Walk this way
Westernport Bay and the Mornington Peninsula are both beautiful coastal areas, and there are many bike paths and walking tracks in the area that take in the views. It’s easy territory to navigate and the region caters for a range of visitors including family and recreational cyclists, not just those who want to be on the side of the road. As well as cycling and walking tracks in the Mornington Peninsula National Park, the Bushrangers Bay Walking Track runs from the Cape Schanck Lighthouse to Boneo Road, passing by the bay on the way. There’s also a 30-kilometre bike track that runs from Somerville to Bittern. Other great options include taking the ferry from Stony Point to French Island, home to the state’s most significant koala population, or joining a wildlife cruise to Seal Rocks, off Phillip Island, to see its 25,000-strong population of fur seals.
Lower a line
Hastings has a strong maritime history – it is under consideration as Melbourne’s new deep-water port when the city’s port runs out of capacity – and on weekends there’s a steady stream of fishing boats on trailers heading down to the marina, ready to launch into Western Port Bay in search of snapper and flathead. The mangroves on the Western Port shoreline are a natural fish hatchery and a large area north of Hastings has been declared a Marine National Park.
Hastings was once an apple-growing region, but over the past 20 years apples have been replaced by vineyards and olive groves. From Hastings through to the Mornington Peninsula there’s an abundance of wineries. There are more than 50 cellar doors on the Mornington Peninsula alone and a winery lunch is a weekend favourite. Hickinbotham, Dromana Estate, Paradigm Hill, T’Gallant – visit the wineries you might already be familiar with from Melbourne restaurant wine lists.