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12 Outdoor Activities in Mornington Peninsula That Kids Will Love

by Family Globetrotters

Welcome To Australia’s Little Slice Of Heaven! With All The Amazing Outdoor Activities in Mornington Peninsula, It Will Have You Coming Back Time And Time Again.

Mornington Peninsula is located an hour south-east of Melbourne, Australia and is home to stunning coastlines and charming seaside towns. Since Hannah was born, I have made it a family tradition to go at least once a year during long weekends and school holidays. We especially love travelling to the peninsula with friends and we typically rent a big house with 2-3 other families.

Despite having been there on so many occasions, we always seem to discover new gems and things to do. I suppose with Hannah growing up we’re able to indulge in different activities over the years so I always feel like we’re uncovering new adventures. It is simply not possible for me to cover everything one could do in a single post so I’m only going to dedicate this article to tips and ideas for outdoor activities in the Mornington Peninsula the whole family will love.

#01 – MORNINGTON PENINSULA BEACHES

The beaches and water conditions of the peninsula is entirely dictated by whether you’re on the Port Phillip Bay, Western Port Bay, or the Bass Strait side of the peninsula. For calmer, shallower waters that sometimes resembles a massive swimming pool, head to the foreshores at Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay. This would include foreshores such as Flinders, Rosebud, Sorrento, and Mount Martha. The waters here don’t tend to get very deep for quite a few meters out so you have a larger playing field, so to speak. Hannah grew up on these foreshores and I always felt very safe in being able to keep an eye on her easily as she splashed and sand castled her way.

If you’re looking for waves, head to the ocean side of the peninsula as the wild waters of the Bass Strait is perfect for the avid surfer. As Hannah has gained much more confidence in the water, she much prefers to head this side as she now finds the foreshore “boring”. Also known as the back beaches, these were our sunset spots too as we often take the kids to watch the sun dip below the horizon as they wade their toes in the white froth of the crashing waves. It really is stunning and I never tire of its beauty. It’s the most picturesque way to end the day.

Mornington Peninsula

Kids Dipping Their Toes in the Cold Water.

#02 – SURFING AND BOOGIE BOARDING

On the ocean side of the peninsula, you can find the calmer surf at Sorrento right through to the fierce waves near Gunnamatta. It’s the perfect shoreline to suit wave catchers of all levels. If you’re looking for consistent breaks, head to Portsea, Sorrento, and Flinders. Our personal favourite spot is Point Leo. It has plenty of parking, open space to lay out the boards, wetsuits, or any gear you may find cumbersome and most importantly it is patrolled by the Point Leo Surf Life Saving Club.

If you’re a camping family, consider the Point Leo Foreshore Park and Reserve which will put you within walking distance of the water. And if you’re keen on getting some surf lessons, East Coast Surf School is your best bet.

If you would like some kite boarding lessons, you’ll have to head to the Rosebud foreshore to catch the Northerly winds. Go Kite will teach you in waist high water to ensure a safe and hassle free learning environment. For the advance kite surfers, the ocean side will surely satiate your appetite for airborne acrobatics!

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Mornington Peninsula Boogie Boarding

I Love Boogie Boarding! Great Day Out.

#03 – DOLPHINS AND SEALS

The best months to get out on the boat to see some Bottlenose and Common Dolphins and Australian Fur Seals are between the months of September and May. That is when they are in the Southern regions of Port Phillip Bay. You can choose to snorkel underwater and hope to swim with dolphins and seals or you can choose to admire them in comfort aboard the boat charters.

There are a couple of charters that leave from the Sorrento pier and a tour typically takes about 3 to 4 hours. It is recommended that you take the morning tour due to the heavier traffic of other boats and jet skis out on the water. Both Moonraker Charters and Polperro come highly recommended.

We have yet to go on this tour as we feel Hannah is not strong enough to snorkel in the ocean. It is however definitely on the cards and yet another peninsula adventure to look forward to in the later years.

