The Mornington Peninsula Victoria is just around a one-hour drive from Melbourne and is a popular region to visit for weekends and holidays.
It has the reputation of being Melbourne’s playground and many people head here for the wineries, the Mornington Peninsula golf courses and beaches and to hang out in their beachfront holiday homes.
We discovered that as tourists and a family with young kids, there are plenty of other fun things to do in Mornington Peninsula too.
As it is only around an hours drive, it is very possible to do Melbourne to Mornington Peninsula as a day trip. And many Melbournites do this every weekend. Click here to see some Mornington Peninsula day trip options.
However, we spent several days here and so we had more time to check out all the fun Mornington Peninsula tourist attractions.
If you are wondering what to do in Mornington Peninsula Australia, we share all our favourites below.
Mornington Peninsula Wineries
Of course one of the main Mornington Peninsula attractions are the wineries. Renowned for their fabulous Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, there are more than 200 Mornington Peninsula vineyards and around 45 Mornington Peninsula cellar doors to check out.
Most of these wineries offer tastings (sometimes for a fee, which is refundable against purchases) and going around the different wineries and chatting with the staff over a wine tasting is the best way to get to know the wines of the region.
We often go armed with our James Halliday wine companion to help us narrow down which wineries to visit and which wines to taste there. Some of the best wineries in Mornington Peninsula we visited included Paringa Estate, Ten Minutes by Tractor, Foxey’s Hangout and Port Phillip Estate & Kooyong.
The wineries here also have some of the best restaurants in the Mornington Peninsula. We had fabulous lunches at several of these Mornington Peninsula winery restaurants including Stillwater at Crittenden Estate, Ten Minutes by Tractor’s Petit Tracteur Bistro and Montalto.
Other popular Mornington Peninsula restaurants we checked out (but unfortunately didn’t have time to sample) included Paringa Estate, Pt Leo Estate and the Port Phillip/Kooyong cellar door, where you can choose from the fine dining restaurant or the more casual cellar door kitchen.
Definitely book ahead if you are planning to have lunch during school holidays or weekends.
Mornington Peninsula Arthur’s Seat Eagle
Arthur’s Seat is the name of the highest mountain in the Peninsula, and heading to the top to take in the views is one of the most popular things to do on the Peninsula.
You can drive to the top, but the Arthur’s Seat Eagle is a much more fun and exciting way to take in the views here.
This Mornington Peninsula gondola takes you up to the highest point on the Peninsula. On the 14-minute ride up the mountain you can not only take in amazing views but look out for wildlife in amongst the trees below.
Once at the top there is a choice of walking trails to follow for yet more panoramic views and wildlife spotting, and a café where you can relax as you enjoy taking in the sight of the Peninsula from above.
If you are visiting with kids, be sure to pick up a scavenger hunt sheet from the ticket office before you get up.
You can read more about our visit to the Arthur’s Seat Eagle here.
Enchanted Adventure Garden
The Enchanted Garden was my kids’ favourite of all the Mornington Peninsula things to do. They had so much fun here.
The main attraction at this adventure park in Mornington is the tree surfing course. The Nippers Course is suitable for kids aged 4-12 and includes three levels of challenges that take the kids from tree to tree, including swinging bridges, suspended tunnels, rope ladders and tightropes. Each level ends in a fun zipline.
Kids who have confidently tackled the first two levels are allowed on the higher level 3 course. Adult supervision is required for kids under 6 years old. No adults are allowed on the course apart from this. And no adults are allowed on level 3.
Each tree surfing ‘tour’ is based on an allocated time, so make sure you book your timeslot ahead of time.
Beyond the tree surfing course, there is plenty of more fun to be had at this Mornington Peninsula kids attraction. We had a lot of laughs zipping down the tubing lanes and exploring the hedge mazes.
Similar to snow tubing, these tubes run down artificial ski slope lanes. They have both single and double tubes and you can go as many times as you like with your General Admission ticket. We had a lot of fun racing each other down these slopes!
The Enchanted Garden also has the best selection of Mornington Peninsula mazes to explore and get lost in. These include a large hedge maze, a turf maze and a children’s maze.
Other fun attractions here include the Big Zip, an indoor 3D Spooky Maze and a kids obstacle course, the Bush Adventure Scramble.
