Choose holiday rentals in Flinders on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula
A tiny unspoilt gem, Flinders is one of the best reasons to visit the picturesque and lively Mornington Peninsula, southeast of Melbourne. The air here is among the freshest and cleanest in the world, blown directly from the Antarctic, and the views will also blow visitors away – rugged cliffs and gorgeous sandy beaches add to the wow factor of Flinders’ own historic cityscape.
A popular destination for Melbourne residents, Flinders offers an interesting mix of holiday rentals, including villas and apartments, and holidaymakers will be bowled over by the tranquillity of this little town, seemingly untouched by commercial development and retaining its own country feel.
A walk on the wild side
Flinders is situated on the southern coast of the Mornington Peninsula, between the rugged Bass Strait and Western Port Bay. First settled in the 1850s, the explorer George Bass named the town his friend Matthew Flinders, who sailed with Captain Bligh and was one of the most renowned cartographers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Today the Flinders Hotel, which first opened its doors in 1890, remains the central meeting point for locals and visitors alike.
Despite its popularity with Melbourne residents and its proximity to the city – it is just over an hour’s drive southeast of Melbourne – although one of the least developed towns on the Peninsula there is some excellent holiday rentals in Flinders for those who prefer a holiday far from the madding crowds.
Flinders enjoys a marvellous position on the Peninsula – to the south lie the rugged cliffs and windswept beaches of the Bass Strait; to the north, calmer waters on Western Port Bay; while the surrounding countryside is an appealing mix of national parkland and lush vineyards that produce the Peninsula’s well-regarded wines. The beaches on the bay side are safe for all water sports, including swimming and surfing, while the crashing waves at Ocean Beach will be particularly alluring for surfers.
Golfers will be tempted by the challenge of playing a round on Flinders’ cliff top golf course, established more than a century ago, but its stunning sea views will prove alluring for everyone, not just those keen on the pursuit of the perfect round.
The town boasts some excellent cafes and restaurants in its preserved streetscape – look for antique verandas overlooking the streets and the historic general store and post office that date from the 1850s. Antique outlets and food stores are a magnet for day-trippers and holidaymakers alike, and you won’t want to miss tasting the distinctive Flinders bread, first baked in the town in the 1930s.
There is a light
A few miles from Flinders is Cape Schanck Lighthouse, which was put into service in 1857. Guided tours will take visitors to its top and for holiday accommodation with a difference, why not stay in the former lighthouse keepers’ cottages alongside? The lighthouse station is part of the Mornington Peninsula National Park and nature lovers will be bowled over by the wildlife in the park, including kangaroos, possums, swamp wallabies and bats.
Put your best foot forward and take on the challenge of the 100km Mornington Peninsula Walk or try the shorter Two Bays or Coastal Walk to experience Flinders and the Peninsula at closer quarters. A popular attraction is the Flinders Blowhole Walk, a 1.2km round trip across enormous bluestone boulders to the ocean.
Or take a less strenuous stroll along the historic jetty and look out for some amazing marine life, including weedy sea dragons, cuttlefish and squid.
A warming theme
Flinders enjoys a mild climate, typical of the temperate climate in the state of Victoria. Its summers are cooler than those of Melbourne – average summer temperatures are 25°C – but it’s warmer in winter when the average daily temperature is 16°C. Its coastline location means weather can occasionally be variable so do be prepared – visitors unused to the Australian sun should also ensure they are well covered by sunscreen before venturing out from their Flinders’ holiday accommodation.
UK holidaymakers flying from London’s Heathrow Airport to the south of Australia will land at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. Public transport links from the airport and city centre to the Mornington Peninsula are plentiful, including regular trains to the town of Frankston, which has local bus connections. Those with a sense of adventure and the desire for more freedom on their holiday may be tempted by car rental so they can make their own way to their Flinders’ holiday rentals. Flinders is 54 miles southeast of the city, just over an hour’s drive.