#04 – TREE SURFING AND ZIP LINING

 The Enchanted Maze in Arthurs Seat, is one of Hannah’s happiest places. We have been coming here for years and she never seems to tire of what it has to offer. Every time we go I always feel like she’s discovering it for the first time and we love how excited she gets. The Enchanted Maze is home to Mornington Peninsula’s tree surfing, the Big Zip and tube sliding. On top of that, it has beautiful gardens, bordered hedge mazes, 3D human sized puzzles and a canopy walk.

According to The Enchanted Maze it “offers an unforgettable Tree-top climbing tour activity for both adults and children alike with over 50 aerial obstacles, bridges and 5 zip-lines linked to tree-based platforms up to 10m high. The Grand course offers 5 different levels of challenges, giant Tarzan swing and rock climbing wall. There is also a separate Nippers course for kids under 135cm.”. For Hannah’s birthday just gone, Andrew did the tree surfing with her and she hovered between sheer excitement, adrenaline, pure fun and trepidation by the obstacles as well as the increased level of difficulty in the obstacles. It’s a highly popular activity so please book in advance to avoid disappointment.

And after a massive round of tree surfing, there is no better way to end the day than to head to the tube slides. Your general admission ticket into the garden will give you free access to the tube slides. There are six slides to choose from: 3 Big Twisters, 2 Straight Giants and 1 kids only slide. Children under 5 can sit with a parent on a big tube whilst the little ones can head to the kids only slide. Soooo much good wholesome fun!!!

Oh and because it’s essentially a garden, feel free to bring a picnic and secure yourself a good spot.

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Mornington Peninsula Tree Surfing

Hannah Up on the Obstacle Course Between the Trees.

#05 – WATERSPORTS IN MORNINGTON PENINSULA

With the ever changing coastline, there is an abundance of water activities you can indulge in. You can go sea kayaking, boating, sailing, snorkelling and diving. The shallow reefs and deep walls provide for a massive water playground for learners, intermediate and advanced adventurers. If you don’t have any equipment or mode of transport, check out Bayplay for all your needs. Here you’ll be able to not only hire what you need but they also run tours and take group bookings if you prefer to be guided on your day out.

#06 – FISHING

This is a great activity for the whole family. If you simply want to relax and fish off a pier, you can do so in Mornington, Dromana, Rosebud, Rye or Sorrento. Good starting point for young kids to get a feel for hook, line and sinker. If you would like to try surf fishing, there are plenty of charters you can hop on. The Snapper season is from October to May and you can certainly try your luck out at Western Port or Port Phillip Bay.

#07 – PADDLE BOARDING IN PORT PHILIP BAY

The calm waters of the Port Philip Bay side of the peninsula is the perfect spot for a bit of paddle boarding. Both the Rye and Rosebud foreshores are our favourite places to visit as we watch the kids glide across the shallow waters. For beginners, it certainly doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. Hannah tried it for the first time last year when she was 8 and she didn’t fall in once.

If you need to hire stand up paddle boards, check out Mornington Boat Hire who services the Mornington Harbour.

Mornington Peninsula Paddle boarding

Paddle Boarding For The First Time. Her Little Passenger Riley Loved Being Chauffered.

#08 – HORSEBACK RIDING

 There is no better way to experience the peninsula than on horseback as you discover it through spectacular beaches or coastal bushland. Gunnamatta Trail Rides have been offering Horseback riding in the vicinity for over 30 years and they are certainly your best bet.

They offer Early Bird, St. Andrews and Sunset rides on the beach but there is a minimum age of 10 years. If you have younger children 6 years and above, they can enjoy the Truemans Bush Ride for 50 minutes and are suitable for beginners.

#09 – HEAD DOWN TO THE ROCKPOOLS 

London Bridge, Portsea and Flinders Ocean Beach and Mushroom Reef are home to some of the best rock pool spots on the peninsula. Our favourite spot however can be found at Bridgewater Way in the back beaches of Blairgowrie. The best time to visit is during low tides so that the water recedes far back enough to expose the myriad of rock pools. Some of the pools are deep enough to even have a dip in or one can simply bathe in the shallower turquoise waters.

