Hotel Sorrento, Mornington Peninsula Tourism Inc

Population 1530

Just inside Port Phillip Heads on the Mornington Peninsula, in 1803 Sorrento was the site of Victoria's first European settlement. The town is close to historic Point Nepean and major surf and bayside beaches. Its population swells significantly over summer as visitors flock to soak up the holiday-resort atmosphere. A ferry links Sorrento to Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula.

Visitor Information

Mornington Peninsula Visitor Information Centre, Point Nepean Rd, Dromana; (03) 5987 3078 or 1800 804 009

Nearby national parks

  • Brisbane Ranges National Park

    In Brisbane Ranges National Park low mountains are dissected by rugged gorges and hidden gullies with basalt grasslands and woodlands. An...more

  • Kinglake National Park

    Surrounding the township of Kinglake, this bush retreat close to Melbourne offers views of the Yarra Valley, the city skyline and Port...more

  • Yarra Ranges National Park

    Lofty mountain ash bathed in mist, rare and endangered plants and animals, snow in winter and pristine pockets of bushland make Yarra Ranges...more

Nearby towns

  • Queenscliff

    Queenscliff is a charming seaside town on the Bellarine Peninsula. It began life as a resort for wealthy Victorians in the 1800s, as...more

  • Ocean Grove

    Ocean Grove is a popular summer-holiday destination near the mouth of the Barwon River. The beaches around the town offer great surfing and...more

  • Barwon Heads

    This picturesque village, situated on the banks of the Barwon River near Bass Strait in Victoria, was established in the late 18th century...more

In Town

Collins Settlement Historic Site: marks the state's first European settlement and includes early graves; on Sullivan Bay; contact Parks Victoria on 13 1963.

Historic buildings: Sorrento Hotel on Hotham Rd and Continental Hotel on Ocean Beach Rd. Both are fine examples of early Victorian architecture, with the latter reputed to be the largest limestone building in the Southern Hemisphere. The visitor centre can give details of self-guide historical walks.

Nepean Historical Society Museum and Heritage Gallery: a collection of local artefacts and memorabilia in the National Trust–classified mechanics institute. Adjacent is Watt's Cottage and the Pioneer Memorial Garden; Melbourne Rd; (03) 5984 0255.

Day spas: all types of relaxation therapies available at health and wellness centres; details from visitor centre.


Mornington Peninsula National Park The park incorporates Sorrento, Rye and Portsea back beaches and stretches south-east to Cape Schanck and beyond (see Flinders). Walks, picnics and swimming are the main attractions, but there is also the unique rock formation of London Bridge, at Portsea. The rugged coastline offers good surfing. Point Nepean and historic Fort Nepean can be accessed by a daily transport service departing from Point Nepean Information Centre. You can also choose to walk the paths or cycle to the tip (bike hire is available). A former Quarantine Station on Point Nepean offers tours, which include a visit to the Army Health Services Museum, on Sundays and public holidays. Contact Parks Victoria on 131 963.

Portsea: an opulent holiday town with good, safe swimming beaches. It hosts the Portsea Swim Classic each Jan; 4 km NW.

Blairgowrie: a boutique bayside village with easy access to sailing.

Popes Eye Marine Reserve: an artificially created horseshoe-shaped island and reef, now popular for diving. Gannets nest here. Cruises available; ask at visitor centre; 5 km offshore at Portsea.

Portsea Golf Club: Relph Ave, Portsea; (03) 5984 3521; 5km SE.

Rye: a beachside holiday spot; 8 km E

Peninsula Hot Springs: relaxing, outdoor, naturally heated pools. Private mineral pools, baths and massage therapies available; Springs La, Rye.

Moonah Links Golf Course: two fantastic 18-hole golf courses, one designed specifically for the Australian Open; Peter Thompson Dr, Fingal. 

Rosebud: a bayside resort town with gorgeous, safe swimming beaches. Summer fishing trips depart from Rosebud pier. An international kite festival is held in Mar; 15 km E.

McCrae Homestead: National Trust drop-slab property built in 1844; open Wed, Sat and Sun afternoons, group bookings by appt; McCrae; 17 km E

St Andrews Beach: golf course; 209 Sandy Rd, St Andrews Beach; (03) 5988 6000; 18km SE.

