Art and antiques, history and heritage mansions
If you're looking for collectables and beautiful pieces for your home, our galleries stock everything from hand-painted tiles, glassware and ceramics to sculpture, traditional paintings and contemporary works. Antique outlets are filled with fine furniture, sparkling crystal and china, estate jewellery and exquisite antique linen and lace.
If history is your passion, the 'must see' attractions are Point Nepean and its fortifications from both World Wars. The story of Victoria's first European settlement is told at the Collins Settlement Historic Site near Sorrento, while there's plenty of maritime history in the museum at Cape Schanck Lightstation.
The Mornington Peninsula has been creating a rich cultural and artistic history since Victoria’s first European settlement was established near Sorrento in 1803.
The state’s second lightstation was built at Cape Schanck in 1859 (it still boasts its original beacon and operates much as it did originally), and Point Nepean played a critical defence role from the 1880s
through both World Wars. Closed to the public for more than 100 years, Point Nepean was also home to an historic Quarantine Station which is now open to visitors. You can explore all this living history,
then wander through modest colonial homes and grand mansions before discovering contemporary art in dozens of galleries and studios throughout the Peninsula.
Famous homes include the humble 1844 McCrae Homestead which takes you back to pioneer times, and stately 1895 Coolart Homestead with bird-filled wetlands. 1863 Beleura was the Tallis family summer home for many years, and is now known for its rich furnishings and the beauty of its gardens.
Another opulent property is Mulberry Hill, once home to artist Sir Daryl Lindsay and Joan (Lady) Lindsay, author of ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’. Sir Daryl was one of many artists who fell in love with the Peninsula, so let’s jump forward quite a few decades and look at the gallery scene here.
Galleries of all kinds
Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery is one of Victoria’s most respected public galleries, with a specialist collection of Australian prints and drawings. Famous artists represented include Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, Charles Blackman and John Brack. McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park’s
$100,000 acquisitive sculpture award has created an outstanding collection of major works, many located in bush settings.
With 10 interlinked spaces, Manyung Gallery is one of Victoria’s largest contemporary galleries filled with expertly chosen paintings and sculpture. And there are dozens of smaller, very individual galleries and studios…
Gordon Studio Glass Blowers create the most magnificent glass art that finds its way around the world…
Marion Rosetzky Gallery is known for exquisite handpainted tiles…
Whitehill Gallery represents many Peninsula artists.
Craft lovers visit two major markets: Red Hill Community Market (first Saturdays, September to May); Mornington Racecourse Market (second Sundays year round). And in Frankston, there’s a strong artistic focus at the Frankston Arts Centre, with music, opera, theatre, ballet, family shows and comedy.
Take an artistic stroll through history
Explore the Sorrento Portsea Artists Trail to discover how artists over the past hundred years and more have perceived the Mornington Peninsula. The Sorrento-Portsea area has been inspiring artists for decades. The trail takes an unique look at the views that inspired them, and the art that was inspired. MORE>>
But even history buffs need a break.
Let a designer ice-cream melt in your mouth, sip a cool white wine in a bar overlooking the ocean or dine in a winery restaurant overlooking the vines. It's certainly more Mediterranean than Melbourne, but it's all just an hour from the city.