Focus on Rosebud

Rosebud is a seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula, approximately 75 km southeast of the Melbourne city centre. It is a large beach-side town fronting Port Phillip, located between Rye and Dromana, and has a population of 14,381(Census 2020). Rosebud provides safe swimming beaches along its continuous stretch of sandy bay coastline, with the focal point being Rosebud Pier which extends about 300 metres into the water.

Originally known as Banksia Point, Rosebud began life as a fishing community in the early 1850s. On 2 June 1855, the cargo vessel Rosebud, owned by one of the colony’s best-known pastoralists Edward Hobson, was washed over the large sandbars and onto the beach. The burgeoning community made off with the cargo of damask and household goods, but the wreck remained for many years as the locals slowly stripped its hull to use in the construction of houses.

It became commonplace to call the area “The Rosebud” in reference to the ship, which was shortened to “Rosebud” as the last vestiges of the ship disappeared.

Initially, Rosebud was difficult to access from Melbourne and surrounding towns. The pier, built in 1888, failed to extend into water deep enough for ferries and passenger ships to dock. A road was eventually constructed between Rosebud and Anthony’s Nose at Arthurs Seat, halfway between Rosebud and Dromana, allowing for easier access.

After WWII, due to the increase in the number of people owning a car, camping at Rosebud over the Christmas-New Year holidays became a tradition for many families. The foreshore area of Rosebud is now one of the largest camping areas on the peninsula. During the summer months, the populations of Rosebud and Dromana can double in size.

Median house price is $780,000 and the price for units is $670,000.

A notable feature of Rosebud’s bay foreshore is a lack of commercial development. Most of the area between the coastal route of Point Nepean Road and the beach consists of community facilities, parkland and camping areas within sections of bushland.

A striking landmark in Rosebud is the bushy mountain peak of Arthurs Seat. It rises up in the distance behind the shops along Point Nepean Road and provides a scenic backdrop when viewed on Rosebud’s beaches.

Rosebud has a temperate coastal climate and is usually several degrees cooler than Melbourne. The annual maximum mean temperature is 19.1 degrees C.

In the early twentieth century, developers attempted to stimulate investment in the area by marketing Rosebud as an English-style seaside resort with the creation of the Clacton-on-Sea estate (today known as the “Avenues”). Land was offered at just two pounds per block, however, uptake was impeded by Rosebud’s distance from Melbourne.

The first pub (the Rosebud Hotel) wasn’t built until 1939, however, by the 1960s, Rosebud had become the largest town on the southern Peninsula, complete with a shopping centre and extensive sporting facilities.

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.

Elements Eatery

100 Besgrove St

You’ll find Elements Eatery located within the state-of-the art Yawa Aquatic Centre. Enjoy a morning coffee or relaxed lunch in either the indoor or outdoor seating areas, or pick up a take-home meal after a gym or swim session. Alternatively, the Grab & Go Kiosk is more relaxed, offering families and casual swimmers healthy food options poolside or a quick coffee on the go.

The Hideout Eat Drink Play

889 Point Nepean Rd

The Hideout Eat Drink Play offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, Little Rebel coffee, acai bowls, smoothie bowls, and more. They are also child-friendly with an enclosed outdoor courtyard and cubby, and dogs are welcome too!

Zarb & Ru

1037 Point Nepean Rd

Tucked away in the main strip of Rosebud’s shops, Zarb & Ru is a hole-in-the-wall cafe dedicated to great coffee and grilled-to-perfection jaffles. Zarb & Ru champion local products, both on the menu and also in an array of locally made artisan ceramics and artwork on offer.

La Casa Nostra

1033 Point Nepean Rd

La Casa Nostra Deli is a family owned business which has been open since 1999. The deli stocks international groceries, coffee, smallgoods, cheeses and essential kitchenware. If you are looking for fantastic coffee, a hard-to-find ingredient, cooking equipment, and friendly, knowledgeable service then this is the place to go.

What to do

A large beach-side centre fronting Port Phillip on the Mornington Peninsula, Rosebud is located between Rye and Dromana.

The town was named after the English schooner that was blown ashore in 1855 a short distance to the west of where the Rosebud Pier now stands.

Rosebud’s commercial centre stretches along one side of about a two kilometre length of Point Nepean Road with the shopping precinct featuring attractive garden strips, paved areas and several wood carvings of notable local identities from the past.

Enjoy Rosebud’s safe swimming beaches along its continuous stretch of sandy bay coastline with the focal point being Rosebud Pier. Take part in the various water sports and golf activities just a short drive away, or visit the recently opened Yawa Aquatic Centre.

Home to plethora of events, Rosebud hosts the Peninsula Short Film Festival, the Rosebud Kite Festival. This popular summer holiday destination is the perfect base from which to explore the countless outdoor attractions nearby. 

Photos Yanni

Peninsula Essence – December 2023