The Mornington Peninsula is a place Victorians have treasured for generations as their summer holiday escape. The advent of the railway in 1880 made a seaside holiday possible for just about everyone. Mornington is the main town on the peninsula. It's an uplifted block of sandstone, volcanic rocks and granite extending in a south-westerly arc to enclose Port Phillip Bay and separate it from Western Port
Today, it's a year-round destination thanks to its beaches and seaside villages, bays, wineries, golf links, hinterland, stunning gardens, farms selling delicious produce, galleries and countless wonderful eating places. To top it all off, there are breathtaking views everywhere you look and each Wednesday Main Street is alive with colour and variety at the markets, which have been running for more than 25 years.
Matthew Flinders landed at Schnapper Point in 1802. It has a jetty, boat-launching ramp and yacht club and kiosk which has been around for over 30 years. Painted baby blue, the small kiosk opens at 7am and in summer closes at around 11pm. It's a favourite place for locals and visitors who sit inside or out and enjoy the food and views.
There are more than 20 beaches to choose from. Dromana is a resort of 6600 people at the foot of Arthurs Seat, a steep, granite hill 305 metres above sea level which can be ascended by road, walking track or chairlift.
Heronswood home to Diggers Club, Australia's largest gardening club is a beautiful historic property on two hectares of formal gardens. Built in 1871, the asymmetrical Gothic revival structure is built of bluestone with limestone dressings. Its gardens are made up of perennial and annual borders, kitchen and vegetable parterre gardens, inspiring to both gardeners and cooks. Visitors can indulge in Mediterranean-style food in the thatched café, browse through the nursery and bookshop every weekday between 9:30am and 4:30pm.
The construction of Dromana's 1.2 km pier in the 1870s made it an important export spot for local producers and its natural beauty attracted holiday-makers later in the 19th century.
One Four Nelson is a four-star property in the seaside town of Rye. It has 30 luxury open-plan suites with contemporary furnishings and fittings, pool and spa. It's owned by the popular Rye Hotel, which has been a favourite spot for 75 years. Affordable casual dining is available in the café or outside.
Rye has shops, golf course, good foreshore area, pier and safe beach good for sailboarding and windsurfing. Rye Wine Lounge is a wine bar and store with home delivery. They carry more than 170 wines and delicious food to take on your picnic or back to your accommodation.