Fishing spots near town

Portsea to Point Nepean 7 km

The annual salmon migration into the bay is part of a chain of fish migrations including snapper and baitfish species such as sandy sprats and pilchards, as well as krill. For the salmon, it isn’t so much the need... Find out more

Queenscliff 10 km

Queenscliff harbour has a solid reputation for mullet, silver trevally and salmon. In some years, large runs of couta can be enjoyed in the harbour, and garfish are a common late-autumn visitor. On the debit side, the... Find out more

Lonsdale Bight 12 km

With lots of weed, waters affected by current and a high level of exposure when a southerly comes in, Lonsdale Bight is one the most productive all-round fishing areas in Port Phillip. The bight goes from Shortland Bluff... Find out more

Swan Bay 14 km

Swan Bay is a small offshoot of Port Phillip Bay. The southern extremity is marked by the Queenscliff marina, the northern extremity by Edwards Point. A large portion of the bay is designated a marine park and off-limits... Find out more

St Leonards 19 km

One of the most vivid memories for me was the sight of Tilley lanterns glowing along the front of the old ramshackle pier at St Leonards during spring. During the 1970s, from October through November, this sight was... Find out more

Indented Head 21 km

A major difference between Indented Head and most other areas of Port Phillip Bay is that it has small inshore reefs mixed with grass beds. Boats dominate the fishing scene and a dual boat ramp with mooring jetty is... Find out more

Barwon River Estuary 22 km

The Barwon River estuary enters Bass Strait about 10 km west of Port Phillip Heads and it divides the holiday towns of Barwon Heads  and Ocean Grove. This estuary  is one of the most productive  waterways... Find out more

Portarlington 26 km

Land-based anglers are well catered for at Portarlington. The main pier runs north–south, and at the end there is a breakwater that runs west–east. Salmon often run along here in good numbers. Mullet, garfish... Find out more

Clifton Springs 27 km

Clifton Springs is a sheltered harbour with a double boat ramp, mooring jetty and toilets. The facility is well signposted. To get there, take the Portarlington road out of Geelong and turn left at Jetty Road just before... Find out more

Curlewis Bank 32 km

Curlewis Bank is well regarded for King George whiting during late summer and autumn. However, this vast bank of sand, seagrass and spoil ground also produces snapper, snook, squid and flathead. It is popular with soft... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Marine Discovery Centre, Queenscliff 11 km

Primarily set up to educate school children about the marine environment, this government-run facility also has an interesting holiday program and an interactive aquarium and touch tanks. Holiday activities include... Find out more

Kayaking on Phillip Island 45 km

For a great way to start the day, join a kayaking breakfast tour at Phillip Island Holiday Hire, which starts with a 45-minute paddle from Cowes and includes a civilised breakfast at a cafe. There is also a Devonshire... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Portsea Golf Club 4 km

Portsea Golf Club has long been regarded one of the best-kept secrets on the Mornington Peninsula. Although it is a private club, the public is welcome at most times to experience this visually striking layout across... Find out more

The Dunes Golf Links 10 km

If you are looking for true links golf in the tradition of the great courses of Scotland and Ireland, you can satisfy your desires here. The Dunes has become one of the most popular courses on the golf-rich Mornington... Find out more

Moonah Links (Open course) 12 km

When Australian golf’s governing body decided in 1998 to shift its operations to a custom-built facility on some Mornington Peninsula farmland, many golfers reckoned it an ambitious move. But the Australian Golf... Find out more

Moonah Links (Legends Course) 13 km

The Legends course might have been the second course built at Australian golf’s new home, but it was so well received by golfers that today it is regarded as the better of the two. The course officially opened... Find out more

St Andrews Beach 13 km

When it comes to quality golf courses and how to design them, American Tom Doak is a learned man. His second and most recent Australian creation – St Andrews Beach, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula... Find out more

The National Golf Club (Ocean Course) 18 km

Nearly a decade after the celebrated opening of Robert Trent Jones Jnr’s Old course, the club’s board discovered that the adjoining property was to be put up for sale. It could be seen from the highest... Find out more

