Mornington Peninsula

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Map of Mornington Peninsula Mornington Peninsula Map.PNG
Map of Mornington Peninsula

The Mornington Peninsula is a peninsula located south of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is surrounded by Port Phillip to the west, Western Port to the east and Bass Strait to the south, and is connected to the mainland in the north. Geographically, the peninsula begins its protrusion from the mainland in the area between Pearcedale and an area north of Frankston. The area was originally home to the Mayone-bulluk and Boonwurrung-Balluk clans and formed part of the Boonwurrung nation's territory prior to European settlement.

Contents

Much of the peninsula has been cleared for agriculture and settlements. However, small areas of the native ecology remain in the peninsula's south and west, some of which is protected by the Mornington Peninsula National Park. In 2002, around 180,000 people lived on the peninsula and in nearby areas, most in the built-up towns on its western shorelines which are sometimes regarded as outlying suburbs of greater Melbourne; there is a seasonal population of around 270,000. [1] On 30 June 2017, the Mornington Peninsula population was recorded at 163,847 people. [2] However, in the peak of summer the population increases to 225,000–250,000 people each year becoming the most populous coastal holiday area in Victoria with a larger population than Hobart. [3]

The peninsula is primarily a local tourist region, with popular natural attractions such as the variety of beaches both sheltered and open-sea and many scenic sights and views. Other popular attractions include the various wineries, mazes and the diverse array of water sports made available by the diversity of beaches and calm waters of Port Phillip and Western Port. Most visitors to the peninsula are residents of Melbourne who camp, rent villas and share houses or stay in private beach houses.

History

The peninsula was formed by the flooding of Port Phillip Bay after the end of the glacial period about 10000 BC. [4] It may have extended into Port Phillip at various times, most recently between 800 BC and 1000 AD when Port Phillip Bay may have dried out. [5]

Military ruins on Point Nepean PointNepean.jpg
Military ruins on Point Nepean

Indigenous Australians of the Mayone-bulluk and Boonwurrung-Balluk clans lived on the peninsula as part of the Boonwurrung People's territory prior to European settlement. [6] The territory hosted six clans who lived along the Victorian coast from the Werribee River across to Western Port Bay and Wilsons Promontory. The peninsula may have been home to between 100 – 500 people prior to European settlement.

The first European settlement on the Mornington Peninsula was also the first settlement in Victoria, situated in what is now Sorrento. The Sullivan's Bay settlement was a short-lived penal colony established in 1803, 30 years before the establishment of Melbourne, by Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins (1753–1810). [7]

At the time of European settlement in 1803 [8] much of the Mornington Peninsula was covered with she-oak forests. These were quickly cleared to provide firewood for the growing city of Melbourne, and much of the peninsula was then covered with fruit orchards. Nevertheless, much natural vegetation still exists, especially in an area of bushland in the south known as Greens Bush, and the coastal fringe bordering Bass Strait and Western Port Bay. Most large areas of bushland are now included within the Mornington Peninsula National Park.

As serious farming has declined, hobby farmers with an interest in the aesthetic and the natural environment have taken over much of the peninsula. This has led to an expansion of natural bushland on private property, and many native species, such as koalas, are becoming increasingly common. The local council also has a slight lean towards sustainable practices.[ citation needed ]

Harold Holt disappearance

On 17 December 1967, Prime Minister Harold Holt went swimming at Cheviot Beach on what is now Point Nepean National Park. At the time, however, it was still a restricted area. Holt, who was 59 and had had a recent shoulder injury, plunged readily into the surf. He disappeared from view and was never seen again. Despite an extensive search his body was never found. He was officially presumed dead on 19 December 1967.

Demographics

In 2016, 17.8% of people in Mornington Peninsula Shire were born overseas. [9] 8.9% of the total population were born in the United Kingdom being the largest migrant group in the region. [9] 1.4% were born in New Zealand, 0.7% were born in Italy, 0.6% were born in Germany and 0.6% were born in the Netherlands. [9] This was followed by smaller migrant groups from Ireland, United States of America, South Africa and Greece. [9]

While 88.9% of the population speak English exclusively, the Mornington Peninsula population can speak other popular languages. [9] 1.0% speak Italian, 0.7% speak Greek, 0.4% speak German, 0.3% speak Mandarin and 0.2% speak French. [10]

Geography

A beach on the Mornington Peninsula Mornington peninsula02.jpg
A beach on the Mornington Peninsula

The peninsula extends from the mainland between Pearcedale and Frankston in a south-westerly direction for about 40 km (25 mi) at a width of about 15–20 kilometres (9.3–12.4 mi). It then begins to extend roughly 15 km (9.3 mi) in a west/north-westerly direction and tapers down to a width of about 2–3 km (1.2–1.9 mi) before terminating at Point Nepean. Much of the topography is flat in the north where it connects to the mainland, however moving south-west, it soon becomes hilly, culminating in the central hilly landscapes of Boneo, Main Ridge, Red Hill, Tuerong and Moorooduc. The highest point, Arthurs Seat, located unusually close to the shoreline, stands at 305 metres (1,001  ft ) above sea level. The peninsula hosts around 190 km (120 mi) of coastline.

