Mornington Peninsula: Free Family Activities & Things To Do With Kids

Author: Daria Osipova | Updated Sep 30, 2023

Wondering what are the best things to do with kids in Mornington Peninsula? Here is a detailed family guide to the best free family activities and places to visit with kids on the Mornington Peninsula.

Find out the best kids and family activities Mornington Peninsula has to offer and things to do with your family and kids on the Mornington Peninsula.

Mornington Peninsula: free family activities and things to do with kids. Kid-friendly beach on Mount Martha.
Mornington Peninsula: free family activities and things to do with kids. Kid-friendly beach on Mount Martha

During Melbourne school holidays or weekends, visit the best Mornington Peninsula walks and national parks, where you can go on coastal walks and trails on a Mornington Peninsula day trip experience. The views of the dramatic cliffs and ocean are magnificent!


Fun family activities in Mornington Peninsula to add to your bucket list:

  • Best national parks to visit with kids and family

  • Best walking trails Mornington Peninsula

  • Best kid-friendly beaches in Mornington Peninsula

  • Best playgrounds Mornington Peninsula

  • Indoor activities for toddlers and older kids

  • More family fun in Mornington Peninsula

⭐  Discover school holiday fun today! Check out kids' school holiday activities Melbourne has to offer, including fun school holiday programs, school holiday events and free school holiday activities!


The best national parks to visit with kids and family

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


Fort Nepean at Point Nepean National Park

At Point Nepean Park, situated in 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 and Point Nepean coastal walk.

Beautiful Mornington Peninsula views and landscape at historical Port Nepean National Park.
Beautiful Mornington Peninsula views and landscape at historical Port Nepean National Park. Image source: PhilMalone on TripAdvisor

Fort Nepean is situated on the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula and is one of Victoria’s most important heritage sites 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.

Dramatic coastal views at Fort Nepean which protected Melbourne from attack during World War I and II.
Dramatic coastal views at Fort Nepean which protected Melbourne from attack during World War I and II. Image source: Will Holdsworth 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.

Step back in time when you explore the inside of Fort Nepean in Mornington Peninsula. Kids will enjoy the views and adventure.
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

The Quarantine Station

The Quarantine Station, established in 1852, gives you a glimpse of early European history. The variety of facilities helped protect Victoria and Australia from the 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.

The historical Quarantine Station overlooking its private Mornington Peninsula beach views stunning coastal views. Image source: Peter S on TripAdvisor.
The historical Quarantine Station overlooking its private Mornington Peninsula beach views stunning coastal views. Image source: Peter S on TripAdvisor

You can explore the Mornington Peninsula Quarantine station on 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

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

Adorable echidna found at the Quarantine Station. Keep your eyes out for more Australian animals at Point Nepean National Park in Mornington Peninsula.
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

Facilities:

  • Public toilets, picnic tables and BBQs at the Mornington Peninsula 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 track 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 perfect for family-friendly Mornington Peninsula trails, beaches and coastal walks. Kids will love exploring the bush and enjoying the beach.

Free Family Activities on Mornington Peninsula: Cape Schanck Lighthouse walk.
Free Family Activities on Mornington Peninsula: Cape Schanck Lighthouse walk

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

Cape Schanck Lighthouse and Reserve: beautiful views and coastal nature in Mornington Peninsula.
Cape Schanck Lighthouse and Reserve: beautiful views and coastal nature in Mornington Peninsula

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

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:

  • Cape Schanck Lighthouse car park

  • Public toilets

  • Picnic tables and BBQs

  • Dogs are not allowed at Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve nor in Mornington Peninsula National Park.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve View.
Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve View

Accessibility at Cape Schanck:

This beautiful park and Mornington Peninsula walking track during your Cape Schanck coastal walk offer 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:

Accessibility at Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Best walking trails in Mornington Peninsula

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


Mornington Peninsula Coastal Walk

The Coastal Walk in Mornington Peninsula is one of the best walks and an awesome challenge for families with older kids!

This 2-day 26km walking track in Mornington Peninsula 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 Coastal Walking Trail has fantastic scenery. Image source: Marie Starkey.
Mornington Peninsula Coastal Walking Trail has fantastic scenery. Image source: Marie Starkey, All Trails

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

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.

The Coastal Walk is identified by the Hooden Plover symbol. Image source: Darion Teoh.
The Coastal Walk is identified by the Hooden Plover symbol. Image source: Darion Teoh on All Trails

Cape Schanck to Bushrangers Bay

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 and is one of the best walks in Mornington Peninsula.

Cape Schanck to Bushrangers Bay trail, Mornington Peninsula. Cape Schanck Lighthouse in the distance.
Cape Schanck to Bushrangers Bay trail, Mornington Peninsula. Cape Schanck Lighthouse in the distance

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

Panoramic view from the Bushranger's Bay trail in Mornington Peninsula.
Panoramic view from the Bushranger's Bay trail in Mornington Peninsula

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

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 trees, some over 200 years old.

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

Two Bays walking trail through the eucalyptus forest. Image source: PhilMalone.
Two Bays walking trail through the eucalyptus forest. 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 car park, heading east.


McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery

McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery in Langwarrin, at the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula, is perfect for a family day out discovering local Australian art with kids, just a 45-minute drive from Melbourne CBD.

