At the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula lies Portsea, playground for Melbourne’s rich and famous and buzzing hub for water sports enthusiasts.
Portsea has long been a favoured holiday spot of Melbourne’s elite. The Millionaire’s Walk between Portsea and Sorrento takes you along cliff tops, through landscaped gardens and past private jetties for vantage points of the imposing mansions. Take in stunning views of the calm waters of Port Phillip Bay and the contrasting ocean beaches. In Portsea it’s possible to swim in a safe bay beach and hit the surf at the ocean beach just minutes later.
Portsea’s beaches are abuzz over summer with surfers and iron-men battling it out, or holiday makers sea kayaking around the peninsula. Scuba diving lessons are available amid the sea dragons and rays around Portsea Pier. Experienced divers can explore the reef system to the left of the pier, or venture by boat to outlying reefs and historic wrecks, like the HMAS Canberra former warship.
Activities back on land include the tackling the 100-kilometre Mornington Peninsula Walk, or one of the shorter components into Point Nepean to take in peaceful bays, wild ocean coastlines, tranquil bush, native animals and important Victorian history.
Explore the fascinating labyrinth of nineteenth century tunnels and fortifications in the Point Nepean National Park, built to guard Port Phillip heads. Pay a visit to the historic Quarantine Station, established in the early 1800s as grazing land and repurposed as a haven for refugees.
It’s customary to end sun-kissed Portsea days with a meal and a drink with friends on the lawns of the historic Portsea Pub.
Portsea is 110 kilometres from Melbourne, or around an hour-and-a-half by car along the M1 and Eastlink tollways.