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Cruises to Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula (Photo:FiledIMAGE/Shutterstock)
Mornington Peninsula (Photo:FiledIMAGE/Shutterstock)

About Mornington Peninsula

Magnificent Mornington Peninsula bounds Port Phillip Bay on one side and stretches into Western Port and out to Bass Strait on the other. The area is studded with towns, villages, vineyards, gardens and golf courses. And, of course, beautiful beaches ranging from wild ocean surf beaches to calm white sandy strips edging the bay.

The area starts at the city of Frankston and ends down the coast at the town of Portsea. To get an idea of its size, it is useful to understand the peninsula is divided into the northern peninsula (Mount Eliza, Mornington and Mount Martha) and the southern peninsula (Dromana, Rye, Sorrento and Portsea).

On the other side of the hinterland is the western port area, which includes Hastings, Merricks and Shoreham. All of this means that if you want to see the areas outside the town of Mornington, it's best to take a shore tour or arrange for private transport.

Being only an hour's drive from Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, the town of Mornington is a popular holiday and weekend destination for city folk drawn by the beaches and wineries.

The original residents were the Boonwurrung/Bunurong people until Europeans arrived in the 1840s seeking timber and pastoral land. Back then, the area was called Schnapper Point for the spot that now holds the pier. In fact, the township wasn't declared Mornington until 1861.

Within a few decades, it was discovered by holidaymakers who arrived by steamers that called at the jetty. Today, they are still drawn by the natural beauty of the landscape, the village atmosphere of the town and the picturesque foreshore.

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Why go to Mornington Peninsula?

Pros:

Whether you enjoy sunning on the beach, exploring quaint villages or vineyard hopping, you'll find it here

Cons:

The peninsula is large, so if you want to venture beyond the town of Mornington you may have to book a shore excursion

Bottom Line:

There's a lot to see and do in the area, but you'll need to use your time wisely

Mornington Peninsula Cruise Port Facilities?

The pier and timber fishing wharf are set on the edge of a large, public park. Wander up the hill, and you'll find play equipment for the kids, shady trees, barbecues and restrooms.

If you stand on the wharf and gaze toward land, you'll see a family-friendly beach, complete with a handful of the peninsula's iconic bathing boxes -- private huts where owners store beach equipment.

For other facilities, you need to make the 15-minute walk up the hill and along Main Street, the town's shopping precinct.

If you want tourist information, you'll find the Mornington Courthouse Visitor Centre on the corner of Main Street and the Esplanade. It's easy to recognise the quaint white building set on an expanse of lawn, the Australian flag fluttering on a pole next to it.

Built in 1860, the courthouse was the first public building on the peninsula and as a result, it is an important part of Victoria's heritage. The building was the scene of many courtroom dramas until it was decommissioned in 1988.

Today, it's operated by volunteers who are keen to make visitors welcome. They can answer questions about attractions, direct you to particular shops or give you an insight into the area.

Good to Know?

Mornington is generally a safe and peaceful community, so you can wander the streets freely. However, always be aware of your personal belongings. Don't leave valuables unattended on the beach while you are swimming. Also, be aware of your wallet, purse or mobile phone when you are dining in cafes or walking through crowds, such as at street markets.

Getting Around?

On Foot: If your cruise line doesn't offer a shuttle service up the hill to Main Street, you can walk. If you take your time and enjoy the exercise, it's a pleasant experience and you will be there with 30 minutes, including short breaks to enjoy the view. If you are fit, you can easily reach the road within 15 minutes.

By Bus: Buses run between towns. For guidance, drop into the Mornington Courthouse Visitor Centre (2 Main Street).

By Taxi: You could call a taxi to the pier or find taxis along Main Street in Mornington. Taxis are metered, and most drivers use satellite navigation, which means they will be able to find your destination. They can also give you an estimate of the cost of the fare.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

If you need to top up on cash, you'll find major banks with ATMs on Mornington's Main Street. The same banks also have ATMs in Morning Central shopping mall (78 Barkly Street). Keep the water behind you, walk up Main Street and take the first street on your left. Currency is the Aussie dollar. Visit www.xe.com or www.oanda.com for exchange rates. Major credit cards are accepted at most retail and food and beverage outlets.

Language?

Australian English is the most common language.

Where You're Docked?

Your ship will most likely anchor off the Mornington pier, at the end of Schnapper Point, and tenders will bring you ashore.

The immediate area consists of the main wharf and a picturesque timber fishing jetty. A charming older style wharf facility also houses two eateries. At ground level, you'll find Schnappers, a casual, family cafe that serves takeaway as well as eat-in meals. Think fish and chips, burgers, toasted sandwiches and soup.

Venture around the side of the building that faces the water and you'll see stairs that take you to The Rocks Mornington, a more sophisticated option for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Specialising in modern seafood, it offer superb views of the pier and coastline and keeps you out of the wind on blustery days. (1 Schnapper Point Road; +61 3 5973 5599)


Mornington Peninsula Cruise Reviews

Pacific Jewel
suemarg2016
Sail Date: Feb 2017
Peninsula Hot Springs. Water in pools could of been cleaner.... Read More
Pacific Eden
thecolourispink
Sail Date: Jan 2016
Brilliant arrival for the cruislings - band playing welcoming us to Mornington. We hired mini bus (12 seater) from Avis - brilliant service and drove to the Peninsula springs which were fantastic then had a late... Read More
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