There is some dedicated parking at the entrance. Follow the path until you come to an open expanse of breathtaking views below. Well-built stairs provide for easy access whilst you search for a spot on the pristine sand to spend the next few hours. The kids loved searching for hidden sea life within the nooks and crannies of the rocks whilst the adults enjoyed being enveloped by the sandstone cliffs.

Mornigton Peninsula rockpools

Heading Down To The Rockpools at Bayswater Bridge . Beautiful Views!

#10 – CYCLING TRAILS

One of the easiest ways to explore the peninsula is on your bike. If you’re keen to just go for a quick ride around the neighbourhood, be weary that you’re most likely riding on a shared road with cars and pedestrians. Be sure to hug the sides of the rode and it would be handy to have a bell to let people know you’re passing. The roads also tend to be undulating and filled with twists and turns so if you’re not a confident rider, you might prefer to head to a dedicated bike trail.

There are plenty of cycling trails to select from. In fact, you’re quite spoilt for choice. Here are some bike trails that may interest you:

  • Mornington Rail Trail – Starting at the Mornington Railway Station, this trail follows the old Mornington Railway all the way to the Railway Preservation Society.
  • Portsea to Sorrento Tail – A little bit more difficult, this section of the Bay Trail highlights the gorgeous part of the Mornington Peninsula between the Portsea and Sorrento Piers.
  • Rosebud Bay Trail – Ride along the pathways and boardwalk on Rosebud Foreshore
  • Frankston foreshore – Explore the Frankston Waterfront on the 3m wide, raised timber boardwalk.
  • Peninsula Link Trail – If you’re looking for a massive ride, you can head down to the shared path of the 25km Peninsula Link freeway.

#11 – STRAWBERRY PICKING

If you’re in the Mornington Peninsula from November to April, head to Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm in Main Ridge. This is a suitable activity for every member of the family, especially if you’re travelling with toddlers and grandparents. It’s a self-picking activity of which you can eat as you pick and you’re entitled to take one punnet home (you must be able to close the lid or you’ll be charged extra.) I remember when we took Hannah when she was so little and she loved finding them hidden amongst the leaves and soil. She would just stand in the middle of the row and just devour them.

The strawberries here are super sweet and occasionally, we find massive ones of which you should eat those as it takes up too much space in the punnet! Sunny Ridge also boasts a lovely shop where you can pick up jams, syrups, freeze dried raspberries and strawberries, chocolates, and gorgeous gifts.

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Strawberry picking with kids Sunnyridge

Kids Having A Great Time Picking Those Strawberries! Hannah Was Little Then!

#12 – MORNINGTON PENINSULA WALKING TRAILS

If it’s one thing the Mornington Peninsula isn’t short of is walking trails. Whether you’re hugging the coastline or exploring the inner hinterlands, you’ll certainly never complain it isn’t picturesque enough. Here are some of the more popular ones which you can do in its entirety if you’re serious walkers or just partway to stretch those legs and take in some fresh air.

  • Point Nepean Walk – 8km one way and is a gentle trail through the Moonah bushlands of the Point Nepean National Park.
  • The Bay Trail – This trail is 28km one way from the Portsea and Sorrento right through to the foreshore at Rosebud.
  • The Coastal Walk – Not for the faint hearted, this walk is 30km one way from Cape Schanck to London Bridge at Portsea.

So as you can see, there are a plethora of activities you can engage in and this is one of the many reasons we keep going back. Or you can just be lazy and sit on the beach every day and enjoy the water. If ever you’re in Melbourne, do try and allocate a couple of days or even make a day trip to explore the region. I promise you won’t regret it!

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12 Outdoor Activities Kids Will Love In Mornington Peninsula

Disclaimer: The Family Globetrotter’s website contains affiliate links which help us to maintain this blog and assists us with our travels. Family Globetrotters have also posted articles based on sponsored products and/or services but all opinions are our own, truthful and unbiased.

