Location

Mornington Peninsula

Difficulty

3-4

Moderate

Length

5

Trip Cost

from $1750 pp
twin share

Overview

  • Explore the very best of the Mornington Peninsula’s varied walking trails
  • Discover the hidden secrets of the peninsula through two stunning national parks and the vineyards of Red Hill
  • Stay at charming Flinders village and iconic Portsea
  • Taste the Peninsula’s many food offerings each day
  • Walk sections of the spectacular clifftop walk between Flinders and Cape Schanck
  • Daily transfers and knowledgeable local walking guide
  • Option to visit the iconic Peninsula Hot Springs

You’ll experience the very best walking that the Mornington Peninsula has to offer with this guided walk. We start by exploring the beautiful vineyards and rolling hills of the renowned Red Hill wine growing area, then take in some of the locals’ favourite walking beaches on the Westernport coast. Another day has us exploring the Mornington National Park that lies at the heart of the Peninsula with beautiful fern gullies, woodlands and open heath inhabited by large mobs of kangaroos. Next we venture back to the coast for an amazing clifftop walk from Flinders to the Blowhole and onwards to Ti Tree creek.

We walk the Lifesavers Track set up in the 1890s along the sparking beaches and eroded limestone cliffs of the Bass Strait beaches, a favourite for local surfers with its pounding waves. The next part of our exploration sees us venturing to the narrow tip of the Peninsula and the Point Nepean National Park with its wartime forts, historic quarantine station, Harold Holt memorial and dramatic views across the narrow entrance of Port Phillip Bay to the town of Queenscliff on the opposite shore.

On our last morning we walk the famous Sorrento Artists Trail, informally known as the ‘Millionaires walk’ because of the magnificent houses along the clifftops and beautiful coves with private jetties. Afterwards we explore the nearby site of Victorias first settlement and lunch in Sorrento.

Why are we your best choice for a Mornington Peninsula walk?

  • We take you where others won’t – the best places!
  • We know the area – we’ve operated walks on the Peninsula for 10 years
  • First day briefing from our driver – a knowledgeable, enthusiastic local
  • Private transfers each day and advice on walk options
  • Flexibility around your travel plans
  • Different accommodation booked along the route to reduce transfer times
  • Exclusive walking app for track navigation, a comprehensive information pack, and local back-up for any emergencies
  • We are the only Australian walking company BCorp accredited, giving back to local communities

Are you a first-time or solo traveller?

We’ll support you all the way! View our preparation and training resources.

Itinerary

Day 1: Red Hill-Merricks Trail (6km), Merricks Beach – Somers (5.5km)

Arrive by 9.30 am at Frankston train station (or RAW Travel’s office in Mornington) where you will meet your fellow travellers and RAW Travel guide and bus driver. From here it’s a half-hour transfer to Red Hill where we commence our first walk.

The trail to Merricks follows an old railway line and is a leisurely downhill walk on a wide path past vineyards and avenues of cedar trees. Passing rolling pastures either side you will get some beautiful views of Westernport Bay across to Phillip Island. We will have lunch at Merricks General Store, a Mornington Peninsula icon, where we can accompany our country style meals with wine tasting from excellent local vineyards. Very civilised!

In the afternoon we will have an easy walk along the back beaches of Westernport from near Merricks beach to the edge of Somers village. This area offers great views along the Peninsula coast and across the Water to Phillip Island and the Nobbies. This coast of the Peninsula has a very natural character with rock pools and healthy deposits of kelp that hint at the vibrant underwater world. Dolphins are often seen along this part of the coast where we’ll hike. The villages of Balnarring beach and Somers have an understated beauty that makes them a favourite of Peninsula locals to visit.

After our afternoon walk we drive onto Flinders, where our accommodation is located. Flinders is a charming village that is home to art galleries and interesting shops, cafes, a great pub and the Mornington Peninsula chocolaterie.

Meals: Lunch

Day 2: Flinders-Blowhole-Stockyard Creek (10km)

Today we start right from our accommodation at Flinders. After breakfast, we walk towards the beach and follow the coastline along the Flinders ocean beach, a favourite with local surfers when the swell is running. We walk past the Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary on a pleasant beach walk. We then start climbing the hills that form sea cliffs all along today’s hike. Today’s walk is more strenuous and there’s a bit of ‘bush-bashing’ through long grass and mud to negotiate at times today, so make sure to wear your hiking boots and long pants or gaiters.

We wind our way over grassy hills past some spectacular homes and views back towards Flinders and Phillip Island. As we approach the Blowhole, stunning views of the Bass Strait coastline appear stretching into the distance with its rugged cliffs and untamed surf. Approaching the Blowhole we emerge from the thick scrub embankment to find a well-formed track and boardwalk to the Blowhole formation. We will take the time to explore the rock pools and hopefully catch sight of some elegant sea eagles along with other birdlife as we enjoy our lunch. Whales can even be spotted here in the winter months.