The National Golf Club (Moonah Course) 18 km

While Peter Thomson’s design team got to work on the Ocean course, The National hired Greg Norman and his chief architect Bob Harrison to create what would become known as the Moonah course. Both layouts opened... Find out more

The National Golf Club (Old course) 19 km

Australia’s largest golf club, The National boasts three 18-hole courses – the Old, Ocean and Moonah layouts – all spread across exceptional ocean-side terrain on the Mornington Peninsula, at Cape... Find out more

RACV Cape Schanck Resort 19 km

Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula has boomed as a golfing destination during the past 15 years, with some of the finest course designers lining up for a crack at creating a masterpiece on this premium piece of... Find out more

Barwon Heads Golf Club 23 km

From the moment you pull up at the car park in front of the Barwon Heads clubhouse, it is as if you have travelled back in time to a more genteel era. The old-world charm is present not only in the architecture of the... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town


The owners of this friendly Italian trattoria make an annual pilgrimage back to Italy to cook in restaurant kitchens, gleaning new ideas for their menu. They make their own pasta and fill ravioli cushions with tasty... Find out more

The Baths

On the sands near the Queenscliff ferry, this heritage-listed building has been a commercial premises since around 1870: a bathing pavilion, tearooms, a boat hire business – even a local fish market where the boats... Find out more

Loquat Restaurant & Bar

Originally a general store, this comfortable space has evolved over the years to become the intimate restaurant that it is today. Alcoves add atmosphere and should be requested when booking. The modern Mediterranean menu... Find out more

Smokehouse Sorrento

This popular pizzeria has been pleasing locals and holiday-makers since 1992. They come for the wood-fired pizza and fresh, simply flavoured Mediterranean-style food. Many dishes are roasted in the oven –... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Red Hill Brewery 25 km

Becoming hop farmers wasn’t part of their business plan when David and Karen Golding first applied to develop a microbrewery and cafe from their Mornington Peninsula property. Ultimately, though, they were advised... Find out more

Campsites around town

Sorrento Foreshore camping area 1 km

There are plenty of campsites to choose from here alongside the bay. If you’re lucky you’ll catch sight of the bottle-nosed dolphins that sometimes frequent the area. You can also catch a ferry from Sorrento... Find out more

Rye Foreshore camping area 8 km

There are 300 sites at Rye Foreshore Reserve, which are split between 2 areas: Rye East and Rye West. Needless to say, there’s lots of activity in the area during peak holiday periods, when you may want to consider... Find out more

Queenscliff Recreation Reserve camping area 10 km

This foreshore reserve has lots of shady sites and plenty of wide open spaces for playing games. Go for a wander through the streets of the historic township or watch enormous tankers and cargo ships navigate the Rip,... Find out more

Victoria Park caravan and camping area 11 km

Victoria Park is on Hesse St, near Queenscliff’s main street with its quaint cafes and shops, and is almost as close to the dramatic entrance to Port Phillip Bay. Its campsites are arrayed opposite the town’s... Find out more

Capel Sound Foreshore Reserve camping areas 12 km

There’s plenty on offer for water lovers at Capel Sound, including fishing, swimming, canoeing and boating, the latter aided by a boat launch. Note: Tootgarook is only open seasonally Nov–Apr, while... Find out more

Royal Park camping area 13 km

Point Lonsdale is joined to Queenscliff by a narrow isthmus and shares the same ocean-wide view. It’s here you’ll find snug Royal Park. Stroll the promenade behind the seawall down to the point itself, or... Find out more

Rosebud Foreshore Reserve camping area 13 km

There are literally hundreds of campsites scattered throughout the Rosebud Foreshore Reserve, which stretches for 7 km between Anthonys Nose in McCrae to Chinamans Creek in Rosebud West. Wander along the bayfront or take... Find out more

St Leonards Foreshore caravan and camping area 18 km

You can camp in two parks on the foreshore at St Leonards, off The Esplanade. This is a useful base from which to explore the other lovely towns of the Bellarine Peninsula, or you can just sit and stare across placid... Find out more