 

17 comments

Top 50 Things to Do in Melbourne With Kids September 14, 2018 - 11:06 am

[…] The closest surf beaches from the CBD would either be Torquay down the Surf Coast Highway or the Mornington Peninsula. Perfect for the boogie boarders and surfers in the family. 42. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Yarra […]

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Mai Taup March 24, 2018 - 12:46 am

Oh the things we could do when we live near the water! Will definitely include this place when we visit Melbourne in the summer. My son would really love spending the entire day at the beach. At the moment, We, no change that, I – I am courting my husband right now to go to Melbourne in the winter. Thanks for sharing!

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Family Globetrotters March 28, 2018 - 9:06 am

Oooo, how exciting! There is lots to do in Melbourne in the winter too although I have to say it does get rather cold down here. Its the wind that’s the killer. Every time we look at the temperature, it doesn’t sound so cold but when you step outside, its a whole different story! Eat….. just eat lots! Let me know if you need recommendations. I can help!

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daniele March 16, 2018 - 12:21 am

I don’t have kids right now but these outdoor activities look awesome and funny for all the family.
Love your tips and your shots.

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Family Globetrotters March 20, 2018 - 11:54 am

Oh you welcome Daniele! I started going to Mornington Peninsula way before I had my daughter and loved all my time there. There is enough to do there for everyone. Just the beaches alone are worth the effort. I’d love to retire there one day!

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PossesstheWorld March 15, 2018 - 5:11 pm

We are exploring around our local area this year, after 12 months away in 2017 and you have inspired me to plan a trip across the bay to the Peninsula. Great photos and post, I think we shall enjoy some of the kid activities, even if we are a little older, can’t wait to taste those berries too

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Family Globetrotters March 20, 2018 - 11:53 am

Welcome home! The Mornington Peninsula has grown so much over the years and its filled with so much to do. The food and wine scene has really taken off whilst the nature activities remain its most stunning offer. I hope you do make it there more often:)

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Kavita Favelle February 22, 2018 - 8:21 am

I’m an adult, though I guess really just a big kid, and I think I’d enjoy many of these activities too! I’d particularly love to see dolphins and seals, I love wildlife viewing. I’ve done tree ziplining once, and it was terrifying but maybe I’d psych myself up to try again! And rock pools and strawberry picking definitely take me back to my own childhood!

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Family Globetrotters February 23, 2018 - 1:08 pm

Yup! Most of these activities are geared for adults too not just teenagers:) I am terrified of heights and I can appreciate you zip lining even when you were petrified. The dolphin and seals are the Peninsula’s neighbours. Local residents see them all the time. Wouldn’t that be nice?

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Baia Dzagnidze February 22, 2018 - 5:15 am

This truly looks like a fun place for kids. But to be honest, I would have a blast there too 😀

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Family Globetrotters February 23, 2018 - 1:07 pm

Oh its a fun place for everyone! I used to go there before I had a family and always had a blast! And with kids it just meant I now do thing I didn’t do when I was younger. such a great place:)

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Nathan February 22, 2018 - 2:52 am

Looks like there are lots of activities to bond the family together! I would love to check out those adorable aquatic creatures and kitesurf down a Mornington. I’m marking this down in my Australia itinerary and will visit it when I’m down under! 🙂

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Family Globetrotters February 23, 2018 - 1:06 pm

Glad it has made it onto your bucket list! The Peninsula is a great family holiday destination but really, its for everyone. From the lazy to the adrenalin junkies. There’s plenty for everyone to do that’s for sure!

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jithin February 22, 2018 - 12:46 am

Such a beautiful place. I haven’t heard of Mornington before, but after reading this I wanted to visit this place. The photographs are amazing. Thnks for sharing.

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Family Globetrotters February 23, 2018 - 1:05 pm

You’re welcome! Glad it makes you want to visit the region. It really is very beautiful and is highly accessible. Hope it makes it onto your bucket list!

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Ketki February 21, 2018 - 9:07 pm

Whoa! I did not know there were so many activities possible. My favorite would be to kite surf. Though i guess i’ll just end up chilling there with a book in hand 🙂

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Family Globetrotters February 23, 2018 - 1:02 pm

Hahaha! I guess the beauty of the Peninsula is that there are so many choices. You could go Kite Surfing in the morning and chill but in the afternoon relax with a book. But yes…. loads to explore!

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