Matthew Flinders

Down at Mornington (and here) they’re aware of their connection with Matthew Flinders.   I see that Flinders landed at Birdrock Beach (a little way to the south)  on 29 April 1802 and carried his survey instruments to Schnapper Point from which he made the first survey of Port Phillip Bay.  Flinders wasn’t the first to enter or even map Port Phillip, but seemingly his work was respected because it was comprehensive.

There a nice statue of Flinders in the park.  This was erected as a Bicentennial project, along with a separate marker and plaque.  The obelisk at the highest point of the cliffs commemorates the 150th anniversary of his entry into Port Phillip Bay, and, alongside it, the compass commemorates the 200th anniversary of his birth.  There’s  also a plaque at the base of the flagpole.

Bicentennial sculpture
At base of flagpole
Cairn marking 150th anniversary of Flinders entering Port Phippip Bay
Plaque on compass
Bicentennial plaque


Although we’re home now, we spent a little time looking around Mornington.   These days, it has something of the look and feel of an outpost of suburbia.   However, its proximity to the sea and historical connections with Matthew Flinders give it a few interesting characteristics.   And, at the risk of a massive generalisation, someone commented to us that things were a bit quiet around town because “everyone’s gone to Queensland for the winter”!

The main street is quite long, with extensive car-parking behind the shops on one side and a shopping complex on the other side.   The shopping complex is built on the site of the former railway station.

The railway line, closed since 1981, still operates with a few heritage trains, but stops short of the town (resulting in there being no level crossing at Nepean Hwy).

These days commuters are catered for by a bus to Frankston.  There are 3 routes which when taken together give a basic 3 buses/hour frequency during the day (but not always at even 20 minute frequencies)!

The foreshore park has some nice views and allows for some interesting walking, as well as access to the beaches.   There are a number of memorials to Matthew Flinders (I’m planning a future post on these).

View from cliff top
Memorial to 15 members of the football team who were drowned in 1892.
Old police cells (modern police station behind)
A walking possibility!
Shopping complex where the railway station once stood.


After checking out from our accommodation, we spent a bit of time around Mornington.   We then decided to head for a winery for lunch.  Our first choice was closed (notwithstanding that the map I’d got from the information centre said it would be open)!   So we headed down the road, and found we were at Jackalope.

Well, with the benefit of hindsight, I now realise that it had been mentioned to me, but I was not prepared for the stylish atmosphere that we encountered.  We had a lovely lunch at the Rare Hare, all designed around “tasting plates” of various sizes, for sharing.  We had the chargrilled squid, roasted pumpkin and the ducklegs.    Very innovative, good flavours and interesting presentation.  Our only minor quibble is that we’re sure the quince jelly mentioned on the menu as accompanying the duck legs had been replaced by a tomato relish;    kind of an interesting touch, and I was OK with it, but S wasn’t impressed.

Seating was at benches (but no problems with these), and the number of patrons even though we were there early in the week attests to the fact that this place has clearly earned a name for itself.

Hotel reception, accommodation block behind
The Rare Hare restaurant
View over the vines while at lunch
More vines!
So trendy for up-market chefs to have a kitchen garden!
..and yes, lots of things growing in the kitchen garden!
Accommodation wing at Jackalope



After a “continental breakfast” (included in our room rate) consisting of generous serves of muesli, fruit, croissants and rolls and more, we ventured down the peninsula to Sorrento.   The day was cool and cloudy, but there was no sign of rain.

Lunch was at The Baths, our first visit after it was rebuilt after a fire a few years back.  Very pleasant welcome and nice food, although the kitchen was slightly slow I thought (not really complaining just mentioning).  We were amazed that the carpark at the Back Beach when we headed there was completely full – we had stumbled on a memorial service.    I returned later, when things were less hectic and. yes, the timeless atmosphere of the back beach is intact!

After a stroll around the shops, we headed to the Sorrento Hotel for “coffee with a view”, thence back to our accommodation to get ready for dinner.

The Baths – rebuilt
View from The Baths
Pop-up ice skating rink being erected on Sorrento foreshore
Sorrento Back Beach – timeless
Ferry watching while having a coffee
From balcony at our accommodation – city skyline across the bay

To Mornington

We’re spending a couple of nights at Mornington.    Yes, I know it’s not very far from home, but in a pleasant hotel room with a balcony giving an uninterrupted view of the Bay, we feel as though we could be in another country!

We arrived in time for a great lunch at The Rocks, down by the yacht club, and enjoyed a walk along the pier on a sunny winter’s day.   We then had dinner at the Royal Hotel.

The Rocks, Mornington
Yachts, Mornington
Sunset from hotel room

Lunch at Mornington

We had lunch with friends at Mornington, eating at Kirks.   The meals were fine, could have been a little warmer in some cases, but the prices were OK and the service was good.  There were some views out over the Bay, too.    On the day we were there, the local “seniors” seemed to appreciate the place!

Afterwards a couple of us went for a walk along the clifftop to the point where you can overlook the pier and the yacht club.    I hadn’t been aware that there’s a board walk for part of the way, and of course the Bay is at your feet.

From the clifftop
Cliff and boardwalk
All that money tied up in yachts, just sitting there!
Seems we were a little too late to watch the wedding photos being taken!

Hickinbotham of Dromana

We’d been visiting a friend down Dromana way, and were in the mood for a break before the drive home.   Instead of heading up Red Hill to any of the wineries up there, I had seen on the internet that Hickinbotham of Dromana was close by, on the  Nepean Hwy on the Melbourne side of Dromana (requiring a short deviation off Peninsula Link).

Driving up the driveway, I was a little apprehensive;  it all seemed somewhat “rustic”.

But inside, while still quite “casual”,  it was warm and comfortable, with a range of both wines and beers (from the on-site micro-brewery) to taste.   We didn’t need anything to eat, but there was a small range of foods listed on the blackboard which would have been good for a mid-range lunch.   There was plenty of space outside, too;  I suspect that the place could be very popular on warm afternoons.  In fact, there was a program listing the live music that had been held mostly on weekend afternoons over the past summer, with an emphasis on acoustic guitar and jazz blues.  Yes, it did seem that kind of place!

We enjoyed a pleasant drink and will return, should the occasion arise, although if we’re making a trip down that way to visit a winery or two, the wineries up Red Hill way are better “destinations”.