Mills Beach with its iconic beach boxes makes a great location for a beach day. Image: Twenty20

Mornington Peninsula

Image: Mills Beach with its iconic beach boxes makes a great location for a beach day. Image: Twenty20

Mornington Peninsula

One hour drive south of Melbourne you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and arrive in the picturesque Mornington Pensinsular, a region with the pace of country life but with a sophistication that makes for an upscale and cultured trip. The region offers pretty seaside towns as well as rugged hinterland and is dotted with wineries, art galleries, fine-dining restaurants, beauty spas and breweries.

Mornington Peninsula
Beautiful destination one hour drive from Melbourne CBD
(150 ratings)

One hour drive south of Melbourne you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and arrive in the picturesque Mornington Pensinsular, a region with the pace of country life but with a sophistication that makes for an upscale and cultured trip. The region offers pretty seaside towns as well as rugged hinterland and is dotted with wineries, art galleries, fine-dining restaurants, beauty spas and breweries.

At 723 square kilometres, the region is the size of an average Greek Island and with 190 kilometres of coastline it offers much of the same appeal as an island getaway. Make your way between picturesque seaside towns each with a unique selection of attractions and dining and cultural offering. Melbourne's culinary scene has spilled over into the region with many great restaurants throughout the peninsula.

The region is primarily a tourist destination so there is no shortage of things to see and do - outdoor activities, hot springs, winery tours, historical sites and a wildlife sanctuary.

The Mornington Peninsula is the site of one of Australia's most intriguing unsolved mysteries. On 17 December 1967, Harold Holt, the Prime Minister of Australia, disappeared while swimming in the sea near Portsea. An extensive search of the area did not recover his body. He was presumed dead 2 days later and a caretaker Prime Minister installed. It is generally agreed that it was a case of accidental drowning. However, several alternative theories persist including that he was assassinated by the CIA because he threatened to pull out of the Vietnam war, that he faked is death so he could be with a lover or that he was a life-long spy for China and was collected by a waiting Chinese submarine. [2]