Its eastern shorelines meet many mangroves and mudflats in the waters of Western Port before it tapers down to form Crib Point, Stony Point and Sandy Point at the peninsula's most south-easterly point. In the south-east between Sandy Point and West Head, the mudflats give way to sandy beaches which in turn become more and more rocky further south. In the south the peninsula meets Bass Strait and the coastline becomes very rocky between West Head and Cape Schanck. The coast between Cape Schanck and Point Nepean consists of a long slow curvature of open-sea surf beaches, many too dangerous to swim in. Its western shorelines form various headlands and bays in the sheltered waters of Port Phillip, hosting many shallow safe beaches.

The western coastline facing Port Phillip starts at the narrow bay entrance, The Heads or The Rip, and proceeds as a series of gently curved bays defined by small rocky outcrops.

From an oceanic perspective, the Mornington Peninsula, together with the Bellarine Peninsula, separate the waters of Port Phillip from Bass Strait, except for a small gap known as The Rip, which also separates both peninsulas. The peninsula also separates the waters of Port Phillip and Western Port.

The Mornington Peninsula is crossed by many seismically active fault lines, monoclines, synclines and anticlines; the largest of which is the 100 km long Selwyn Fault which is capable of producing earthquakes of around 7.5 magnitude.[ citation needed ] The Peninsula experiences many minor earthquakes every year, but most are too small to be felt. The last strong earthquake to rock the Peninsula had a magnitude of 5.0 and occurred on 7 July 1971 at 7:55 am AEST with its epicentre off Flinders, along the southern end of the Tyabb Fault.

Political geography

The Mornington Peninsula is located over 40 km south-east of Melbourne. As of 2016 it has a population of 154,999 which can swell up to 250,000 during the summer months. The governing body, the Shire of Mornington Peninsula occupies the entire peninsula and is generally considered to be a good approximation of where the peninsula joins the mainland.

Mountains and hills

Bushranger's bay, taken from Cape Shanck Mornington-peninsula-cape-shank.jpg
Bushranger's bay, taken from Cape Shanck

Shipwrecks

Point Nepean military installations

Environment

Cleared land for agriculture to the extremities of the coastline Mornington peninsula03.jpg
Cleared land for agriculture to the extremities of the coastline

Parklands

Coolart Wetlands and Homestead near the village of Somers Winter at Coolart (5996847087).jpg
Coolart Wetlands and Homestead near the village of Somers

The peninsula is one of four biosphere reserves in Victoria, the other three being national parks, and the only one with a resident population that reaches some 250,000 people during the peak tourist season. Some of the major parklands on the peninsula include:

Land:


Marine:

Environmental Issues

Gunnamatta Sewage Outlet

A sewerage outlet near Boag Rock, a couple of kilometres up the coast from Gunnamatta Surf Beach, pumps treated sewerage into the ocean which finds its way to swimmers and surfers at Gunnamatta during particular tidal conditions.

Elephant Rock, part of the Mornington Peninsula National Park Mornington Peninsula NP Elephant Rock Stevage.jpg
Elephant Rock, part of the Mornington Peninsula National Park

Agriculture

Pearce Barracks in 1946, with Fort Nepean in the background. (Australian War Memorial) Pearce Barracks 1946.jpg
Pearce Barracks in 1946, with Fort Nepean in the background. (Australian War Memorial)
Morning Peninsula vineyard Mornington Peninsula vineyard.jpg
Morning Peninsula vineyard

The Mornington Peninsula is a notable wine region, producing small quantities of high quality wine from around 60 wineries. While most varieties are grown, the cool, maritime climate of the Peninsula is particularly noted for pinot noir. [12] Many wineries are open for public tastings and several have quality restaurants.

Apples were the staple product of the Peninsula for several generations, with whole trainloads being dispatched to the city and ports. The number of orchards has been dramatically reduced, however there are many other producers on the Peninsula, specialising in berries, cherries, and other fruits, as well as market gardens. There is increased interest in organic production, and there are even organic beef producers.

The Peninsula not only produces fresh products, with small-scale manufacturers of niche products as diverse as cheese, chocolate, chutney, jam, and olive oil. Local produce is also to be found at markets held around the Peninsula, such as the monthly market at Red Hill. A local organisation, Mornington Peninsula Gourmet, has been set up to support the many small producers on the Peninsula.

