Mount Eliza Holidays
Nestled between the larger hubs of Frankston and Mornington, Mount Eliza is a quiet and quaint alternative for a beach holiday along the Mornington Peninsula that includes loads of charm. The rugged seaside cliffs, unspoilt beaches and cosy bays make Mount Eliza a top contender for all aspects of aquatic fun, including swimming, fishing and scuba diving.
There's plenty of fun to be had as you venture further inland as well. The commercial centre of Mount Eliza features plenty of adorable boutiques for souvenir shopping and markets for all of those tasty meals that you will be cooking up in your holiday rental. If you want to simply enjoy your time at the beach without any added stress, - Mount Eliza is a clear favourite.
Mount Eliza Regional Park
Some of the country's most rare vegetation is native to this park, making it a must-visit for any nature lover. The 6 kilometres of Mount Eliza escarpment is listed on the Register of the National Trust of Australia, for the interesting slopes of eucalyptus trees and high-quality gardens with rich soil. If you take a walk through, be prepared to see lush grasslands, beautiful and aromatic flowers and interesting herbs.
The Quarry Reserve Walking Circuit is an easy-going 1.7-kilometre track that is perfect for beginners or kids, so bring along a picnic and make a day of it here. Bring the puppy along too, as the park is pet-friendly.
If you have an art aficionado in the family or simply want to get away from the beach for a few hours, the Manyung Gallery is a great place to spend the afternoon. Since 1968, this space has been giving many visitors to the area a unique artistic experience. Inside of the gallery you will find 10 different sub-galleries, courtyards, sculpture gardens and exhibitions. The building is a sight to see in and of itself, as it is a Tuscan-style castle, complete with drawbridges and a moat!
Mornington Tourist Railway
This is an excellent attraction that is sure to give your kids a thrill, as the Mornington Tourist Railway - which is just a stone's throw from Mount Eliza National Park - is a vintage-style train that runs on steam. Even if you aren't toting kiddos along, seeing this unique part of Australian heritage could be an eye-opening experience, and gives you a great chance to see the beautiful countryside.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Mornington Peninsula locale without the splendor of the sand and surf, and Mount Eliza definitely delivers. There are 2.5 kilometres of coast between Sunnyside North Beach and Mills Beach, which are surrounded by dramatically beautiful bluffs. The Sunnyside beaches are perfect for an afternoon dip, but keep in mind that Sunnyside North Beach is an official clothing-optional area, so if you're a bit modest, you may want to keep your distance.
For fishing, head to Mills East and Career, which is a less-crowded area with giant rocks that are perfect for sitting on an casting a line.
Food and Drink
Three Wild Ducks: This excellent eatery gives off a modern yet vintage ambiance and has the characteristic beachy vibe that visitors here love. After a day of bushwalking and beach activities, you are going to need a hearty meal, and you can have your pick of house-made gnocchi, daily fish and duck specials, seasonal desserts and an impressive wine and beer list that can help you wash it all down.
The Morning Star Estate Restaurant: For a luxuriously decadent and modern Australian meal, check out the Estate. Although this may set you back a few dollars, the experience here is perfect for high tea as well as a five-course foodie extravaganza. The al fresco views overlook gorgeous rose gardens, and with stellar seafood options as well as tempting desserts, you really can't go wrong here.