Mornington Peninsula: a walker's paradise
Stunning clifftops, glorious stretches of beaches, piers, the sensational lookout from Arthurs Seat and undulating, leaf dappled hills boasting some of Victoria’s best wineries – Mornington Peninsula offers walkers of all abilities, fantastic adventures. Boasting around 100 known walking trails and short walks, don’t plan a day trip to the Mornington Peninsula. There is a decade’s worth of trails to explore. Sell up, live among it! Seriously.
Mornington Peninsula: attractive for families and seniors
An hour’s drive from Melbourne, the promontory that is the Mornington Peninsula is surrounded by stunning coastlines that frame undulating, lush, fertile hills. On a drive through the heart of ‘the Peninsula’, you’ll literally inhale the freshness of fertile farmlands and vineyards producing sought after local produce, wine and craft beers.
More than 150,000 people call the Mornington Peninsula Shire home. It is easy to understand why. A diverse local economy - with tourism a key industry - the population is growing, as is employment. And while a stroll around Mornington and surrounds feels like worlds away from urban infrastructure, major retail and employment hubs, amenities, public transport, freeways and medical facilities are not far away.
The Mornington Peninsula is a popular Victorian location for nurturing families. The beauty and convenience of the location is increasingly attractive to seniors, with the over 65s population growing at pace.
“The Mornington Peninsula has the second highest older population in Victoria with over 30 per cent of all residents over the age of 60, compared to the Melbourne metropolitan average of 17 per cent. This number is expected to increase to more than 33 per cent by 2030.”
― excerpt from the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Positive Ageing Strategy.
One of the best ways to get to know a location intimately is to spend time exploring on foot. The Mornington Peninsula’s geography and geology provides an amazing and diverse choice of scenic walking adventures.
There are simply too many walking options to share in one blog article – around 100 known walking trails! If you want to consider them all, go to Visit Mornington Peninsula > Places to Go > Walks. They’re all listed and mapped for you, ready to go.
In this article, we’ll give you a taste of some of the adventures waiting for you.
Serious walks: a stunning Mornington Peninsula trek
Let’s whet appetites by starting with the equivalent of the full degustation menu walking experience first. Fortunately you can plan to discover a section at a time, depending on how much time you have set aside.
Mornington Peninsula Walk: 100 kilometres
The infamous Mornington Peninsula Walk features stunning cliff top trails through to tranquil bush through the gentle hills of Red Hill. You need several days to complete the walk or you can choose to stagger it over four or more shorter coastal and hinterland walks - Two Bays Trail, Coastal Walk, Point Nepean walks and the Bay Trail.
There are endless options of sections, of sections, of sections that you can plan to explore.
Download the Mornington Peninsula Walk map for inspiration, and start planning.
Moderate walks: one hour or more
Red Hill Trail
If a hinterland experience is beckoning you, and you wouldn’t mind a great coffee to go with it, the Red Hill Trail is for you. Red Hill is an inviting community boasting fresh produce, local artisans and wineries. You’ll need more than an hour, but likely less than 2 hours. The trail is mostly wide sealed paths.
Make a day of it by planning your walk following a Red Hill Market indulgence.
Fort Nepean Walking Trail
Combine history and awe inspiring views on this circular walking trail. Strategically placed military fortifications dating back to the late 19th century are open to the public for exploring along the way.
Allow more than one hour, and shy of two hours, for this fascinating walk.
Accessible walks: meandering paths, fantastic outlooks
Spectacular cliff top views, history and art – it’s a part of the Sorrento Portsea Artists’ Trail - combined with a peek into the vistas enjoyed by Melbourne’s wealthier holiday makers, makes for a pleasant stroll. This walk shouldn’t take more than an hour. The track is winding and undulating, but well maintained.
Beleura Cliff Path which weaves from Mornington’s Beleura Hill to Mills Beach offers a similar theme with picturesque outlooks. Unfortunately the path has been closed due to safety but local residents and community groups are advocating for its restoration so it can reopen to the public and residents (hopefully soon!).
Pebble Beach – Safety Beach
Martha Cove offers tranquil walking with views to Arthurs Seat, the marina and across the bay. Starting at the car park near the Safety Beach Boat Club you can choose to follow the path to explore Martha Cove Waterway, or follow the track to the foot of the red cliffs. Wear comfortable walking shoes, it is called Pebble Beach for a reason! There is the delectable Provincia Food Store on Marine Drive to enjoy a good coffee, or take home some European and local continental goods, fresh produce and deli treats.
Online resources: plan your Mornington Peninsula walking experience
- Mornington Peninsula > Walks
- Victoria > Regions > Mornington Peninsula > Outdoor Activities
- Peninsula Bushwalking Club
- Bunarong Bushwalking Club
- Walking Meet Ups in Mornington
And if you are planning your later-active-but-leisurely-years, and moving to the Mornington Peninsula is appealing, enjoy a walk and plan to visit an RCA retirement village:
Stuning image: courtesy of Fotolia.com