A millionaire’s playground, Sorrento is a lively seaside town along the Mornington Peninsula, only an hour-and-a-half from Melbourne. Visitors from all walks of life enjoy holidays in Sorrento, the first Victorian settlement, which deserves more than just a daytrip. A number of accommodation options are available to holidaymakers, from private mansions high above the sea to limestone homes hailing from another era. No matter where you choose to dwell, it is easy to get around Sorrento on foot.
The village of Sorrento was erected on the thinnest strip of the Mornington Peninsula. As such, residents enjoy easy access to both an oceanfront beach and a quieter bayside beach. The protected waters of the inner beach make it a more desirable choice for families with small children. Between the two long stretches of sand, you’ll find a number of cafes and shops. Only a short walk separates the beaches.
Naturally curved Back Beach faces the ocean and is a great spot for surfing, but waves rarely get out of hand, ensuring a safe environment. This rugged beach, backing up to Mornington Peninsula National Park, is patrolled over the summer and on weekends. Bushwalkers will enjoy the various trails that depart from Back Beach’s, including 3km Coppins Track, which winds along the cliffs and divulges the region’s history by means of information plaques.
Sorrento is a sought-after family destination, with plenty to do for youngsters of all ages. A favourite activity for both locals and travellers is to swim with seals and dolphins. Moonraker Dolphin Swims, a family-run, eco-friendly business, has been organising snorkelling expeditions alongside these marine mammals for over twenty years. Tours leave from the Sorrento Pier. Alternately, you can watch the Queenscliff-Sorrento Ferry make its way across the bay, or jump onboard for a 40-minute scenic cruise to the Bellarine Peninsula. And anyone with a sweet tooth will appreciate a stop at Sorrento’s award winning bakery, Just Fine Food, famous for its delicious vanilla slice!
The limestone storefronts lining Sorrento’s bustling centre attest to the town’s prominent past. It may be hard to believe today, but the seaside village hosted the state of Victoria’s first judicial and administrative services on the brink of the 19th century, even before Melbourne was founded. Quite a few period buildings remain: step back in time as you wander through Sorrento Village to see the heritage buildings for yourself. To learn more about the area’s early inhabitants, both Aboriginal and European, visit the Nepean Historical Society Museum.
Visitors with combined interests in art and history will undoubtedly enjoy spending some time along the Sorrento-Portsea Artists’ Trail, which can be accessed by foot or, at major stops, by car. Here, you can stop where famous local and international artists painted the scenery and see reproductions of their works, as well as admire the stunning coastline from different angles. The trail comprises Millionaires Walk, a cliff top trek where the first Union Jack was put up on Australian soil. On a good day, you can see all the way to Melbourne.
With so many luxurious summer homes and primary residences around Sorrento, it hardly comes as a surprise that the village harbours over 60 stylish shops, well in-the-know of the latest fashions. While brands are present, small, individually-owned boutiques also populate the main shopping strip in between gourmet cafes. Whether you’re looking for a unique piece of art, some fresh new resort wear or jewellery to turn heads, you won’t be disappointed.
Multifaceted Sorrento appeals just as much to visitors who enjoy the finer things in life as it does to those who aim to spend the better part of their holiday outside. Thanks to the town’s proximity to Melbourne, single night visits are thoroughly possible, but the longer you stay, the more you’ll get swept away by Sorrento’s laidback seaside charm. You’ll discover something new at every turn because, truthfully, Sorrento never gets old.