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History & heritage

Mornington Peninsula

  • Cape Schanck Lighthouse, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

Take a peek into early colonial days on the peninsula and unlock intriguing discoveries from earliest Aboriginal times to the evocative era of European adventurers, mariners and pastoralists.

Village stories
Take a heritage walk around the seaside village of Sorrento and witness a living history in the beautiful old limestone buildings. Delve deeper into the past on a trip to the nearby Nepean Historical Museum and Pioneer Cottage, and Collins Settlement Historic Site. 

Heritage homes
Discover the varying fortunes of the peninsula's earliest residents, with the 1844 shingle-roofed McCrae homestead depicting the modest life of Scottish migrants.

Far grander are the Victorian mansions Coolart Homestead, Beleura House and Mulberry Hill, once the residence of artist Sir Daryl Lindsay and his wife Lady Joan, author of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

See the display of Napoleonic memorabilia at the 1840s Briars homestead, established to mark the relationship between William Balcombe and Emperor Napoleon.

Maritime and military
Explore historic gems like Cape Schanck Lighthouse, built in the 1850s to halt the destruction of ships on the treacherous coastline.

Unearth a treasure trove of military and customs history at Point Nepean, a labyrinth of tunnels and fortifications and the site of the gun that fired the first shots in both world wars.

Learn about Lieutenant Colonel David Collins' short-lived effort to build a thriving white settlement at Sullivan Bay, near what is now Sorrento.