When it comes to the perfect setting for a fantastic beach holiday then there are few places on the planet that can compete with Sorrento, in Victoria, Australia. Located within easy reach of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula, the charming old town of Sorrento runs from the crescent shaped white sandy beach to Port Phillip, with beautiful limestone houses and storefronts that make it so picturesque.
Famous as an artists colony and the incredible rock pool by the beach, you can enjoy fishing trips during the day while keeping your eye out for the friendly pods of local dolphins! You can also charter personal yacht excursions, diving adventures or just relax in the sun on the beautiful beaches before a leisurely stroll and dinner in one of the town’s family run restaurants.
Sorrento is one of Australia’s best examples of living history with many of the buildings dating back to the late 19th Century! While you’re there you must visit the Nepean Historical Museum, Collins Settlement Historic Site and the much loved Pioneer Cottage!
Slightly off the beaten track, Sorrento is the ideal resort for a family holiday, romantic getaways or a quiet holiday on your own. With plenty of great accommodation and a nice selection of restaurants and cafes to eat in, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the seafood and world cuisine!
How To Get To Sorrento?
Sorrento is only a short 1 ½ hour drive from Melbourne, the trendy cultural hub of Victoria. You can easily hire a car and drive down to the coastal town while enjoying the spectacular scenery en route.
You have a choice of two main access roads to get to Sorrento. To really experience the best scenery you can take the M1 coastal road from Melobourne to Frankston and then on to Port Phillip in Sorrento.
Alternatively, if you want a shorter drive of only 60 minutes you can travel direct to the town from Melbourne along the Eastlink Tollway while admiring the eclectic mix of art work along the roadside! If you chose to take this route then you should be aware that there are no toll booths on the Eastlink so you’ll have to buy a permit in advance.
Hugely popular, you can catch the sea road ferry from Queenscliff and watch the wilderness, coastal scenery, dolphins and bird life as you travel to Sorrento. The ferry docks at the Great Ocean Road in Sorrento after which you can walk or take a taxi to your accommodation. Foot passengers, cars, caravans and motorhomes are all welcome on board the ferry.
By Public Transport.
Publicly run transport options are excellent for getting to Sorrento. You can take a train from the Southern Cross Station in Melbourne to Frankston and then change trains to reach Stony Point. The trains run every 20 minutes so there’s very little waiting around.
If you prefer to catch the bus then you can take a bus from Melbourne to Frankston and then change to the number 788 to get to Sorrento. The bus departs every 45 minutes during the week and every 2 hours on the weekend.
When is the Best Time To Visit?
The climate of Sorrento is the perfect mix of warm and sunny weather with the fresh sea breeze to cool you down. Generally speaking, the best time of year to visit is in the late summer, between early March and late April when temperatures average around 28 Degrees Celsius.
If you want to see the whales arriving in the bay to give birth after returning from Antartica, then you should visit between late May and early September, when temperatures are still warm and pleasant and the hotels will also have cheaper rooms available.
What is There To Do in Sorrento?
Whether you want a lazy holiday by the sea or a fun packed adventure then Sorrento has it all – just waiting to be discovered! Spend a wonderful day exploring the town’s many antique shops, restaurants and small boutiques where you can pick up some lovely keepsakes, jewelry and artwork; or get out onto the sea on a sightseeing cruise or a fishing trip.
To see the very best of the town’s artistic culture you can visit in January while the art festival is taking place, walk along the Sorrento-Portsea Artists Trail and drop into any number of small galleries that are the heart of the town.
Manyung Art Gallery.
As Australia’s biggest and longest running contemporary art gallery, with more than 200 art works on display at any one time, you can marvel at the finest of paintings, sculptures and illustrations.
The gallery, which was first established in 1968, is run by a friendly team who are always happy to talk with you about the artwork on display and show you around! While you’re there you can pick up some unique art to take home with you while supporting the local Sorrento artistic community.
Charter a Proline Fishing Boat.
If you want to experience the adventure of fishing in the clear waters of Sorrento then there’s no better way to do so than by chartering a boat. The boat’s captain will be an expert fisherman and can show you the ropes, even if it’s your first time out on the ocean.
Proline Fishing has been operating since the early 1990s and have built up a huge store of local knowledge and experience that they use to help you come home with a real trophy catch! The fishing grounds of Sorrento are well conserved and provide some of the most untouched reefs to fish around.
While on board, you can sit undercover or out on deck, enjoy barbeques, drinks and private toilet facilities. The ships use high tech radar equipment to track down the shoals of fish so you’ll always get a shot at hooking a big one!
Swim with the Dolphins.
There’s nothing quite like swimming up close with a pod of dolphins or a group of seals; and so if you want to try this for yourself then you can book a tour with the Eco Adventure Company, Moonraker Dolphin Swims in Sorrento. A perfect activity for families, your children will be able to pet the friendly dolphins and swim alongside them!
Remember, dolphins are extremely gentle animals and pose no risk to humans – in fact they just love to play with people! While on your dolphin swimming trip you can also explore the underwater marine life as you snorkel through some of Australia’s most pristine waters and reefs on the Mornington Peninsula.
Explore the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park.
Green and eco tourism play a huge part in the life of Sorrento and if you want to find out more about the incredible marine habitats then you can join a guided tour where you can scuba dive, snorkel, and walk among the beautiful scenery.
There’s so much to see in amongst the varied habitats that include seagrass beds, quiet sheltered mudflats, rocky outcrops, white sand beaches and coral reefs that are teeming with life. The park is world famous for its diversity of habitats and wildlife; making this a perfect day trip for families, couples and solo travellers alike.