Mornington Peninsula: Family Guide To The Best Places To Visit With kids

Outdoor Dec 28, 2021

Wondering what to visit in Mornington Peninsula with kids? Here is a detailed guide about the Mornington Peninsula for families and kids. Find out the best kids activities, and where to go on the Mornington Peninsula that the whole family will love.

Visit Mornington Peninsula national parks for great walks and hikes with gorgeous views of dramatic cliffs and the ocean
Breathtaking views in Mornington Peninsula National Parks. Image source: Arnold S on TripAdvisor

Visit national parks, where you can go on walks and trails on a Mornington Peninsula day trip experience. The views of the dramatic cliffs and ocean are magnificent!

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Note:
We are regularly updating this guide with new family friendly places and great kids activities in Mornington Peninsula we discover. If you want to recommend a destination or be featured in this article, please get in touch with us today. We’d love to spread the word about it!

The best national parks to visit with kids and family

Wondering where to go on the Mornington Peninsula with kids? The Mornington Peninsula is famous for its beautiful views and nature. Below are the best national parks to visit with kids and family.

Fort Nepean at Point Nepean National Park

Point Nepean National Park offers beautiful Mornington Peninsula views, nature and coast.
Beautiful Mornington Peninsula views and landscape at historical Port Nepean National Park. Image source: PhilMalone on TripAdvisor

At Point Nepean Park, situated on the traditional Country of the Bunurong People, you can discover the region’s rich history from European arrival, to World War I and II, all in a beautiful dramatic coastal landscape.

Port Nepean National Park with Fort Nepean has dramatic ocean views in Mornington Peninsula.
Dramatic coastal views at Fort Nepean which protected Melbourne from attack during World War I and II. Image source: Will Holdsworth on Google Images

Fort Nepean is situated on the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula and is one of Victoria’s most important heritage site that protected Melbourne during the gold rush, World War I and World War II. Its strategic placing meant it was one of the most important defence posts in Victoria.

Learn more about local history at Fort Nepean, one of the most informative, best kids activities in Mornington Peninsula.
Step back in time when you explore the inside of Fort Nepean in Mornington Peninsula. Kids will enjoy the views and adventure. Image source: PP Miao on Google Images
Inside Fort Nepean where you learn more about Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne history in the gold rush, World War 1 and 2.
Discover the history of the Mornington Peninsula inside Fort Nepean. Image source: Marius Harmse on Google Images

Exploring the fort, you will find barracks, tunnels, gun emplacements, an engine house, a bomb-proof room and more. Looking out to the ocean, you will marvel at The Rip, where the usually calm waters at Port Phillip come face to face with the rough Southern Ocean seas.


The Quarantine Station

Historically significant Quarantine Station overlooking the beach at Point Nepean National Park.
The historical Quarantine Station overlooking its private Mornington Peninsula beach views stunning coastal views. Image source: Peter S on TripAdvisor

The Quarantine Station, established in 1852, gives you a glimpse of early European history. The variety of facilities helped protect Victoria and Australia from emergence of newly introduced diseases brought from overseas. It was then used by the army during World War II, and after the war it continued to be used by the army as an Officer Cadet School, barracks, a gymnasium and a library.

You can explore the Quarantine station by foot, walking around the many historical buildings surrounded by lots of bushes and trees, and a lovely, peaceful beach. It’s a great spot for a picnic or BBQ.


Wildlife at Point Nepean National Park

Port Nepean National Park in Mornington Peninsula has many iconic Aussie animals including echidnas.
Adorable echidna found at the Quarantine Station. Keep your eyes out for more Australian animals at Point Nepean National Park in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: Noemi V. on Google Images

If you’re lucky and paying attention, you might spot some native Australian wildlife hiding around Point Nepean National Park. Echidnas have been spotted often in the bushes near the Quarantine Station and on the walking trail to Fort Nepean.

Facilities:

  • Public toilets, picnic tables and BBQs at the Quarantine Station.
  • No water fountains and no toilets at Fort Nepean.
  • Plenty of parking at the entrance to Fort Nepean (you need to take a walking trail through the coastal bush to get there) and at the Quarantine Station.

