Victoria’s first European settlement back in 1803, Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula sits almost at the very far west end of the Mornington Peninsula surrounded by the waters of both Port Phillip Bay and the Southern Ocean and bass Straight.
Sorrento is simply beautiful.
Used by many Melburnians as a summer holiday escape during the hot Christmas period and by locals as a quiet, upper class retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, Sorrento is the perfect place to go slow.
With a number of laid back things to see and do on the Mornington Peninsula, we think we’re pretty well poised to give you an intimate explanation of how we do things when we’re down in Sorrento…being Mornington Peninsula locals and all.
How to get to Sorrento
If you’re coming from the city then you have two options, the first and easiest is to take the Eastlink (M3) – a paid tollway down to Peninsula Link where you’ll merge left and continue driving until you hit Point Nepean road in Rosebud.
Point Nepean Road is the main front beach road that runs parallel to the foreshore between Portsea and Dromana essentially.
The non-toll option is to take Nepean Highway straight out of St.Kilda until you get into Springvale where you will take the Frankston Freeway which eventually joins onto Peninsula link.
There is a third option that hugs the foreshore all the way through but it adds on roughly 30 minutes to your journey, but a fantastic way to see the beach almost all the way through.
Where is Sorrento
Ideally placed between Portsea to the west and Blairgowrie to the east, Sorrento was occupied by the Boon Wurrung people for tens of thousands of years before European settlement.
It might seem close to Melbourne and its surrounds but in reality Sorrento is one of the furthest places to visit in Metropolitan melbourne, and whilst maybe a 15 minute helicopter flight across the bay, it will take you some time to get down here.
Check out more of our articles on the Mornington Peninsula to help plan your entire journey with the best information possible!
A mini-guide to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula
We’ve rassled up a few of the best things to do while down here in Sorrento for the weekend
Go for a cold dip
Many people report the benefits of going for an early morning swim in the open water and none better place to do this than down here in Sorrento.
You have the option of going to the front beach or the back beach – or what we refer to as the ocean beach because of how the Peninsula is formed.
The ocean beach is naturally more rough and dangerous than the enclosed front beach of Port Phillip Bay, however we would only suggest going to the back beach if you are a confident swimmer.
It’s not hard to get caught up in the rips and swells of the ocean if you’ve never been, so maybe stick to the front beach.
Grab a coffee to go – or stay for a while
Our favourite coffee shop in Sorrento is Baked by Sorrento.
The owners operate two stores close by, Baked by Portsea and baked by Sorrento.
Both are not far from each other but they do the most incredible scones, sweets,pastries, freshly baked rolls and sandwiches every single morning and we swear, by the end of the day they are completely sold out of almost everything – so get in quick.
They do delicious oat milk lattes you can enjoy on their patio outside with around 6-7 tables in a beautiful flower filled garden courtyard.
Swim with dolphins and seals
If there’s one thing Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula is known for its the chance to hop on a boat and swim and snorkel with Australian bottlenose dolphins and venture out to an Australian Fur Seal Colony that sits on top of ChinaMans hat in Rye Beach.
We highly recommend this activity down by the Sorrento front beach if you’ve never swam with Dolphins and seals before.
This is hands down the best experience you can ever have in open water by an experienced and knowledgeable crew and we recommend booking your experience in advance as the Summer months fill up very quickly.
Main street in Sorrento
The central street of Sorrento is called ocean beach road and runs east to west from the corner of point nepean road all the way north to Sorrento surf life saving club at Sorrento back beach.
There are tons of expensive and designer brand shops all the way down that offer unique, beachy vibe clothes and apparel.
Best ice-cream in town
Head into Mubble ice-creamery and excite your taste buds for the best bloody ice cream you’ve ever had. My cousin works there as well so you can pop inside and as for Chloe and she’ll hook you up!
Although temporarily closed due to open after renovations, the Sorrento Continental hotel, known as the Conti was built out of limestone in 1875 and is a landmark site in Sorrento. They are currently accepting books from mid April 2022 and it is planned to be the next major tourist draw card for the Mornington Peninsula.
Best beach on the Mornington Peninsula
A locals secret I assure you – head to Diamond Bay beach off diamond bay road for the best kept secret this side of the Peninsula.
A short walk through sandy shrubs leads to a wooden boardwalk and staircase that opens up to the enclosed bay of the southern ocean.
Protected by sandstone cliffs and tiny little caves, on a bright sunny day the water here is a crystal clear blue unveiling the reedy coral rock beds below.
Walk the Sorrento-Portsea Artists trail
In 2004, Sorrento created a coastal walk that connected the townships of Sorrento and Portsea called the Sorrento-Portsea artists trail.
The walk leads visitors down private coastal gardens & hidden coastlines, eventually bringing you to a stretch of beach with private jetties leading to the water known as Millionaires Walk.
The trail has been claimed to have been the inspiration for a ton of Australian artists such as John Pervceval, Sidney Nolan and Albert Tucker.
Take the ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff
At the end of Point Nepean road you will find a large dock called Sorrento Pier, right next to moonraker dolphin swim and Polperro dolphin swim.
Multiple times a day, the Sorrento to Oueensclif ferry runs passengers and vehicles between the Mornington Peninsula and Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula, connecting you through to the Great Ocean Road.
Walk the Sorrento historic walk
You could quite easily come to Sorrento and miss this trail if you blinked, but we recommend doing this trek before you end up at The Baths Sorrento.
The Sorrento historic walk will take you along 6-7 kms of trail passing by historic monuments and landmarks such as the Athenaeum theatre, now known as Peninsula cinemas Sorrento, an old tram line that used to run through Sorrento to Whitehall guest house and the presbyterian church.
Sorrento Athenaeum theatre address: 26 ocean beach road, sorrento