Mornington Peninsula ShireCommunity profile

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Mornington Peninsula Shire

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for Mornington Peninsula Shire is 160,862, with a population density of 2.22 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Mornington Peninsula Shire is located at the fringe of Melbourne's outer southern suburbs, between 40 and 80 kilometres south of the Melbourne CBD. Mornington Peninsula Shire is bounded by Frankston City and the City of Casey in the north, Western Port in the east, Bass Strait in the south, and Port Phillip Bay in the west. The boundaries in the north are Kackeraboite Creek, Humphries Road, Moorooduc Highway, Sages Road, Baxter-Tooradin Road, the Peninsula Link, Golf Links Road, Baxter-Tooradin Road, Dandenong-Hastings Road and South Boundary Road East.

Name origin

Mornington Peninsula is named after the town of Mornington, which is thought to be named after the Earl of Mornington.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from 1803, when David Collins' settlement at Sorrento was abandoned after three months. Population was minimal until the 1830s. Land was used mainly for grazing, farming, market gardening, orcharding and timber-getting. Several townships were established in the 1860s. Growth took place in the late 1800s and early 1900s, aided by the construction of the Mornington and Stony Point railway lines and the attraction of the area to holiday makers. Significant development occurred during the post-war years, particularly from the 1960s to the 1980s. Residential growth was aided by improved access and industrial development in the east (around Crib Point and Hastings). The population of the Shire increased from about 102,000 in 1991 to 140,000 in 2011, with much of this growth occurring in Mornington and Mount Martha. Growth is expected to continue, from new 'greenfield' opportunities, development of vacant lots and the conversion of holiday homes to permanent settlement.

Land use

Mornington Peninsula Shire is an urban and rural area, with resort towns, tourist development and some commercial, industrial and port areas. The Shire is one of Melbourne's major holiday and retirement areas. The Shire encompasses a total land area of about 724 square kilometres, including over 190 kilometres of coastal boundaries. The majority of the population is clustered along the coastline of Port Phillip Bay, between Mount Eliza and Dromana. Many beach holiday resorts are based along the Port Phillip coastline, with the population swelling by up to 30% in the summer months. Much of the rural area is used for farms, orchards and market gardens.


Mornington Peninsula Shire is served by the Mornington Peninsula Freeway, the Peninsula Link, the Moorooduc Highway, the Nepean Highway, Dandenong-Hastings Road and the Stony Point railway line.

Major features

Major features of the Shire include Mornington Peninsula National Park, Point Nepean National Park, Arthurs Seat State Park, Greens Bush, Mount Eliza Regional Park, Mount Martha Park, Mornington Tourist Railway, Dromana Drive-In Theatre, Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens, The Enchanted Maze Garden, Boneo Maze & Wetlands Centre, Coolart Wetlands & Homestead, 'The Briars' Park, Mornington Racecourse, Mornington Peninsula Airport, Sorrento to Queenscliff Ferry, Devilbend Reservoir, Chisholm Institute of TAFE (Mornington Peninsula Campus), HMAS Cerberus, Western Port Marina, the Western Port foreshore, the Port Phillip Bay foreshore, various beaches, numerous golf courses and many wineries/vineyards.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Mornington Peninsula area were the Bunurong(*) Aboriginal people.

Included areas

Mornington Peninsula Shire includes the suburbs and localities of Arthurs Seat, Balnarring, Balnarring Beach, Baxter, Bittern, Blairgowrie, Boneo, Cape Schanck, Crib Point, Dromana, Fingal, Flinders, Hastings, HMAS Cerberus, Main Ridge, McCrae, Merricks, Merricks Beach, Merricks North, Moorooduc, Mornington, Mount Eliza, Mount Martha, Pearcedale (part), Point Leo, Portsea, Red Hill, Red Hill South, Rosebud, Rosebud West, Rye, Safety Beach, Shoreham, Somers, Somerville, Sorrento, St Andrews Beach, Tootgarook, Tuerong and Tyabb.


* - there are variations on the spelling and pronunciation of the name.