A day trip to the Mornington Peninsula is easy from Melbourne. The peninsula is about an hour’s drive southeast of the city and has around 30 small towns and villages, numerous beaches and several award-winning wineries to visit.
We took this trip in winter last year, but I’ve just realised I never got around to posting about it!
Our first stop was Mornington, a small town about halfway down the peninsula. We were planning to go to the Mornington Peninsula Brewery, but when we pulled up outside, the doors were closed and the lights were out. We double checked the brewery’s opening hours online – we were ten minutes early, so we decided to wait in the warmth of the car.
The opening time came and went, with no sign of life. A few minutes later, a car screeched to a halt in the car park and a guy jumped out and ran inside. We waited a couple more minutes, but the brewery showed no signs of being open, so we headed into town. We were really hungry by this point, and if they were only just going through the opening motions, lunch was at least half an hour away!
We hit the main street of Mornington, a pretty thoroughfare lined with heritage buildings. After looking a lap of the street and looking at a few menus, we decided on D.O.C. Pizza, which we later found out has another venue in Carlton. Oh well! It was packed with Italians, or Italian-Australians at least, which is always a good sign at a pizza place. We also had to wait a few minutes for a table, it was that popular. I imagine that’s pretty rare for a Saturday lunch spot in a quiet place like Mornington! Unfortunately, I’ve lost the photos from Mornington, but I remember that the pizza was amazing!
Our second stop was Sorrento, a tiny beach town on the very tip of the peninsula. The peninsula makes a sweeping curve back towards the mainland, so you can actually take a ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff on the mainland, west of Melbourne. It was a 45-minute drive from Mornington to Sorrento, but it didn’t feel that long at all.
It was the middle of winter, so the streets were cold and quiet, but I can imagine it would be full of daytrippers and holidaymakers in summer. The main street of Sorrento is very quaint, lined with limestone buildings and heritage shop facades. Down by the beach, the water was surprisingly blue and clear for such an overcast day. I bet it would be impossibly gorgeous on a bright, sunny day. We walked back up to the town for a coffee and headed home.
I want to go on another day trip to the Mornington Peninsula in better weather and visit some of the wineries in Red Hill, the villages of Dromana, Rosebud, Rye and Portsea and Arthur’s Seat, which reportedly has incredible views. Hopefully, I’ll get there in autumn or spring this year!