top three family activities on the Mornington Peninsula

We are super lucky to live in this part of the world – it’s akin to an endless holiday (when you forget about the endless school runs and lunches….). Gorgeous bay beach on one side, rough, thrilling ocean beach on the other, with beautiful hinterland in the middle – all ripe for exploring. There’s a multitude of activities for all tastes – eating, climbing, sailing, walking, coffee-ing, flying, swimming, horse-ing, surfing…. the list goes on. Today – I am going to share with you, my top three FAMILY oriented activities that can be enjoyed, right here in our backyard, rain, hail or shine!

Never fear for the weather – these are fabulous activities in the winter too!

1. Moonraker Dolphin and Seal Swims.

This is a massive hit for everyone. An outstanding Tourism Australia award winning business, Moonraker offers and experience like no other. Operating from Sorrento Pier, with an office in the hub of Sorrento, Moonraker is AWESOME for a family day out.

Summer weather means snorkelling with the seals AND dolphin, in our very own Port Phillip Bay. An experience not to be missed. All gear (except bathers!), is supplied and fitted correctly, and an in depth demonstration and instructional talk is given. No need to be a super star Olympian swimmer, and children are well catered for – there are ‘noodles’ and various other flotation devices to hang onto – rather than clinging to a parent’s neck (and slowly sinking them in the process!). Nourishment is available on board, plus a complimentary hot drink to warm you up post-swim. The vessel itself is magnificent – hot showers and excellent toilet facilities (we all know that weeing in the wetsuit is a “no-no”!)

Winter means jumping aboard for a sightseeing tour along the coastline, spying on the gorgeous homes of the rich and famous, visiting the seals, and spotting dolphins and humpback whales. A stop across the ‘other side’ at Queenscliff for fish and chips is a treat – for we get to view the guardian to our Bay, the treacherous Port Phillip Heads.

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My girls LOVE doing this – whip on over to the website for pricing details – you won’t be disappointed!

2. The Enchanted Maze

This glorious wonderland is located in the hinterland of the Mornington Peninsula, at Arthurs Seat. Pack the family, a picnic, and plenty of energy – you will need it!

The Enchanted Maze has something for everyone. The gardens and grounds are divine, with spectacular sculptures ‘popping’ up all over the place.

The adventurous are catered for with an ‘tree surfing’ experience (An exhilarating nature-based ropes adventure. Experience the ultimate green room as you climb and surf through the trees. Test your skills on the bridges, walls, nets and an 8m Tarzan swing. )- there are differing experiences for all ages and sizes, and the BIG ZIP! “Reaching high speeds and spanning 2 zip-lines over 270m in length, the Big Zip will take you on an exhilarating ride across the stunning parklands at Enchanted Adventure Garden. Including Victoria’s longest zip-line at 170m, the Big Zip delivers a thrilling zip-line ride at heights of 20m above the gardens and ornamental lake. “ – get on board!

Tube sliding is ‘unreal’ (according to my children), and exhausting – all at once (fabulous for the drive home, when all are asleep!). The mini-mazes and adventure games are top notch, whilst the gardens and hedge mazes are perfect to lose yourself (and your rambunctious family) for a while. There’s a lolly shop (for the extra energy requirements!) and cafe on site.

Have a look at the fun!

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Truly – it’s well worth visiting. A full day can be filled, and mountains of fun can be had! General admission price included mazes & gardens, tube slides, canopy walk and the spooky 3D indoor maze. The BIG ZIP and tree surfing are add-on activities. Gift passes are available, and there is an annual membership also available – well worth it. Visit the website for pricing details.

3. Junior Rangers

This is another favourite of our family. Anything that is cost-effective (i.e. – FREE!), outdoors and educational, gets a big tick from us.

“The Junior Ranger program encourages kids to explore Victoria’s amazing parks with a real park ranger. Junior Rangers can take part in cool activities like rock pool rambles, historic tours and spotlight night walks.” What’s not to love!

We participate in this program each school holiday period – there is always something different on offer. WE have been able to explore Point Nepean National Park, and learn about our local history – including our involvement in WW1, and our quarantine history.

The Junior Ranger Program is run by Parks Victoria, and there are a range of activities operating throughout the State.

The rangers guide us on the activity – they are incredibly knowledgeable, and so so patient – answering ALL. THE. QUESTIONS. Oh the questions. They make learning fun – and memorable.

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After each session, the children receive a certificate and badge- always a winner! There are weather-ready activities each holidays – and did I mention that they cost NOTHING!

Point Nepean is at the ‘end of the road’, through Portsea – you cannot go any further without venturing onto The Rip…. not advisable. There’s plenty of exploring to be had either before or after the Junior Rangers session – explore the underground tunnels, forts and gun placements used in World War 1 (see where the first shot was fired in WW!!), tour the Quarantine Station and cemetery, walk to Cheviot Beach, where Prime minister Harold Holt disappeared. Ride your bike to the tip of the Point, and view The Rip – it’s an awesome sight. Watch the ships move in and out through the mighty Heads over a picnic lunch. For those who do not wish to use their legs as transport, there is a bus that runs down to the Point, stopping at various locations along the way.

The Junior Ranger program is a fabulous way to have fun, explore, and learn about our history – all at once. There’s a program near you – over each of the Victoria school holidays – so check it out!

Of course, there’s a million things to do on the Mornington peninsula – these are but a few of our favourites, but these are the ones that show you ALL sides of our little corner.

Have fun!

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