Transport

The peninsula is serviced predominantly by a network of roads. Public transport is limited to a bus service which services urban areas on the western shorelines and a train service for the eastern areas of the peninsula. The following methods of transport are available to access various regions of the peninsula:

Tourism

The peninsula in relation to central Victoria (Central Melbourne shown in grey). Australia-Map-MEL-LGA-Mornington Peninsula.png
The peninsula in relation to central Victoria (Central Melbourne shown in grey).

The Mornington Peninsula has a long history of being a favourite holiday destination for residents of Melbourne with 24,000 holiday homes in the area. [13] Mornington Peninsula tourism generates 10 per cent of local employment opportunities and is an important component of the economy. [13] Popular tourism times are long weekends such as Cup Weekend and Queens Birthday, the week involving Christmas, Boxing Day and New Years, with the months of December and January being the peak tourist period. Most visitors to the peninsula are local to central Victoria. However, international visitors from Asian markets such as China have become increasingly attracted to the area with international visitors increasing by 3–4% in 2018. [14] [15] Overall tourism on the Mornington Peninsula has also grown with a 20% increase in overnight trips in 2017, with newly established luxury hotels such as Jackalope Hotel increasing the popularity of the region. [14] 100,000 campers also enjoy the municipality's foreshore camping sites in the summer months for cheaper overnight trips. [15] Short-stay rental services such as Airbnb have also become popular among tourists with 3.7% of the region's housing stock listed on the website. [16]

The Mornington Peninsula is also the third most popular tourist destination in Victoria for day-trip visitors. [14] The suburb of Mornington has become a tourist hotspot with 1500 visitors traveling to the town's Main Street via ocean liners in recent years. [14]

Accommodation

A view of Rosebud and Capel Sound from Murray's Lookout (247m) on Arthurs Seat. Mornington-ArthursSeat.jpg
A view of Rosebud and Capel Sound from Murray's Lookout (247m) on Arthurs Seat.

Wealthier visitors to the peninsula usually own beach houses on large properties or with extensive views or beach access and as a result, there are very few established commercial hotels. There are however, many smaller motels priced to suit families and middle income earners. Large shared beach houses are also popular, although perhaps the most popular form of accommodation lie in the many caravan parks and camping grounds where many visitors own or rent on-site caravans and annexes or camp in tents. Camping is particularly popular on foreshore reserves where camping is permitted. Some visitors continuously book particular sites and many camping grounds have been camped on by the same family for 2 or 3 generations. For the unestablished tourist, these camping grounds must be booked anywhere from 1 to 5 years in advance for foreshore sites, while further inland sites are more easily available with at most a 3 to 6-month wait. It is estimated that around 30–40% of the houses on the peninsula are not owned by permanent residents reflecting the popularity of owned beach houses. Most of these 'beach houses' are owned by residents of Melbourne.

Other notable attractions

Heronswood house and garden, Dromana Heronswood.jpg
Heronswood house and garden, Dromana

In addition to the national parks and golf courses, other notable tourist attractions include:

Recreation

A rocky beach on the Mornington Peninsula Mornington peninsula.jpg
A rocky beach on the Mornington Peninsula

Some popular activities on the peninsula include:

Annual events

See also

Related Research Articles

Port Phillip

Port Phillip , is a horsehead-shaped bay on the central coastline of southern Victoria, Australia, and opens into the Bass Strait through a narrow channel known as The Rip. The bay is surrounded mostly by metropolitan Greater Melbourne in its main eastern portion north of the Mornington Peninsula, and the city of Greater Geelong in the much smaller western portion north of the Bellarine Peninsula. Geographically, the bay covers 1,930 square kilometres and the shore stretches roughly 264 km (164 mi), with the volume of water around 25 cubic kilometres (6.0 cu mi). Most of the bay is navigable, although it is extremely shallow for its size—the deepest portion is only 24 metres (79 ft), and half the bay is shallower than 8 m (26 ft).

Sorrento, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Sorrento is a coastal town south of Metropolitan Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula, in Victoria, Australia. It is thought that the name 'Sorrento' was conferred upon what was known as Sullivans Bay when the area was first opened for housing development in 1869.

Frankston, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Frankston is a suburb of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, in the local government area of the City of Frankston. It is located 41 km south-east of the Melbourne city centre, north of the Mornington Peninsula. Due to its geographic location, it is often referred to as "the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula".

Langwarrin, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Langwarrin is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 42 km (26 mi) south-east from Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is Frankston City. At the 2016 census, Langwarrin had a population of 22,588.

Dromana, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dromana is a seaside town in Metropolitan Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula, located 75km south of Melbourne’s CBD. Its local government area is the Shire of Mornington Peninsula.