Riverview Family Caravan Park 21 km

The beach here at Ocean Grove is a lovely stretch of sand that’s very popular with holidaymakers when the summer sun is shining. Equally popular is the nearby nature reserve, where there is over 140 ha of native... Find out more

Batman Park camping area 22 km

This park is situated off The Esplanade within the tiny town of Indented Head, which occupies a small wedge of land on the western shore of Port Phillip Bay. It’s one of 3 camping options in Indented Head: the... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

BIG4 Beacon Resort 13 km

This award-winning establishment has all the trimmings you would expect of a park of this quality, including an indoor heated swimming pool and tennis courts. It is just a short walk to the beach. Bookings are required... Find out more

Riverview Family Caravan Park 21 km

This is a large holiday park with a long frontage to the Barwon River. It is popular with families during summer. Bookings are required at Christmas, Easter and long weekends, with a minimum-length stay period during... Find out more

Barwon Heads Caravan Park 23 km

This is a large park fronting the wide picturesque estuary of the Barwon River close to the river mouth. It is a popular summer beachside park and just a short walk from the town centre. Waterfront sites are available at... Find out more

Bellarine Bayside Holiday Parks - Portarlington 26 km

This beachfront park with a large number of powered sites is a very popular summerholiday park on a safe, bayside beach, with loads of appeal for families. The park has extensive facilities and is just 1.25 km from the... Find out more

Torquay Holiday Park 37 km

The park is located on the highway about 400 metres from the centre of town. It is a very good quality park and facilities include tennis courts, putting greens and private bathrooms with spas. Bookings are required in... Find out more

Geelong Surfcoast Highway Holiday Park 37 km

This park between Geelong and Torquay has been rejuvenated as a tourist park and importantly for those who travel with pets is one of the very few parks in the region that takes pets. It is easily accessible from the... Find out more

Barwon River Tourist Park 39 km

On the south side of the Barwon River about 2 km from the centre of Geelong, this place has good facilities and is easily accessible. There are nicely shaded sites and it is just a short walk to the shopping centre. A... Find out more

BIG4 Frankston Holiday Park 39 km

This is a good quality park in the far outer south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It is a great base for those exploring the Mornington Peninsula or those connecting with the Sorrento to Queenscliff ferry. Bookings are... Find out more

Riverglen Holiday Park 40 km

This is a large, owner-operated park with good facilities and is located just 2 km from the centre of Geelong. Bookings are required at Christmas, Easter and long weekends, with a minimum-stay period at Easter and long... Find out more

Geelong Riverview Tourist Park 40 km

This is a great park on the south side of the Barwon River, just 2 km from the centre of Geelong. Bookings are required at Christmas, Easter and long weekends.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Oceanic Sorrento

Opposite the lovely century-old Whitehall guesthouse, these 18 new architect-designed apartments spread over two levels, with elegant loft bedroom and spacious living area downstairs opening onto private front and rear... Find out more

Sorrento Beach Motel

In keeping with the casual beach atmosphere, these 19 ground-floor studios resemble the strings of colourful bathing boxes that line the beach at Sorrento. There are three different types of rooms to cater for all... Find out more

Aquabelle Apartments

Placed strategically above the string of shops that lines the main road at Rye, these three architect-designed apartments are spacious and beautifully furnished, with great views across the bay. There are two two-bedroom... Find out more

Lakeside Villas at 
Crittenden Estate

These three contemporary one-bedroom villas offer luxury accommodation on one of the peninsula’s longest established vineyards at nearby Dromana. Designed with open-plan living, each has its own private... Find out more

Peppers Moonah Links 

This golf resort offers great facilities for guests and golfers alike. Located behind the popular bathing beaches of Port Phillip Bay, it has 93 deluxe rooms and suites, all with balconies overlooking the two 18-hole... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Torquay park area 36 km

At Torquay

Overlooking the beach on the esplanade.

What's on around town

World's Longest Lunch Sorrento: 3 courses with Mornington Peninsula wines; Sorrento foreshore; bookings and information (03) 5984 1500; Mar.

Taste of Sorrento: week-long gastronomic journey; bookings and information 0424 000 391; June.

Sorrento Fiesta: Oct.

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