After exploring this rugged beach we head back to the walking track, which makes for considerably easier walking from here on as we walk on a narrow corridor of the Mornington Peninsula National Park. There are a few stopping points here that give great views over the rocky headlands and beaches 60m below us. We eventually drop down the black basalt cliffs overlooking a wonderful beach and rock pools where Tea Tree Creek meets the ocean at Cairn Bay.

The last section of today’s exploration follows a wide path along the cliffs to Stockyard Creek, an isolated bay that occasionally sees a visit from surfers but few other visitors, only cows. This is the end of the national park so we retrace our steps back along the track to Tea Tree Creek where our van awaits.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Green’s Bush-Bushranger Bay-Cape Schanck (15km)

Today’s walk is a true highlight of the Mornington Peninsula. From thick forest and bushland to spectacular coastal trails, coupled with diverse and abundant wildlife, this walk is part of the iconic Two Bays Walk.

After breakfast you will be transferred to Green’s Bush at the start of the delightful Baldry’s Crossing circuit walk. Starting off along Main Creek, keep an eye out for kangaroos and wallabies as many inhabit this area. There is variety of habitats we pass through from dense grasstree and eucalypt forest to open heathlands. We will stop for refreshments and a toilet stop at the Lightwood Creek camp spot.

Continuing on we pass through fields of grass trees and eucalyptus before crossing Boneo Road and continuing along the clifftop coastal portion of today’s walk. Stunning vistas and views of rugged Bass Strait coast accompany you until you reach Bushranger’s Bay, a popular spot with local walkers and surfers. We will descend down to the beach for a picnic lunch and a chance to explore the rock pools and golden sands.

Climbing back up to the track we continue our scenic walk through to Cape Schanck. Take your time to explore the lighthouse, former keeper’s house and museum, and descend on the long boardwalk to the coast, which has fantastic rock formations and views of the lighthouse on its headland.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Bridgewater Bay to Sorrento (8km) & Point Nepean History Walk (6km)

Today we get to experience the Peninsula’s famous ‘back beaches’ with some stunning clifftop scenery and quiet rocky bays to explore. For the history buffs, today we also learn about the important role the Peninsula played in Australia’s settlement. We begin with a transfer after breakfast to Bridgewater Bay and head towards Sorrento.

Our first stop is at Spray Point where we can take the boardwalk down to this rugged but quiet beach where few venture. We’ll continue back along the Lifesaving Track until we come to Koonya Ocean Beach where we stop for morning tea.

Continuing on we next come to Jubilee Point, well worth the detour to see the stunning views of Cape Schanck to the east and, on a clear day, the Otways to the west. Climbing back we continue on to Diamond Bay. From here we take the meandering clifftop track with historic markers that explain the area’s history while also providing breathtaking lookouts over Bass Strait. We finish at Sorrento back beach where we will be transferred into Sorrento for lunch.

After lunch, we will be transferred to the historic Point Nepean National Park with its multitude of walks and fascinating history. Point Nepean is the traditional Country of the Bunurong People who have lived on and around this important cultural place for over 35,000 years. The coastline has been an important source of shellfish and other foods and extensive shell middens are reminders of that history. Point Nepean and Sorrento were home to the earliest European settlement in Victoria, including convict settlement, pastoral activities and lime burning. The Quarantine Station at Point Nepean was established in 1852 and was in use until 1979.

We will take in such highlights as the old Quarantine Station, Observatory Point Cemetery, Cheviot Hill (see if you can spot missing Prime Minister Harold Holt!) as well as Point Nepean itself with its WWII forts and stunning views across Bass Strait and Port Philip Bay. After exploring the park thoroughly we will be transferred back to our accommodation for the night, the iconic Sorrento Hotel.

You have the option tonight (no evening opening in July) to visit the iconic Peninsula Hot Springs, an unmissable part of any Mornington Peninsula sojourn. The award-winning hot springs are in a natural bush setting. The 37 steaming pools have different themes and locations, from hammam rooms, saunas, ice caves and hilltop experiences to massaging jet pools.

This is an optional visit and entry fees and any treatments are an additional cost.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Portsea to Collins Settlement Sorrento (6km)

After our breakfast with a view, we transfer the short distance to the start of our walk along the unique Artists Trail from Portsea to Sorrento. Established in celebration of those artists who have made the spectacular Peninsula scenery subjects of some of their major works, this walk stops at those positions along the way where the artists have sat to paint their works.

Along the way we will also take in the Millionaires Walk. This short walk will have you feeling like a trespasser as you literally walk through the backyards of some of the most prime real estate you could find. You will get to take in the views of beautiful homes and private jetties, seeing firsthand ‘how the other half live’!

Coming out at Sorrento Beach we will continue a short way to Collin’s Settlement – the site of Victoria’s first ill-fated attempt at European settlement in 1803 – and hear about the remarkable story of escaped convict William Buckley. From here we will be transferred back to Sorrento for our final lunch together before being transferred to Frankston train station in the early afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

IMPORTANT NOTE

All daily distances are approximate and this itinerary is subject to change. RAW Travel reserves the right to make necessary itinerary changes based on local conditions, group safety, extreme weather or unforeseen difficulties with local suppliers due to the effects of COVID-19.

