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On the Mornington Peninsula we are lucky enough to have some of Victoria's best bay and back beaches that are separated by a small stretch of land in between. Some of the beaches are only accessible via coastal walking tracks within National Parks whilst others are located near the main shopping strip along Point Nepean Road.
So from the wild beaches at Cape Schanck to the tame waters of Port Phillip Bay, here is a locals guide to Mornington Peninsula's best beaches.
Point Leo is a gentle surf beach that backs onto a large camping area perfect for summer holidays, though it is difficult to secure one of the 500 or so camping spots from Dec-Jan. The beach spans over a kilometre long with clean sand and a small rocky outcrop to the left of the Point Leo Surf Life Saving Club. This beach is perfect for the beginner surfer or body boarder with learn to surf lessons regularly held here. Parking in the summer months cost $4.
Sorrento Back Beach is where the cool kids go over summer. It's the place to go if you want to explore the rock pools at low tide, body board or surf at high tide or take the coastal walk. Many people set beach shelters up for the day, sun bake, read, head to the cafe or kiosk for lunch and just relax really. Sorrento back beach is patrolled over summer as it can be dangerous.I wouldn't recommend it for young children as a place to swim, although there are usually many there. A big advantage is that the beach is only a 50 m walk from Sorrento main st and public transport. For young children you can't go past Sorrento's foreshore beaches. The sand is soft and clean, the water a beautiful shade of blue and it's absolutely picture perfect. My favourite is Tideways, located opposite Westmore Ave along Point Nepean Rd.
Near the Sorrento Yacht Club
Mills, Mothers and Shire Hall Beaches in Mornington are all within a kilometre in distance and are all perfect kids beaches. My pick out of the three is Mills Beach as there is a life saving club, good toilets/change rooms, BBQ area, picnic tables and beautiful clear water and a nice stretch of sand. Mothers Beach is below the Mornington park and playground so it can be easier to get parking and it overlooks the Mornington pier. There are also toilets and BBQ's. Shire Hall beach is between the two and is often quieter as parking is limited and facilities only include an old toilet block and a picnic table.
Balnarring Beach is very popular over summer with the caravan park backing onto it. Here you will find fairly calm water with safe swimming, nice sand but can have a bit of seaweed washed up after bad weather. It was given the title of Victoria's cleanest beach a few years back. If you are for early morning action then head out here to watch racehorses in training 6 days per week.
Safety Beach is fantastic in good conditions ( like all other beaches). It offers 2.7 kilometres of soft sand with water that slowly gets deeper with no big drop offs. Plenty of parking is available on the foreshore lawn areas but be warned that between Christmas and New Year it is near impossible to get parking in the afternoon. So go early, secure a spot and relax for the day.
Mount Martha's South Beach ( opposite the shopping village) is a good spot to go especially with school aged or older kids. There's also the benefit of being able to stroll across the road to get fish and chips or coffee and cake with the trendy Via Battisti cafe, Coffee Traders or the ever popular milk bar Milkbar & Co. Facilities include a life saving club, toilets and car parking.
Merricks beach is not far from the town of Flinders and is located at the end of Merricks Beach road, Merricks. Here you will find locals and holiday makers enjoying one of the quieter beaches that offers some shade under the old cypress trees. This beach is suitable for all age groups.