Focus on Mornington

Mornington is a seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia, located 57 km south-east of Melbourne’s central business district. Mornington has an area of 13.5 km². Population is 23,989 (2016).

Mornington’s original post office, built in 1863 at the corner of Main Street and the Esplanade, now operates as a museum displaying old telecommunications equipment and items relating to local history. It is the site of the Mornington and District Historical Society. On the other side of Main Street is the old court house (built in 1860) and the former police station lock-up (1862).

An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, associated with the nearby Selwyn Fault, struck the town on 2 September 1932. No injuries or major damage were reported.

The Mornington Pier was built in 1857, and continues to be extended and improved.

Considered to be one of the worst boating accidents in Victoria’s history, the Mornington Football Club Disaster occurred on the night of May 21st 1892 near Pelican Point just north of Mornington. Fifteen members of the Mornington Football Team drowned. They set out earlier that day on the “Process”, owned and skippered by Charles Hooper, to play a match at Mordialloc. The remainder of the team travelled by train.

Mornington has a long history dating back to 1802 when explorer Matthew Flinders landed at Schnapper Point. These days, Schnapper Point provides a boat-launching ramp, jetty, yacht club, restaurant and scenic walks providing scenic views along the coast.

The first cruise ship visited Mornington township on February 24, 2015, after P&O added the Mornington Peninsula to its itinerary. The Pacific Pearl with 1800 residents on board docked early on the Tuesday morning, part of a new itinerary for P&O Cruises.

The median house price in Mornington is $776,500.

Mornington has a number of beaches, some of which are located at the base of rocky cliffs which dominate part of the coastline in this area. Along the eastern side of Schnapper Point is the sheltered Mothers Beach and Scout Beach, while Shire Hall Beach and Mills Beach are located further east along the coast. Around a kilometre south of Schnapper Point is Fishermans Beach which ends at the scenic rocky outcrop of Linley Point where there are boat ramps and scenic viewing spots along the coast.

Mornington Central  Shopping Centre is built on the site of the former Mornington railway station.

Every Wednesday Mornington Main Street comes alive with the street market. Colourful stalls selling everything from hand made soaps, organic skin care, fresh produce and sensational home made fudge are to be found.

Fossil beach is a significant fossil site with evidence of Australia’s sea life from 10 to 15 million years ago.  The fossils were discovered in 1854 in the limestone cliffs. Most of the fossils have now been removed. Access is via the track from the cliff path near Bentons Road (near the picnic area).

The Mornington Rose Gardens has over 4000 roses planted in 86 beds and is surrounded by a border of native Australian trees and shrubs. The concept for the Mornington Rose Gardens was the brainchild of a local businessman Don Gordon who was inspired by the rose garden in Benalla that was situated next to the art gallery. 

Coffee Safari

Freshly brewed coffee is a must-have for weekends away and the Mornington Peninsula is second to none with great coffee haunts around the towns. Here are just a few to check out when you head down to this beautiful part of the world.

Flower Girls

66 Main Street

As the name suggests, Flower Girls is a florist, come coffee shop. Here, you will feel like you are sitting in a Parisian café surrounded by fresh flowers.

The Filling Station

69/90 Main Street

Serving breakfast & lunch it has a gluten-free, vegetarian & vegan optioned menu with simply oustanding coffee!


115 Main Street

Indoor or alfresco dining out the front or in the back courtyard. Mercetta is friendly, with a great vibe and excellent range of coffee.

Blackbird Cafe

2D Empire Street

Delightful and intimate café with excellent coffee and home made savoury and sweet treats. Indoor and outdoor seating.

What to do

Whether it’s wandering down the main street with its cosmopolitan vibe, alfresco cafes lining the paved streets and vast bay views, or losing yourself in the many art galleries and boutique book shops, Mornington is a colourful hub of arts and entertainment.

Beaches, wineries, shopping, arts and antiques are all at your fingertips in a township that dates back to 1856. 

The Mornington Racecourse has a history of 100 years on the current site and continues to cater to crowds who enjoy the annual Mornington Cup race days.

Photography: Yanni

Peninsula Essence – August 2019

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