Focus on Mount Martha

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.

The population according to the 2021 census is 19,846.

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 above which offer 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. 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.

Celebrity sightings in Mt Martha include Megan Gale and partner Shaun Hampson.

The median house price to buy is $1,625,500 and to rent is $750 per week.

The Briars Park is a 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.

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.

Coffee Safari

Freshly brewed coffee is a must-have for weekends. Here are a few places to check out when you’re in this beautiful part of the world.*


88 Craigie Road

Spacious indoor and outdoor relaxed seating with grass areas for kids to run around, pooches on lead are also welcome . Serving Coffee Mio and offering all day breakfast and lunch and Friday night for antipasto and pizza. Try our house speciality breakfast tower to sample a selection.

Via Battisti

26 Lochiel Avenue

A small bright café on the main shopping strip with inside and alfresco dining. The baristas make coffee in front of the bifold windows.


18 Lochiel Avenue

Great place to recaffeinate and order your choice of delicious homemade pies, pasties & sausage rolls, deli rolls with fresh tasty fillings and amazing cakes. Vegetarian options. Variety of freshly baked breads available daily.

Higher Ground

5/5 Howey Road

Tucked in behind the shops, this cafe is known for its amazing coffee, sweet treats, offering indoor and outdoor seating and friendly service.

*Note: Please check with businesses for trading information.

What to do

Drawn in by a relaxed, village vibe, browse the many welcoming boutique shops  and enjoy a coffee or a cocktail at one of the sumptuous, eclectic cafes and  eateries.

Grab an ice-cream and walk across the street for a stroll along the family-friendly stretches of shoreline decorated with the iconic, colourful bathing boxes, or go for a swim in the pristine, inviting waters on a summer day.

Wander through the Balcombe Estuary along the boardwalk with audio trail or one of the many cliff top walking tracks with scenic viewing spots.

Photos Yanni

Peninsula Essence – November 2023