protected mostly from the winds by the sandstone cliff face behind, Diamond Bay is an impressive and well kept secret by the locals.
- London Bridge in Portsea
This hollowed out sea stack is one of the best places to view sunset and is one of the last rocky formations on the southern side of the Mornington Peninsula.
Taking London Bridge Road all the way from Back Beach Road leads you to the Portsea Surf Lifesaving Club to the left and a large public car park to the right.
From here take the London Bridge walking track that takes you to a vantage point over the ocean. From here you can see London Bridge, a beautiful sight to see at night time and if you happen to stay beyond midnight, at the right time of the night and year you’ll be able to see the Milky Way core on a new moon.
If you happen to be here during the day, we recommend heading into Baked By Portsea café, our local favourite place to grab a coffee and snack from the friendly staff and a homey outdoor patio area.