Flinders, Victoria Town in Victoria, Australia

Flinders once known as Mendi-Moke, is a seaside town located on the Mornington Peninsula at the point where Western Port meets Bass Strait. Its local government area is the Shire of Mornington Peninsula. At the 2016 census, Flinders had a population of 905.

Portsea, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Portsea is seaside town in Metropolitan Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula. It is located approximately 95 kilometres (59 mi) south-west of the Melbourne CBD, on the opposite side of Port Phillip Bay. The suburb is located on the bay itself, but the locality boundaries stretch as far west as Point Nepean and incorporate a section of Bass Strait coastline. Portsea is the westernmost town on the Mornington Peninsula, and lies adjacent to Sorrento. It has one of the highest average incomes in Australia.

Rosebud, Victoria Suburb of Shire of Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

Rosebud is a seaside town in Metropolitan Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia approximately 75 km South of Melbourne’s central business district. It is wedged between the lower slopes of Arthurs Seat, the shores of Port Phillip and the plains of Boneo. Its local government area is the Shire of Mornington Peninsula. Rosebud is a popular tourist resort with families who appreciate its sandy beaches and shallow waters.

Frankston railway station

Frankston railway station is the terminus for the Frankston and Stony Point lines, in Victoria, Australia. It serves the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Frankston, and opened on 1 August 1882. It is the 10th busiest station on Melbourne's metropolitan network, with some 2.5 million passenger movements recorded in 2011/12.

Nepean Highway

Nepean Highway runs south from the corner of Glen Huntly Road and Brighton Road in Victoria, Australia to Portsea, close to the eastern shore of Port Phillip. It is the primary road route to central Melbourne from Melbourne's southern suburbs.

Mornington Peninsula Freeway is a freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, that provides a link from outer suburban Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula.

Seaford, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Seaford is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 36 km south-east of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Frankston. At the 2016 census, Seaford had a population of 16,463.

Point Nepean

Point Nepean marks the southern point of The Rip and the most westerly point of the Mornington Peninsula, in Victoria, Australia. It was named in 1802 after the British politician and colonial administrator Sir Evan Nepean by John Murray in HMS Lady Nelson. Its coast and adjacent waters are included in the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park, while its land area is part of the Point Nepean National Park. The point includes Cheviot Beach on its southern side, famous as the site of the disappearance of Australia's then-Prime Minister Harold Holt.

Olivers Hill, Victoria Suburb of Frankston, Victoria, Australia

Olivers Hill is a locality located in the City of Frankston, Victoria in Australia. It is the first major rise in terrain along the eastern coastline of Port Phillip, between Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. It was named after local Frankston fisherman, James Oliver, who built the first cottage atop the hill in the mid-19th century, from where he kept watch for fish in the waters below.

Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park Protected area in Victoria, Australia

The Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park is a marine protected area located in the vicinity of the bay of Port Phillip, between the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas, in Victoria, Australia. The 3,580-hectare (8,800-acre) marine national park comprises six separate sites located approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) south-west of Melbourne and stretches along 40 kilometres (25 mi) of coastline of Victoria.

Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League

The Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League is an Australian rules football competition, governed by the AFL South East. The MPNFL contains teams near the south eastern region of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. At the end of the 2017 season, the competition was restructured from a geographical to a divisional structure, with promotion/ relegation. It contains two divisions with 22 teams in all, 10 in Division 1 and 12 in Division 2.

Shire of Flinders (Victoria) Local government area in Victoria, Australia

The Shire of Flinders was a local government area, encompassing the extremity of the Mornington Peninsula, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) south of Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, Australia. The shire covered an area of 324 square kilometres (125.1 sq mi), and existed from 1874 until 1994.

Geography of Port Phillip

Port Phillip, sometimes referred to as Port Phillip Bay, is a large bay in southern Victoria, Australia, 1,930 km² in area, with a coastline length of 264 km (164 mi). The bay is extremely shallow for its size, but mostly navigable. The deepest portion is only 24 m, and half the region is shallower than 8 m. Its volume is around 25 km³. The city of Melbourne is located at its northern end, near the mouth of the Yarra River.

Beaches in Port Phillip

Port Phillip is a bay in Victoria, Australia. It has many beaches, most of which are flat, shallow and long, with very small breaks making swimming quite safe. This attracts many tourists, mostly families, to the beaches of Port Phillip during the summer months and school holidays. Water sports such as body boarding and surfing are easy or simple, except in extreme weather conditions.

Geography of Melbourne

Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, Australia, is situated on the southeastern fringe of the Australian landmass and in the southern central part of the state. Melbourne covers an urbanised area of approximately 2,453 km²–larger than that of Sydney, Greater London and Mexico City, with population density roughly around 16 people per hectare on average

References

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Coordinates: 38°21′04″S145°03′50″E / 38.351°S 145.064°E / -38.351; 145.064