Accessibility:

  • Fort Nepean and Quarantine Station can be difficult to access for people with disabilities.
  • There are some flat paths in the Quarantine Station that can be pram and wheelchair friendly, but many paths are uneven.
  • Assistance dogs are welcome, but other dogs or pets are not allowed in Point Nepean National Park.

School Holidays Tip:

  • Take a good 2 to 3 hours or more to explore Point Nepean National Park.
  • Bring water, snacks and sunscreen.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve at Mornington Peninsula National Park

Mornington Peninsula National Park is a perfect destination for family friendly walking trails and beaches. Kids will love exploring the bush and enjoying the beach.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse in Mornington Peninsula with beautiful views and walks through coastal nature.
Cape Schanck Lighthouse. Image source: Swell Traveller on TridAdvisor

Cape Schanck Lighthouse dates back to 1859 and was constructed from limestone and sandstone. You can take the steps up to the top and marvel at the magnificent 360 degree views of the coast, bursts of green coastal nature and flowers, and waves splashing against dramatic cliffs.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse has beautiful ocean views. It’s the ultimate Mornington Peninsula experience.
Cape Schanck Lighthouse and Reserve: beautiful views and coastal nature in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: schoolholidays.com.au

Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve also has a museum where you can learn more about the interesting history of the lighthouse and fascinating stories from lighthouse keeper families.

Tickets to Cape Schanck Lighthouse

To enter Cape Schanck Lighthouse, Museum, two viewing platforms with fantastic lookouts, and more, the entry ticket prices are:

  • Adults: $16 per person
  • Kids (5 to 16 years old): $10 per child
  • Family: $42
Visit the famous Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve and national park, museum, sculptures and walks in Mornington Peninsula.
Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve. Image source: theharveyz on TripAdvisor

Cape Schanck Lighthouse Opening Hours

  • Cape Schanck Lighthouse is open from 10am and 4pm.
  • During the summer months, closing hours may be extended.

Cape Schanck Reserve Facilities

  • Carpark
  • Public toilets
  • Picnic tables and BBQs
  • Dogs are not allowed at Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve nor in Mornington Peninsula National Park.

Accessibility at Cape Schanck

This beautiful park and walking trail has great accessibility:

  • Designated disability parking spots
  • Pram and wheelchair friendly flat paths leading to the foot of the lighthouse
  • Pram and wheelchair access to the museum and lookouts with breathtaking views
  • Assistance dogs are welcome.

The video below clearly explains the accessibility at Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve:



Best walking trails in Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula walking trails are some of the best walking trails in Melbourne, Victoria. Enjoy breathtaking ocean views as you venture through gorgeous coastal nature.

Mornington Peninsula Coastal Walk

Check out Mornington Peninsula National Park with the Coastal walk, great active activities for kids and family.
Mornington Peninsula Coastal Walking Trail has fantastic scenery. Image source: Marie Starkey on All Trails

The Coastal Walk is an awesome challenge for families with older kids! This 2-day 26km walking track takes you on an adventure through Mornington Peninsula National Park, along high clifftops, coastal nature, hidden coves, tidal rock pools and breathtaking ocean beach landscapes.

Mornington Peninsula National Park Coastal walk with boardwalks and views on cliffs, beaches and nature.
Boardwalks, cliffs, coastal nature and gorgeous ocean views at The Coastal Walk. Image source: schoolholidays.com.au

To tackle this whole track, it is best to stay in a nearby hotel or motel overnight. The Mornington Peninsula Coastal Walk has many other walking trails passing through it, so you can enter at many points.

The 2 day Coastal Walk in Mornington Peninsula National Park is a fun experience and challenge for the whole family.
The Coastal Walk is identified by the Hooden Plover symbol. Image source: Darion Teoh on All Trails

The Hooded Plover symbol identifies that you are on the Coastal Walk. Arrow markers indicate the walking track, orange markers indicate longer ‘through tracks’ and blue markers indicate circuit tracks to intersecting places, like lookout platforms.


Cape Schanck to Bushrangers Bay

Cape Schanck Lighthouse seen in the distance from Cape Schanck Bushrangers Bay walking trail.
Cape Schank to Bushrangers Bay trail. Cape Schanck Lighthouse in the distance. Image source: Global Travel 888 on TripAdvisor

From the eastern carpark at Cape Schanck, set off on a walking trail overlooking the stunning coast and ocean beaches, leading to Bushrangers Bay, a sandy beach surrounded by basalt cliffs.

