Picnic Areas

Mornington Peninsula National Park

Embracing the wild ocean beaches between Portsea and Flinders, and the kangaroo haven of Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park is a favourite of Melburnians looking to escape the nearby city. 

Popular visitor areas include the historic Cape Schanck lighthouse precinct, the ocean beaches of Sorrento and Portsea, the rugged Flinders coastline and walking tracks through the wildlife haven Greens Bush.

Barbecue facilities are provided Fingal Picnic Area (near Cape Schanck) and Sorrento Ocean Beach. Kiosks operate at Sorrento and Cape Schanck and takeaway food is often available during summer holidays at Gunnamatta and Portsea.

Dogs are not permitted in Mornington Peninsula National Park. This includes beaches, carparks and Greens Bush.


Things to do in the area

Fingal Picnic Area

Enjoy a picnic in the peaceful Fingal Picnic Area located two kilometres north of Cape Schanck. This area was subdivided for housing but was re- purchased by the government from 1974 to 1977. Facilities at the site include electric barbecues, toilets, tables and a ball games area.
Walking tracks lead to nearby lookouts with spectacular views of basalt cliffs and Fingal Beach which is exposed at low tide. The return walk (3km) and access to the beach is via a steep staircase which may not be suitable for visitors with low mobility. A longer walk to the northern Gunnamatta Beach (5km) is also available from the Fingal Picnic Area.

Bushranger Bay Picnic Area

The beautiful Bushrangers Bay comprises of a sandy beach surrounded by basalt cliffs. This serene location is contrasted by dark and brooding headlands and wild waves that often crash onto jagged rocks guarding the entrance to the bay.
Bushrangers Bay can be accessed along Main Creek from the Boneo Road car park and picnic area (2.5km). This section of the Two Bays Walking Track provides fine views and passes through shady Banksia groves.

Sorrento Ocean Beach

Sorrento Back Beach is located around 1.5km south of the town of Sorrento. The beach is a popular location for activities such as surfing, swimming, walking and exploring the rockpools at low tide.
The beach is patrolled on summer weekends and holidays. Please swim between the flags as ocean beaches are dangerous for swimming.
Facilities at the site include a large car park and picnic area with toilets. A café and kiosk is available year round and also caters for functions and weddings.

A mother and daughter talking to a Parks Victoria Ranger at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Cape Schanck

Cape Schanck offers stunning landscapes; the mystery of dramatic volcanic features, unspoilt and wild beaches and scenic walking tracks with spectacular ocean views. It is also a site of rich European history with its heritage listed lighthouse precinct.
A man pointing at the rockpools with two children at Mushroom Reef

Flinders Ocean Beach - Mushroom Reef

A favourite family pastime is exploring the amazing rock pools of Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary. At low tide, the ocean withdraws to expose a huge mushroom-shaped rock platform extending from the beach. The reef is formed from ancient basalt and is famous for the diversity of marine life which make it their home.
London Bridge rock formation near Portsea Ocean Beach in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.

London Bridge

The London Bridge area is the most northern beach in the Mornington Peninsula National Park and borders Point Nepean National Park. This famous landform is composed of sandstone and has been formed through weathering action of thousands of years of wind, rain and waves.
Father and son bird watching on boardwalk

Bird watching

From bushland to wetlands and everything in between, parks provide habitat to an abundance of common and rare bird species. Go for a wander and see how many you can spot.
A husband and wife stop to take a photo of Masons Falls from the lookout.

Day trips

Pack the car and round up your family and friends. Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, parks offer a variety of day trips close to Melbourne.
A three year old boy leads his mum and younger brother through the forest near Grants Picnic Ground.

Family activities

Stash some supplies into a back pack and take the family out for a day trip and in only a short drive from Melbourne you can be surrounded by nature.

How to get there

Picnic Areas

Need to know

Picnic Areas

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Cape Schanck Day Visitor Area (Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve, Mornington Peninsula National Park)

    Access to the area around Cape Schanck Lighthouse and lookout temporarily closed

    Access to the area immediately around the Cape Schanck Lighthouse and the lookout next to the lighthouse will be temporarily closed while the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) undertake maintenance works to the lighthouse.  The rest of the Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve will continue to be open and accessible as normal.   We apologise for any inconvenience.

  • Fort Nepean (Point Nepean National Park)

    Coastal path to Engine House Closed

    The coastal path to the Engine House precinct at Fort Nepean is currently closed due to safety concerns from instability.

  • Mornington Peninsula National Park

    Beach access closed at Number 16 Beach

    The access platform at Number 16 Beach has been closed for public safety until further notice. Assessments have revealedsignificant structural failuresmeaning itposes a significant hazard to visitors.

    Mornington Peninsula National Park Pest Predator Control Program

    Parks Victoria are conducting a pest predator control program in Mornington Peninsula National Park to relieve predation of vulnerable and threatened native fauna. Fox baiting will occur between 26/04/23-17/08/23, with warning signage remaining in place until 14/09/23. Targeted cat trapping using non-poisonous baits will take place year-round.

    Dogs and cats are prohibited from entering Mornington Peninsula National Park. Please ensure pets do not stray into the national park from adjacent residential areas. If pets are suspected of having consumed PAPP (poison bait) during the baiting period, a vet should be consulted immediately. An antidote to PAPP is available and stocked by most vets on the Mornington Peninsula. 

    Lifejackets Required For Rock Fishers from March 1, 2022

    A two-year trial of new laws that require rock fishers to wear a lifejacket at high-risk locations will commence on 1 March 2022.
    For Mornington Peninsula National Park, this includes the following locations:
    • Sorrento Back Beach rocks
    • No. 16 beach at Rye back beach
    • Bushrangers Bay rocks, east of Cape Schanck
    This factsheet includes maps of the affected areas.
    Fines apply if you don’t wear a lifejacket at these sites.
    To find out more, visit Victorian Fisheries Authority 

  • Flinders Ocean Beach (Mornington Peninsula National Park, Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary)

    Landslip affecting beach west of Mushroom Reef, Flinders Ocean Beach

    There is a landslip affecting the beach west of Mushroom Reef, Flinders Ocean Beach (within Mornington Peninsula NP).  Please do not approach the slip.

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