Find holiday accommodation in Merricks Beach, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula
Its tranquil, old world feeling makes a visit to Merricks Beach – an hour’s drive south of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula – feel like stepping back in time. The unmade roads that criss-cross through this beautiful little seaside gem add to the sensation of being somewhere special. In fact, those unsealed roads are considered so important to Merricks Beach’s history that they will soon be heritage listed so they remain an untouched link to the town’s gold rush past.
While Merricks Beach is a small town, it does offer some exclusive holiday accommodation that will give holidaymakers a genuine Aussie beach experience, while also introducing travellers to the renowned wineries that are fast putting this region on the map.
A golden era
The gold rush of the 1850s that saw expansion of the Mornington Peninsula was also the beginning of the first settlements in the Merricks Beach area. The gold rush, however, was short-lived and it was not until the early part of the 20th century that the town became fully established. Today it remains one of only areas of the Peninsula that remains untouched by urban sprawl and development.
In fact, Merricks Beach has retained its village feeling and has an exclusive feel, with many properties among the most expensive in the area and indeed in the state of Victoria itself. As the Peninsula is considered the go-to holiday region for Melbourne folks, so Merricks Beach and its unspoiled environs have become a sought-after destination and the upmarket holiday rentals, including villas and self-contained accommodation, are a testament to its popularity.
Situated on the eastern coast of the Peninsula, Merricks Beach is situated between Shoreham and Balnarring Beach. Holidaymakers heading into the village will pass the Merricks General Store, which has been in operation since the 1920s and is living history in action.
Its name alone suggests that Merricks Beach is perfect for those keen to sample the Aussie outdoor life and its main beach with its spotless sands and crystal clear, safe swimming waters is the busiest during the summer months. From the overhanging cliffs, soak up some splendid views across to Philip Islands and Western Port Bay.
Typically of resorts on the Peninsula, water sports are hugely popular and the Merricks Beach Yacht Club on the foreshore is a magnet for local sailors and visitors alike, keen to test themselves in the waters of Western Port Bay.
Its unspoilt tranquillity means Merricks Beach is also a wildlife haven. Koalas fill the manna gums and pine trees that line its streets, while dolphins are regular visitors to the bay.
Vine and dandy
The heart of the Mornington Peninsula’s wine-producing region is in the hinterland at Red Hill, a short drive from Merricks Beach, and a visit to one of the 50 wineries that open their doors to visitors is a must for any trip. Take a scenic drive that will open your eyes to countryside more reminiscent of Tuscany than Australia and dine on some of the Peninsula’s finest locally grown produce for which it is rightly famous. Check out the gourmet and wine-tasting trail across the Peninsula for some marvellous holiday entertainment.
Plan how to get the very best out of any visit to the Peninsula from the comfort of your holiday accommodation, whether you’re planning to walk one of the many trails that criss-cross the Peninsula or are looking to explore the local wildlife on the foreshore at Merricks Beach.
Let the sun shine
The climate on the Mornington Peninsula is a temperate one and its maritime location, surrounded on all three sides by water, means its weather can be a little less predictable than Melbourne’s, for example. However, in general, average summer temperatures are 25°C while winter days rarely fall below 16°C. As the weather at a seaside location can be unpredictable, holidaymakers visiting outside of summer would be advised to carry a jacket and even, heaven forbid, an umbrella! The beauty of having self-contained accommodation in Merrick’s Beach is that you are never far from your holiday home from home in the event of bad weather.
Holidaymakers travelling to South Australia will arrive at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport – the main airlines operate a daily flight schedule from London’s Heathrow Airport all year round. From Melbourne the Mornington Peninsula is just an hour’s drive southeast and renting a car to drive to your holiday accommodation at Merricks Beach means your Oz adventure will be underway as soon as you leave the airport. Public transport links are excellent, too, and there are regular trains from the centre of Melbourne to Frankston with local bus connections to Merricks Beach.