Dates

From May 8th to October 1st 2020 our special offer of $1 deposit applies to new bookings made in this period for website trips*. $1 is all you will pay in 2020 for trips departing in 2021.

From January 1st 2021 we will invoice you the remainder of the standard deposit ($499*) and the remaining balance payment at the standard 2 months before departure. All your arrangements will be fully confirmed then, as per usual. The $1 deposit offer does not apply to private groups or significant tailormade trip requests, please speak to one of our consultants if you have any questions.

If Government restrictions don’t allow for any travel in your chosen destination at that time (when the balance is due at 60 days prior to departure) then we will either postpone your trip or allow you to transfer to another destination and trip that has availability instead.

*Note - the standard deposit for Peru Lodge trips is $1000.

Start date
20 Aug 2020
End date
24 Aug 2020
Price
$1750
Availability
Available
Start date
12 Oct 2020
End date
16 Oct 2020
Price
$1750
Availability
Available
Start date
16 Nov 2020
End date
20 Nov 2020
Price
$1750
Availability
Available

Inclusions

  • 3 nights ensuite accommodation in boutique hotel at Flinders
  • 1 night ensuite accommodation in boutique hotel at Sorrento
  • 4 hotel breakfasts
  • Lunches at Merricks General Store and a Sorrento eatery
  •  3 excellent picnic lunches inspired with local produce
  • Private transfers throughout plus pick-up/drop-off at Frankston train station
  • Experienced RAW Travel walking guide
  • Refreshment and snack stops
  • Dedicated driver and support vehicle throughout
  • National park admission fees
  • Full carbon offset for your trip and an Australian tree planted on your behalf

Not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Dinners (can be taken at your accommodation or nearby restaurants and pubs)
  • Single supplement (please enquire, limited single rooms available)
  • Entrance to Peninsula Hot Springs (optional)

Map & Guide

Reviews

Donna Koehler, Anchorage (Alaska) – March 2019
Everything on our trip went smoothly. The accommodations were wonderful and our drivers/hosts were just the best. Can’t say enough about Bimbi Park where the food was amazing and the people that operate the park were so friendly and helpful. The accommodations were very comfortable. Especially the king size bed at the end of a long day of hiking. And Frank is a first-rate chef. Peter, our driver, was very helpful and pleasant and even ran an errand for us which was much appreciated. Robyn at 12 Apostles B&B is an excellent cook and very fun and knowledgeable about the area. It was a great experience.

Colin Carruthers, The Ponds (NSW) – April 2018
A fantastic way to see the Great Ocean coastline. The route of the walk was mostly secluded resulting in getting the maximum exposure to the natural beauty of the place. Every logistical aspect of our walk was taken care of, ensuring we were able to simply enjoy the walk and the beautiful surroundings. The input from our guides and accommodation hosts was much appreciated.

Danielle Poynting, The Ponds (NSW) – April 2018
A wonderful walk full of amazing scenery. Loved the pick-ups and drop-offs each day meaning we did not have to worry about logistics. Lee and Peter did a great job as did Drew when we moved on to the next section of our accommodation. Their knowledge of the area was also very helpful. Loved our meals and packed lunches. Would recommend RAW Travel.

Jean Wilson, Crace (ACT) – March 2018
I loved it all. The arrangements worked really well, accommodation was great and food ideal. Special mention of our drivers and guides Peter and Lee. They were very friendly and informative and a great help. The weather was just right for walking too. A great experience of a self-guided walk along with great detailed map and notes.

Albert Howe, Vincentia (NSW) – March 2018
Good management at the start, good support for the actual walk by the guides, good accommodation and great meals.

Earl Snijders, QLD – April 2015
Overall a powerful and unique experience which will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Doug Green, QLD – May 2015
Very well organised, fantastic places to stay and great food.

What our Clients Say

I loved it all. The arrangements worked really well, accommodation was great and food ideal. A great experience!

Jean Wilson, Crace (ACT) – March 2018

Good management at the start, good support for the actual walk by the guides, good accommodation and great meals.

Albert Howe, Vincentia (NSW) – March 2018

Overall a powerful and unique experience which will remain with me for the rest of my life.
April 2015

Earl Snijders, QLD

Very well organised, fantastic places to stay and great food.
May 2015

Doug Green, QLD

A wonderful walk full of amazing scenery. Loved the pick-ups and drop-offs each day meaning we did not have to worry about logistics. Loved our meals and packed lunches. Recommend RAW Travel.

Danielle Poynting, The Ponds (NSW) – April 2018

A fantastic way to see the Great Ocean coastline. The route was mostly secluded resulting in getting the maximum exposure to the natural beauty of the place. Every logistical aspect was taken care of.

Colin Carruthers, The Ponds (NSW) – April 2018

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Trip Grading

This trip is rated as Moderate