This walk takes about 2 hours.

Beautiful views from Bushrangers Bay, one of the best beaches in Mornington Peninsula for families with kids.
Bushranger's Bay in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: Kevin Karongo on All Trails

Bushrangers Bay is located about 1.5hrs from Melbourne CBD, and is a great place to visit with kids in Mornington Peninsula. You can explore and enjoy the rock pools here at low tide with enough time left to safely make it back to the shore before high tide.

You can also access Bushrangers Bay from the Boneo car park, from which the walk down to Bushrangers Bay beach is faster and only 2.5km long. However the parking is limited and while you might find a spot to park along the road, the area can get very busy especially in summer.


Two Bays Walking Track

Two Bays walking trail in Mornington Peninsula from Cape Schanck Lighthouse to Bushrangers Bay through Greens Bush.
Two Bays walking trail through the eucalyptus forest. Image source: PhilMalone on TripAdvisor

A unique trail going through Greens Bush where you can walk through the gorgeous eucalyptus forest with fern gullies and grasslands with incredible strands of grass tree some over 200 years old.

Mornington Peninsula wildlife in Greens bush. Kids will love spotting animals like kangaroos, wallabies, and more.
Spotted! Kangaroo in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: andrew Breen on All Trails

Greens Bush is also a great place to run into kangaroos!

Beautiful Two Bays lookout on Mornington Peninsula coast with Cape Schanck Lighthouse in the distance.
Stunning views of the Mornington Peninsula coast from Two Bays Lookout. Can you spot the Cape Schanck Lighthouse in the distance on the right? Image source: PhilMalone on TripAdvisor

Accessibility on the Two Bays Walking Track

The first section of the trail, leading to the Two Bays lookout over beautiful ocean views and dramatic cliffs, is a mostly flat dirt track with some steep sections that can be accessed with a pram, stroller or wheelchair.

You can start this trail from the toilets near the Cape Schanck Lighthouse carpark, heading east.


Best family beaches in Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula beaches are some of the best in Melbourne, Victoria. Below are our top beaches for families with kids.

Sorrento Ocean Beach

Sorrento Beach, one of the best kids and family beaches in Mornington Peninsula, has shallow water and rock pools.
Sorrento Beach: family and kids friendly beach in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: Corinne on TripAdvisor

Sorrento Beach is perfect for families with kids. There are rock pools where kids can swim and play at low tide. Swimming is allowed between flags, but the waves can be quite rough so take care.

On busy days, Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club patrols the beach.

There’s a cafe overlooking the beach if you get hungry or want some ice cream.

There is a big car park with beach access from a staircase or ramp. Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat on sunny days!


Rye Beach

Rye Beach is a family friendly beach in Mornington Peninsula with a pier, soft sand and shallow water, perfect for kids.
Rye Beach: family friendly beach in Mornington Peninsula perfect for kids! Image source: madjax654 on TripAdvisor

Another great family friendly beach on the Mornington Peninsula, the beach in Rye is 4km long with soft white sand and clean, shallow water up to a distance, perfect for a splash or swim for kids!

Rye beach is also dog friendly if you want to bring your furry friend along.

There is a big car park at the end of Sandy Rd, or you can park in the streets or car parks near the shops, cafes, restaurants and other facilities.

You can get fish and chips or ice cream there!


Best playgrounds in Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula has some of the best play centres and playgrounds in Melbourne. Here are our top playground picks:

Kidz Shed Indoor Playcentre

Kidz Shed Indoor Playcentre and Cafe

Kidz Shed is a locally-owned outdoor and indoor playcentre & cafe on the Mornington Peninsula, where kids and parents come and go with a smile.

Kidz Shed Indoor Playcentre and Cafe

Kidz Shed is an independent, locally-owned outdoor and indoor playcentre in Mornington Peninsula. The whole family will enjoy their time in this fun, clean and safe playcentre.

While the kids play, parents can sit back and relax with a cuppa from the onsite cafe catering to various dietary needs and serving delicious homemade meals (lasagnes, pizza, hamburgers... you name it!) and hot and cold drinks.

Kids of all ages can have a blast at Kidz Shed. For toddlers under 3 years old, there is a dedicated fenced off playspace just for them. There's also a fenced off outdoor jumping castle great for sunny days!