Be sure to allow at least 3 hours for your time at the Enchanted Adventure Garden.
Mornington Peninsula Beaches
With over 190km of coastline, you are really spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Mornington Peninsula. If you’re looking for free things to do in Mornington Peninsula, a day at the beach would be our top pick!
Most families prefer the bay side for family time at the beach. Here you will find long sandy stretches, calm waters and rock pools to explore. The ocean side has more surf to contend with.
Some of the best beaches in Mornington Peninsula include Rosebud (which also has one of the best playgrounds in Mornington Peninsula), Dromana, Frankston and Mother’s beach in Mornington.
If you want a bit of surf to get the kids out boogie boarding or learning to surf, check out Point Leo surf beach. We also really liked Sorrento Back Beach.
For snorkeling, Rye Pier is a good spot to jump off into the clear water to spot sting rays, and an abundance of marine life.
Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs
Soaking in the Peninsula Hot Springs is the perfect way to wind down after a hard day lying on the beach!
I wasn’t sure this would be a particularly appropriate activity for a family with young kids, but my kids loved it!
There are over 30 different pools and experiences here to enjoy, although families with children are restricted to the 14 thermal pools in the bath house area. This still allows for plenty of space and choice.
We loved trying out all the different natural thermal mineral pools, and jumping from the sauna in to the icy plunge pool! You can also book into spa treatments here.
Book ahead online to ensure you can get the timeslot you want. Click here to check different packages online.
The Peninsula Hot Springs is also included on this day tour from Melbourne, which includes the Arthur’s Seat Eagle and strawberry picking at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm.
Horse Riding Mornington Peninsula
Horse riding is one of the most popular tours in Mornington Peninsula with families who visit. There are several Mornington Peninsula horse riding tours to choose from, which will take you along scenic bush trails and also cantering along the beach.
Unfortunately my son wasn’t old enough to do this (minimum age 6), but we will definitely be adding this to our Mornington Peninsula activities list for next time.
We continued our visit to Victoria by taking the Mornington Peninsula ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff and driving the Great Ocean Road from here. Click here to read all about our road trip along the Great Ocean Road.
Top Tips for visiting the Mornington Peninsula
Call in at the Mornington Peninsula tourism information centre when you arrive.
Here you can pick up a Mornington Peninsula map, as well as a dedicated map of all the best Mornington Peninsula wineries. They even have a Mornington Peninsula brewery map.
We found the staff at the tourist information centre so helpful and they gave us loads of ideas of things to do and brochures/leaflets too.
If you are traveling the coastal road from Melbourne to Mornington Peninsula, you can stop at the one in Frankston on your way down, and there is also a good one in Dromana.
Pre-book lunches in the wineries
The Mornington Peninusula is a very popular weekend destinations for Melbourne residents, many who come here just for lunch.
If you are planning to visit Mornington Peninsula during school holidays or weekends, be sure to book your winery lunch well ahead of time to ensure you get a table.
Mornington Peninsula Accommodation
As a popular holiday destination, there are lots of places to stay in Mornington Peninsula. We found that these tend to focus on Mornington Peninsula holiday rentals, rather than hotels and resorts, although there are a few of those too.
We stayed at the gorgeous Aquabelle Apartments in Rye. While Rye ended up being our least favourite town in Mornington Peninsula, we did love the accommodation.
These super stylish apartments are right across from the beach, with views across the foreshore and out to sea. Thankfully you can’t see the foreshore caravan park from here.
These beautifully decorated apartments are available as 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments. We had the 3-bedroom as it was the only one available at time of booking and it was huge.
We had three double bedrooms, one with ensuite, plus living room and fully fitted kitchen, laundry facilities and a large balcony overlooking the beach.
Peppers Moonah Links
One of the best-known Mornington Peninsula hotels, Peppers Moonah Links is a great choice for families.
This Mornington Peninsula resort is handily located close to the Peninsula Hot Springs, and within easy reach of the many beaches and wineries in the area.
The one-bedroom apartments are best suited for families, with their separate living areas with pull-out sofa bed, kitchenette and laundry facilities. Balconies overlook two of the most picturesque Mornington Peninsula golf courses. The onsite Pebbles restaurant makes the most of the abundant fresh local produce.
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