Follow your feet to otherwise unexplored nooks and crannies on the Mornington Peninsula Walk. Breathtaking beauty and rich history on Melbourne's doorstep, the walk circumnavigates this gorgeous peninsula by linking four trails into a circular route.
Whether you tackle the walk in its entirety, or embark on one of the shorter components, you'll take in sights like the historic fort at Point Nepean, the foreshores of Portsea, Sorrento, Blairgowrie, Rye, Rosebud and Dromana, Arthurs Seat, stretches of forest and ferny glens, dark and brooding cliffs, and thick coastal ti-tree.
Long walks, food and wine
The 100-kilometre circuit incorporates short walk opportunities and the four peninsula walks; the Point Nepean Walks (16 kilometres return); the Bay Trail (26 kilometres) from Point Nepean to Dromana; the Two Bays Walking Track (26 kilometres) between Dromana and Cape Schanck; and the Coastal Walk (30 kilometres) between Cape Schanck and London Bridge.
Break up the rigours of the walks with the region's renowned accommodation, food and wine, always within easy reach of the trails. You can even camp along the Bay Trail's foreshore sites.
Point Nepean Walks, 16km return
Traversing the stunning headland marking the very tip of the peninsula, the gentle trails of Point Nepean National Park leave plenty of time for contemplation. As you leave the Information Centre and pass the old Quarantine Station – once described as 'one of the worst places anyone could set foot on' for its role housing those suffering ship-borne diseases in the 1900s – meander through Moonah bushland before emerging onto the weather-worn point as the boom of the ocean sounds out over the gun placements and fortifications.
The Bay Trail, 28km one way
Leaving Point Nepean National Park the trail weaves through Portsea and Sorrento, past the grand holiday homes of Melbourne's rich and famous. Stop at the Collins Settlement at Sorrento Historic Park, site of Port Phillip Bay's first settlement, and follow the folds of the land to the historic Lime Burners Kiln on the Rye foreshore.
The trail then snakes through foreshore campsites where countless generations of Melburnians have spent their summer holidays, passing through Rosebud to Dromana on pavement, dirt trail and a small stretch of boardwalk. Don't forget to stop for lunch at one of the many fine cafes along the way.
Two Bays Walking Track, 26km one way
The challenging trail summits Arthurs Seat before descending to historic Cape Schank.
Begin at the Latrobe Parade car park then climb high above the bay to the glorious vantage of Arthurs Seat. After navigating the back streets of Rosebud on the descent, the trail enters Mornington Peninsula National Park. From here it is delightful singletrack through eucalyptus bush, damp fern-filled gullies, heathlands and wonderful stands of big bottlebrush trees, until you can hear the roar of the ocean through coastal ti-tree.
You'll finally arrive at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse, perched high atop a cliff overlooking the sea.