McClelland Sculpture Park is a family-friendly and dog-friendly park near Melbourne.
McClelland Sculpture Park is a family-friendly and dog-friendly park near Melbourne

Explore over 100 unique sculptures while you stroll around the picturesque grounds and walking paths. The kids will love running around the large nature spaces, and you can bring your dog to the on-leash park areas.

There is a cafe on site, but you are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy by the lake, surrounded by the gorgeous Australian bush and fascinating sculptures.

There is a cafe at McClelland Sculpture Park but you are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy by the lake.
There is a cafe at McClelland Sculpture Park but you are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy by the lake

💡 School Holidays Tip:

If you plan to have lunch at the cafe, let the park entrance know. They will waive the park entry fee.


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 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.

Sorrento Beach: family and kids-friendly beach in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: Corinne.
Sorrento Beach: family and kids friendly beach in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: Corinne on TripAdvisor

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 another great Mornington Peninsula kids and family-friendly beach. Rye Beach is 4 km 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.

Rye Beach: a family friendly beach in Mornington Peninsula for kids! Image source: madjax654.
Rye Beach: a family friendly beach in Mornington Peninsula for kids! Image source: madjax654 on TripAdvisor

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 Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula has some of the best playgrounds in Melbourne and indoor play centres for toddlers and older kids.

Below are our top playground picks and toddler activities in Mornington Peninsula.


Rosebud Foreshore Playground

Rosebud Foreshore Playground on the beach is one of the best Mornington Peninsula playgrounds and will become a favourite for you and your kids!

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

Rosebud Foreshore Playground in Mornington Peninsula. Check out the mountain slide and more fun activities for kids in Melbourne! Image source: EndlessTravels.
Rosebud Foreshore Playground in Mornington Peninsula. Check out the mountain slide and more fun activities for kids in Melbourne! Image source: EndlessTravels on TripAdvisor

BBQs and picnic tables are also 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 a family-friendly beach is nearby too.

Stroll along the coast from Rosebud Foreshore Playground. Mornington Peninsula Coastal Walk map.
Stroll along the coast from Rosebud Foreshore Playground. Mornington Peninsula Coastal Walk map

Ryes Up Community Playground

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

Rye Playground in Mornington Peninsula.
Rye Playground in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: visitmelbourne.com

The playground 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!).

Rye Foreshore Playground in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: Robby G C.
Rye Foreshore Playground in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: Robby G C on TripAdvisor

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

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


McCrae Foreshore Reserve Lighthouse Playground

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 a 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.

Lighthouse Playground in Mornington Peninsula.
Lighthouse Playground in Mornington Peninsula. Image source: mamaknowssouth.com.au

Mornington Peninsula: Indoor activities for toddlers and older kids at Kidz Shed Indoor Playcentre

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 play centre.

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 (lasagnas, pizza, hamburgers... you name it!) and hot and cold drinks.

Indoor activities for toddlers and older kids at Kidz Shed Indoor Playcentre.
Indoor activities for toddlers and older kids at Kidz Shed Indoor Playcentre

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 that is great for sunny days!

Kidz Shed is a place to go if you're looking for things to do in Mornington Peninsula with toddlers or indoor activities on the Mornington Peninsula!

Slides, jumping castle and more indoor activities for toddlers and older kids at Kidz Shed Indoor Playcentre.
Slides, jumping castle and more indoor activities for toddlers and older kids at Kidz Shed Indoor Playcentre

More family fun in Mornington Peninsula

There are heaps of family things to do with kids and fun kids activities Mornington Peninsula has to offer. Check out more family-friendly places to explore in Mornington Peninsula below


Moonlit Sanctuary

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

Python show at Moonlit Sanctuary wildlife park.
Python show at Moonlit Sanctuary wildlife park

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 Moonlit Sanctuary tickets today.

Koala encounter at Moonlit Sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula

Ashcombe Maze And Lavender Gardens

Have you been to Australia's oldest and most famous hedge maze - Ashcombe Maze? It's time to visit this magical place!

Ashcombe Maze And Lavender Gardens on the Mornington Peninsula.
Ashcombe Maze And Lavender Gardens on the Mornington Peninsula

Being one of the most beautiful gardens in Melbourne, Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens in the Mornington Peninsula are great fun for the whole family.

Conquer the Hedge Maze, wander through the Lavender Gardens Maze and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the gardens. And kids will have fun going on a great Gnome and Fairy Hunt!

A Gnome Hunt game for kids at Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens.
Gnome and Fairy Hunt at Ashcombe Maze And Lavender Gardens


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.

Mornington Peninsula Weedy Sea Dragons Snorkel Tour.
Mornington Peninsula Weedy Sea Dragons Snorkel Tour

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 to meet the extraordinary Weedy Sea Dragons and more Mornington Peninsula wildlife like Hermit Crabs, Spine Globe Puffer Fish, Star Gazers, beautiful soft corals and more.

Book the Mornington Peninsula Sea Dragons Snorkelling Tour.

Fact about the Weedy Seadagons

Mornington Peninsula is a fantastic place to take your kids during the next Melbourne school holidays. It offers a wide range of free family activities and kid-friendly attractions, making it an ideal destination for a family day trip or holiday to create lasting memories.

From exploring national parks and walking trails to discovering kid-friendly beaches and the best playgrounds, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

In this article, we covered some of the best things to do in Mornington Peninsula with kids to help you discover the fantastic places your kids will love!

Please share this article with other parents if you found it helpful!

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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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