Where to stay on the Mornington Peninsula

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  • Post last modified:July 20, 2024
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From opposite sides, Port Phillip (west) and Western Port (east) gently lap the Mornington Peninsula. In the south, Bass Strait ruthlessly crashes in on pristine national parks, shaping the coast to resemble the dramatic scenery along the Great Ocean Road (which says a lot).

Dotting the contrasting landscape are adorable seaside towns and even winery-fringed hinterland gems, just waiting for new visitors to discover them. Feel the holiday vibes wash over you as you browse our stunning accommodation picks, handily split between the Northern Peninsula and Southern Peninsula.

Northern Peninsula

Changing perspective doesn’t have to involve a lengthy journey. It’s only roughly an hour by car (or train) from bustling Melbourne to the beginning of the peaceful Mornington Peninsula.

Along Port Phillip, Frankston, Mount Eliza, Mornington and Mount Martha grab your attention with family-friendly swimming beaches decorated with piers and bathing boxes. Although you find colourful huts generously scattered across the shoreline, those on Mount Martha Beach are some of the most Instagram worthy.

On the peninsula’s eastern side, the Moonlit Sanctuary guarantees sightings of iconic Australian wildlife, including kangaroos, dingoes and koalas. If you want to bed down directly on Western Port, consider the historic fishing village of Hastings, boasting an extensive marina and foreshore area.

Best hotels on the Northern Peninsula

Brooklands of Mornington

Appreciate the friendly ambience at Brooklands of Mornington, draped in well-kept gardens with trees adding seclusion. The indoor swimming pool is a neat complement to the Port Phillip beaches.

Sanctuary Inn on Westernport

Retreat to a modern Hastings complex with options ranging from king rooms to two-bedroom apartments. When it’s time for dinner, try the on-site Italian restaurant or take a 15-minute walk along the foreshore to High Street.

The Sands By Nightcap Plus

The Sands by Nightcap is not on the Mornington Peninsula but makes up for it by offering affordable contemporary lodging. You’ll be 10 minutes from Frankston and within an hour of all the must-see spots on the Southern Peninsula.

Sandy trail leading to Mount Martha Beach, where a pier shoots out into Port Phillip
Unwind by Port Phillip (here, Mount Martha).

Southern Peninsula

Go deeper into the Mornington Peninsula to find unmatched solitude, culminating with the national parks battered by Bass Strait. Mornington Peninsula and Point Nepean national parks feature breathtaking coastal scenery with towering cliffs and sandy beaches, plus fascinating history.

On Port Phillip, Dromana and Rosebud offer calm beaches beneath the heights of Arthur’s Seat, the peninsula’s highest point. The westernmost towns, Rye, Sorrento and Portsea appeal with strips of sand both on Port Phillip and Bass Strait, making it effortless to hop between swimming and surfing.

Sheltered from the beach crowds, the hinterland sections brim with countryside charm. Highlights include the rolling wineries, such as the acclaimed Montalto, and rejuvenating baths at Peninsula Hot Springs.

In the southeast, quaint Flinders is where Western Port and Bass Strait intersect. Soak it up from the 250-m long fishing pier, elevated West Head lookout, historic golf course or Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary, whose rock pools reveal quirky creatures like crabs, sea stars and anemones at low tide.

Best hotels on the Southern Peninsula

RACV Cape Schanck

There’s no better location than the luxurious RACV Cape Schanck to appreciate the epic clifftop walks and ocean vistas in Mornington Peninsula National Park. Allow time for the 18-hole golf course, pool, gym and tennis courts.


Be greeted by a seven-m sculpture depicting a jackalope (a mythical rabbit with antelope horns). Then, enjoy five-star amenities, like a black infinity pool and infrared sauna, seamlessly connected with the surrounding vineyards and an array of mouthwatering experiences.

Hotel Sorrento

Built of limestone in 1872, Hotel Sorrento commands a stunning view of Port Phillip. Expect a celebratory atmosphere radiating out from the on-site restaurants and bars.

Flinders Hotel

Check into a 40-room boutique hotel inspired by its namesake home village. A complimentary breakfast is usually included.

Portsea Hotel

Welcoming guests since 1876, Portsea Hotel has a lovely pub-style restaurant overlooking Port Phillip. The most sought-after rooms come with a sea view, too.

Sorrento Ocean Beach on the Southern Peninsula.

In case you wonder…

Is it worth staying on the Mornington Peninsula?

Sure, the Mornington Peninsula definitely is within day-trip distance (an hour’s drive) of Melbourne. However, the idyllic beaches, majestic scenery, and fun things to do easily warrant an extended visit.

Where to stay on the Mornington Peninsula with family?

You’ll quickly discover why the Mornington Peninsula is a classic family getaway. Any town along Port Phillip offers safe swimming conditions, perfect for families with kids.

Which is the best place to stay on the Mornington Peninsula for couples?

Opt for the Southern Peninsula if unrivalled serenity and untouched national parks sound like a good idea. It’s also down here you find the popular Peninsula Hot Springs.

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