Mount Martha is a seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula 60 kilometres south-east of Melbourne’s central business district. It has an area of 17.2 square kilometres.
Population according to the 2016 census, is 18,548.
While Mount Martha offers only a small commercial centre in Lochiel Avenue, it is an ideal destination for those visitors seeking a scenic and less commercial holiday location where the surrounding bushland meets the coast.
Safe swimming beaches with wide sandy stretches exist just north and south of the commercial centre, lined with rows of colourful bathing boxes. However, much of the coast around Mount Martha typically consists of rocky cliffs with bushland up above, offering a number of walking tracks and scenic viewing spots. A worthwhile drive is along the Esplanade – a coastal road linking Mount Martha with Mornington in the north and Safety Beach in the south. This hilly and winding road hugs the steep coastline, with views down to the bay on one side, while exclusive homes perched high above the coast feature on the other side.
Other attractions in Mount Martha include Balcombe Creek, which swells into a wide body of water near the coast and is surrounded by a boardwalk and is home to a rich selection bird life. Also of interest to nature lovers is Mount Martha Park which consists of 53 hectares of native bushland and walking trails surrounding the 160 metre peak of Mount Martha, offering panoramic views of the bay and towards Arthurs Seat.
The Briars Park is an historic property in Mount Martha that includes the graceful Briars Homestead which was built in stages commencing in 1848 and is open for public tours. The park also includes a visitor’s centre, vineyard, nursery, restaurant, and a large wildlife reserve featuring wetlands and bird observation hides. There are number of walking trails through the wetlands, woodlands and pastures.
The Median house price to buy is $911,500 and to rent is $550 per week.
Celebrity sightings in Mt Martha include Megan Gale, Shaun Hampson and Andy Lee.
Mount Martha’s highest point bears the area’s name and reaches 160 metres (520 ft). The peak was named after Martha Lonsdale, the wife of the colonist William Lonsdale. It marks the start of the Selwyn Fault, a geological formation which runs to the eastern Dandenong Ranges.
From the 1990’s to the present the Mount Martha area has experienced significant population growth in the south with the Martha Cove marina development as well as to the east towards the Moorooduc Highway.
Mount Martha Surf Lifesaving Club holds the popular annual Mount Martha Australia Day Swim, the “MMAD Swim”. Golfers play at the course of the Mount Martha Golf Club on Forest Drive. Mount Martha is also home to public tennis courts, four football ovals and numerous grass reserves.
Peninsula Link and the Mornington Peninsula Freeway are both major arterial routes to both Mount Martha and the Mornington Peninsula, from Melbourne via the EastLink tollway.
Freshly brewed coffee is a must-have for weekends away and the Mornington Peninsula’s coffee haunts are second to none. Here are just a few to check out when you head down to this beautiful part of the world.
Shop 4, 42 Lochiel Avenue
Located upstairs this groovy relaxed café/restaurant serves great coffee (and tapas) with views out over the bay.
26 Lochiel Ave
A small bright café on the main shopping strip with inside and alfresco dining. The baristas make coffee in front of the bifold windows.
Milk Bar & Co.
1/42 Lochiel Ave
Good coffee and great food to match. Casual and cool vibe, and outdoor seating.
5/5 HOWEY ROAD
Tucked in behind the shops, this cafe is known for its amazing coffee, sweet treats, and friendly service.
What to do
Whether it’s enjoying the white sandy beaches or browsing the many wonderful boutique shops along the strip, you will always find something to do in Mt Martha. Relax on the upstairs balcony at Mr Curtis as you look over the 180 degree vista of the bay, or enjoy a great coffee at one of the many coffee shops along the boulevard before strolling along the boardwalk of the Balcombe Estuary Reserve.