In need of some rocks pools, surf, and hikes over some of Australia’s most beautiful coastline? Well, it’s time to slap on a hat cause you’re heading to Mornington Peninsula, only 80 minutes from Melbourne.

Mornington Peninsula Rock Pools

A trip down to some of the Mornington Peninsula’s rock pools is definitely a highlight. The hardest part is picking which one to swim in. Whilst there are many rock pools to be found along the rocky back beaches, here are two winners:

Bushrangers Bay Rock Pools, Cape Schanck

Cape Schanck definitely is Mornington Peninsula’s best rock pools. I don’t know how geology works, but I have a good feeling that it’s working damn well here. The big basalt cliffs and huge rocks meet with the powerful ocean to provide not only some epic places to swim but wild coastal views.

To get to the Bushrangers Bay rock pools, follow the well-maintained walk from Cape Schanck lighthouse, walk down the many stairs towards Pulpit Rock, scramble to the right around the point, and smile at the postcard-perfect pools.

There are also plenty of walks around, including a 3.6km walk to Bushrangers Bay on a path along the cliff tops, which is another winner.

Read more: Bushrangers Bay And The Cape Schanck Trail // Mornington Peninsula

Blairgowrie Rock Pools, Bridgewater Bay

For those who like to climb and jump off stuff, and I know there’s plenty of you out there, this is for you. Park at the end of St Johns Wood Road and take an easy 1km walk to the south end of the beach and you’ll see a beautifully perched rock with a deep sky-blue pool sitting magnificently underneath it.


Scott Runacorn Summer Sweet Spot Mornington Peninsula Swimming Hole, rock jump, diving, rock pool, wild swimming, hero


There are a few options here. For the thrill-seekers, you can climb up and send it from the top, with a gnarly 8m drop to the water. If heights just don’t work for you then you can enjoy a pleasant 2m jump off the rock, or just take a refreshing dip without jumping.

Although Blairgowrie Rock Pools are deep and heavenly to play around in, only go here at low tide, as the high tide will cover the pool and make it dangerous to jump in. Take caution and enjoy this beautiful area safely!

Read more: 14 Best Hiking Backpacks in Australia in 2023

Surf Spots

If you are a beginner or intermediate surfer, or if hanging ten on party waves is more your thing, then some protected surfing locations include:

  • The Pines in Shoreham
  • Point Leo beaches
  • Merricks Beach


Maybe you are a little more experience and smacking the lip is more your style. Check out there more exposed beaches:

  • The Gunnery in Flinders
  • Gunnamatta Beach
  • Koonya Beach
  • Sorrento Back Beach
  • Portsea Back beach


Scott Runacorn Summer Sweet Spot Mornington Peninsula Waves, surf, ocean, sunrise, horizon

Wild Swimming Spots

Looking for something more peaceful where you can get lost in paradise? Here are some turquoise beaches where you can have a dip and relax:

  • Diamond Bay in Sorrento
  • Sullivan Bay in Sorrento
  • Safety Beach

Picnic Spots

After your morning surf or dip, how about a picnic on the cliff tops or at some beautiful gardens? Here are some perfect picnic places you can throw down a rug, listen to the birds, and tuck into a homemade lunch:

Seawinds Gardens

Amidst Arthurs Seat State Park in Redhill, Seawinds Gardens features beautiful Indigenous gardens and sculptures with plenty of shady trees, ponds, and green grass to throw down a rug.

There are plenty of short walks around the area which can lead to the 314m summit of Arthurs Seat, Kings Waterfall, or various lookout points that feature panoramic views of the peninsula. Keep an eye out for the local wombats and wallabies. You can get here by making your way up Arthurs Scenic Road.

Cairns Bay Cliff Tops

The rugged coastal views and the huge basalt cliffs make this place hard to describe with words alone. You’ll find these stunning cliffs in Flinders.

Just drive down Boneo Road and park in the little dirt car park on the side of the road. Walk down towards the bay and turn right up the grassy fields. Throw down your rug and bask in the tremendous ocean views.

You can also walk down to the secluded Cairns Bay for a dip and scramble around the many small rock pools to the left of the bay.


Scott Runacorn Summer Sweet Spot Mornington Peninsula Ocean Lookout, three people, hilltop, sea, hero

Coastal Walks

Some key prerequisites for any amazing walk include beautiful views, clean air, native wildlife, and a whiz-bang attitude. We can almost guarantee that the following walks will tick the box for at least three of those criteria.


Scott Runacorn Summer Sweet Spot Mornington Peninsula Coast, cliffs, ocean, horizon

Point Nepean

The Point Nepean Walk takes you right to the tip of the Mornington Peninsula in Point Nepean National Park, past the old Quarantine Station, World War Two military defences, and along coastal and bush tracks.

It’s definitely worth bringing a bike or skateboard down as you can ride along the winding road to the very point of the Peninsula.

There are other short walks to the London Bridge (a rock in the shape of the London Bridge), Gunners Cottage, and Fort Nepean (old gunneries and military forts). Be careful of swimming in this area, as a very strong current sweeps out of Port Phillip into Bass Straight.

Some other great walks, a little further down from Point Nepean National Park, include the Lifesaving Track and the Farnsworth Track that both form part of the 26km coastal walk along the back beaches of the peninsula.

Made For Summer

Though the area is beautiful all year round, it definitely is a summer special, so try to get down on a warmer day!

There have been cases where parts of the Mornington Peninsula have been closed off from the public due to irresponsible visitors. It’s incredibly important to respect the environment by having an epic time and leaving no trace of your visit.

Take everything with you, pick up a couple of bits of rubbish if you see some, and enjoy this stunning part of the world!

Essential Gear

  • Runners/walking boots (good sandals are also a treat, and sexy!)
  • Swimmers
  • Sunscreen and a hat
  • A playlist of beats ready for a nostalgic drive along the coast

Mornington Peninsula FAQs

How far is the Mornington Peninsula from Melbourne?

The Mornington Peninsula is roughly 80 minute’s drive from Melbourne’s CBD.


Is there an entry fee for the Mornington Peninsula?

Mornington Peninsula National Park has an entry fee but many areas are free to explore.


Can I camp on the Mornington Peninsula?

Yes! Here is a list of places where you can camp, many of them are on the foreshore.


Are the rock pools and beaches patrolled?

These beaches on the Mornington Peninsula are patrolled. The rock pools are not and we recommend you practice wild swimming safety!