Rosebud Foreshore Playground

Rosebud Foreshore Playground near Rye Beach has a mountain slide and more fun play equipment.
Rosebud Foreshore Playground in Mornington Peninsula. Check out the mountain slide and more fun activities for kids in Melbourne! Image source: EndlessTravels on TripAdvisor

Rosebud Foreshore Playground on the beach will become a favourite for you and your kids!

There are many kids activities and play equipment here to enjoy: a multi-level playspace, flying fox, swings, the 'mountain' slide, ropes for climbing, a spinning disc and more.

Rye Beach has a pier, soft sand and shallow water, great for families with kids.
Rosebud Foreshore Playground in Mornington Peninsula overlooking the Rye Beach Pier. Families with kids will love it here! Image source: EndlessTravels on TripAdvisor

There are also BBQs and picnic tables perfect for a family lunch by the sea. The playground overlooks the ocean and Rosebud pier, where you can watch boats and ships come and go. You can also go for a stroll along the coast, and there is a family-friendly beach nearby too.


Ryes Up Community Playground

Ryes Up Community Playground slide and climbing play equipment.
Rye Foreshore Playground in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: Robby G C on TripAdvisor

This great playground near Rye Beach and Rye Beach Pier is lots of fun for kids in Melbourne. It was built in a wonderful community effort for kids to enjoy.

The playgrounds was designed in the shape of a ship, with lots of play equipment from monkey bars, climbing ropes, a fireman's pole and balance beams, to a rock climbing wall, many slides, swings, a wobble bridge and a cubby house in the shape of a lighthouse (like a mini Cape Schanck Lighthouse!).

Ryes Up Community Playground near Rye Beach with a lighthouse cubby house, slides, monkey bars, picnic table and more.
Rye Playground in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: visitmelbourne.com

There are also many sea themed beautiful decorations throughout the playground, from little starfish, crabs and even mermaids and a treasure chest. It's such a special place!

The playground is enclosed, and there is also a flat path suitable for wheelchairs and prams throughout the playspace. There are picnic tables and a carpark near the playground.


McCrae Foreshore Reserve Lighthouse Playground

Young kids playing at McCrae Foreshore Lighthouse Playground in Mornington Peninsula.
Lighthouse Playground in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: mamaknowssouth.com.au

This small Lighthouse playground in Mornington Peninsula is great for younger kids. The best feature is a lighthouse cubby house with a staircase, 2 climbing walls and slide. There are also swings and monkey bars.

McCrae Foreshore Lighthouse Playground is located on Point Nepean Road, near the McCrae lighthouse and close to the beach.


Mornington Peninsula tours for families with kids

Discover Mornington Peninsula’s marine wildlife, from friendly dolphins and seals to unique sea dragons, in these awesome tours. There are many to choose from, so there's sure to be something for everyone!

Kids snorkelling in Mornington Peninsula.
Mornington Peninsula Snorkelling Tours. Image source: Bayplay-Snorkel on TripAdvisor

Have you ever tried snorkelling? Mornington Peninsula has some fantastic snorkelling tours where you can encounter incredible wildlife and marine animals.

Mornington Peninsula Sea Dragons Snorkelling Tour


Have you met a sea dragon before? Now is the perfect opportunity! Kids will love this fun Melbourne snorkel adventure where they will discover Weedy Sea Dragons unique to Mornington Peninsula and the Australian south coast.

The tour begins with a snorkelling class from professional guides so you feel confident and safe during the tour.

You will then embark on the tour where you will meet the extraordinary Weedy Sea Dragons, as well as more Mornington Peninsula wildlife like Hermit Crabs, Spine Globe Puffer Fish, Star Gazers, beautiful soft corals and more.

Sounds great? Book your snorkel tour today:

Book Mornington Peninsula Snorkel Tours

Experience snorkeling with these tours in Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay - a relaxed setting with the chance to spot dolfins or witness the rare Weedy Sea Dragons firsthand.

Mornington Peninsula Snorkel Tours

Dolphin and Seal Swim Reef Snorkel Tour

Discover adorable fur seals in Mornington Peninsula snorkelling tours.
Get up close with friendly fur seals and dolphins in Mornington Peninsula!

This fun snorkel tour lets you swim with dolphins and seals, and explore the coral reef with many colourful fish.

