Mornington Peninsula is popular holiday destination known for its beaches, inland wineries and outdoor activities. It is just slightly more than an hour’s drive South from Melbourne so renting a car would be the best option to take a scenic day trip. In fact, it will be a wonderful treat to stay over at the Peninsular for a seaside holiday.
We rented a Nissan Almera sedan at $43/day (inclusive of insurance) from East Coast Rentals and collected our car from 254 La Trobe Street.
Simply drive along St Kilda Road and connect to Route 3 toward Frankston. You can drop by the Tourist Information Centre at Frankston before carrying on a short way towards the town of Mornington. The coastal drive from Frankston to Mornington is pretty rewarding scenery-wise.
Things to do in Mornington Peninsula
There is a wide range of activities to do on the Peninsula, which is actually part of the biosphere reserve. If there is good weather, do enjoy the flora and fauna along the many nature and hiking/cycling trails throughout the Peninsular or soak in the sun, sand and sea! Mornington is also famous for its fresh produce and there are many wineries and farms that are open for seasonal visits.
It was a cold winter day with showers for us, so our outdoor plans were hampered. However, we still uncovered several gems on our day trip as we drove along the coast and snapped scenic shots.
We drove down the main trunk road into Mornington Town, in search for a warm lunch. After walking mid-way down the main street, we chanced upon Blackbird Café at the end of a row of shops. This was a delightful place run by a Greek family, with lovely décor and a cosy atmosphere. The poached eggs and smoked salmon with hollandaise sauce were especially good!
The Briars Homestead
With the rain easing towards the latter part of the afternoon, we decided to visit The Briars Homestead to fulfil our wish to see some Aussie wildlife.
Directions: Turn off Nepean Highway at Mount Martha (remember to look out for the brown signboards along the way).
The Briars is a sprawling homestead dating back to the 19th Century. You can visit the Historic Homestead & Gardens and take various walks to see the historic farm buildings, the Wildlife Sanctuary and the Wetlands. You can bring a picnic spread for the day or visit the homely cafes on the homestead when you get peckish along your walks.
We were the only visitors to the Homestead that wintry mid-afternoon. The park rangers informed us that all the walks were closed due to strong winds. When they heard that we would not be able to return another day, one of the park rangers generously offered to bring us around for a short walk! We were delighted to have a private tour to the Ken McArthur Wetlands for some bird-watching.
Kate, our friendly guide, was shy but she eventually posed for a picture together! Our afternoon in the wetlands had rewarded us with so many little surprises that we smiled all the way back to the city.
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