It's a great experience for the whole family, and kids will love meeting Mornington Peninsula animals like friendly fur seals and bottlenose dolphins, rays, kelp, sea dragons and many more.

Sounds like fun? Book a snorkel tour today:

Book Mornington Peninsula Snorkel Tours

Experience snorkeling with these tours in Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay - a relaxed setting with the chance to spot dolfins or witness the rare Weedy Sea Dragons firsthand.

Mornington Peninsula Snorkel Tours

Scuba Diving Mornington Peninsula with Sea Dragons

Discover colourful weedy sea dragons common to Mornington Peninsula when scuba diving or snorkelling.
Discover Weedy Sea Dragons when scuba diving or snorkelling in Mornington Peninsula!

Would you prefer scuba diving to snorkelling? Or want to try both? This Mornington Peninsula Scuba Dive tour is great for you.

Before the tour starts, you will have a scuba diving class where you will learn all the basics of how to scuba dive. Then you will discover the unique Weedy Sea Dragons and more wonderful marine animals in Mornington Peninsula.

Sounds like a plan? Book this experience today:

Book Skuba Diving Mornington Peninsula

Enjoy beautiful soft coral and unique marine life including Weedy Sea Dragons on this Mornington Peninsula scuba diving adventure.

Skuba Diving Mornington Peninsula


More fun kids activities in Mornington Peninsula

There are heaps of fun kids activities Mornington Peninsula has to offer. Check out more family friendly places below.

Moonlit Sanctuary


Moonlit Sanctuary is a fantastic wildlife conservation park and zoo in Mornington Peninsula. Kids will love meeting adorable Australian animals from koalas and kangaroos to dingoes, wombats and more.

The python show is a fun kids activity at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park and Zoo on the Mornington Peninsula.
Python show at Moonlit Sanctuary!

With daily koala, dingo, python and Tasmanian devil shows, as well as animal encounters like cuddling koalas, feeding kangaroos and wallabies and more, Moonlit Sanctuary is an awesome place that's just an hour away from Melbourne. Kids will have a blast!

Sounds fun? Book your entry tickets today:

Book Moonlit Sanctuary Entry Tickets

Buy entry tickets to Moonlit Sanctuary, a charming wildlife conservation park on the Mornington Peninsula to see all the rare Aussie animals.

Moonlit Sanctuary Entry Tickets

Book Ashcombe Maze And Lavender Gardens Entry Tickets

Buy entry tickets to Ashcombe Maze And Lavender Gardens, Australia's oldest most famous hedge maze based in the Mornington Peninsula.

Ashcombe Maze And Lavender Gardens Entry Tickets

More of the best places to visit with kids in Melbourne

Check out the most beautiful gardens and all abilities playgrounds in Melbourne. Below you can find a comprehensive lists of the top attractions and things to do in Melbourne and Victoria the whole family would enjoy.

Most Stunning Botanical Gardens in Melbourne

Here are the best botanical gardens Melbourne has to offer. Discover these beautiful gardens and enjoy a fun day out with the whole family.

Botanical Gardens in Melbourne

All Abilities Playgrounds In Melbourne To Visit

Here's a comprehensive list of accessible playgrounds in Melbourne. No more hustle! Check out the best playgrounds for kids of different ages and abilities.

All Abilities Playgrounds In Melbourne To Visit

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Mornington Peninsula?

The Mornington Peninsula is a lovely coastal region southeast of Melbourne in the state of Victoria, Australia. It is about an hour drive from Melbourne CBD.

Where does the Mornington Peninsula start?

The Mornington Peninsula begins in Frankston South and Pearcedale, and includes the suburbs of Mornington, Mount Eliza, Mount Martha, Somerville, Sorrento, Portsea, Rye, Rosebud, Dromana, Flinders and others.

Is Mornington Peninsula regional or metro Melbourne?

The Mornington Peninsula is considered part of metropolitan Melbourne. It's located just over an hour south of Melbourne City CBD.

Metropolitan Melbourne is divided into 31 local government areas (LGAs) which include: Mornington Peninsula, Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Manningham, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melbourne, Melton, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Nillumbik, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Yarra, and Yarra Ranges.


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Daria

Content creator and editor at schoolholidays.com.au. I love to travel, read and write!