Sunday, August 12, 2012

Schnapper Point - Mornington

PORT PHILLIP BAY - playground to Melburnians

We were invited to visit friends on the Mornington Peninsula. Both the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas surround Port Phillip Bay. Our friends live at Blairgowrie which is towards the tip of the Mornington Peninsula. The bay and its peninsulas have been the playground of Melburnians for over 200 years and Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula was the first settlement prior to Melbourne but it was unsuccessful due to the lack of fresh water.

Main St, Mornington today has speed humps, sidewalk cafes and a weekly market that closes the street. The building with the spire is a hotel that we have eaten at previously.
The paddle steamers would ply their trade around Port Phillip Bay before the railways took over.

The town of Mornington was our mid-morning stop on our way to visit our friends at Blairgowrie for lunch. It's a favourite training destination for cycling and has a great harbour and two cafes overlooking the Marina. Although no more than 60 kms from the CBD of Melbourne, it has a real village feel about it. Originally the Post Office took the name of Schnapper Point in 1856, six years after the village was founded and then there was the name change to Mornington in 1864.
The area is growing fast with the last census in 2006 stating that Mornington's population had grown to over 20,000. In those last six years, I'm sure there's been a steady growth as we know several friends opting for their "Sea Change" as they approach retirement.

On this particular winter's morning we decided to eat outdoors as the weather was quite nice, maybe around 15c.

There's two eateries at Schnapper's Point. We took the cheap seats that you see at the forefront. Both look out over the harbour.

Looking back to the shore from the Cafe you see the brightly painted beach boxes and the tall old house overlooking the bay most likely was the home of some well off sailing merchant.
Tonight we ate mussels purchased from the boat you see here. Sue cooked them with pasta and a hot chili tomato sauce.
The village has a lot to offer the locals and visitors with cafes, wineries, a sailing club, beautiful beaches and even it's own horse racing club that runs several picnic meetings each year.

But it was time to leave Schnappers Point to meet our friends at Blairgowrie for lunch. They live on the back beach of Blairgowrie with the crashing surf waves of the ocean on one side and the calm waters of Port Phillip bay on the other. Their sea change plan is slowly evolving as my mate is changing his work situation to accommodate their semi-retirement plan. We've known each other since year 10 at art school.

Take these step and look out over Schnapper Point and imagine paddle steamers from the past  bring holiday makers from Melbourne to Mornington.
Coffee and toasted banana bread for breakfast.
How decadent - lunch was chicken roll and roasted veggies with our friends.
They even had a white wine from the Touraine waiting for us.
Almost mid-way through August and we can feel the chill of winter mellowing - the garden is growing again, especially the weeds. Maybe next weekend is a gardening weekend. We'll see!


  1. Interesting post. I love reading about the history of places in Australia. Looks like you had a n excellent day of meals what with breakfast, Chicken lunch and moules for dinner. Yum yum. Take care. Diane

  2. Diane,
    Meals!!!! I'm 4kg overweight. Toooo much food this weekend and not enough exercise.

    1. Ha ha, Nigel is also trying to cycle off the extra he had added on this year of retirement!

  3. That platter of food looks so inviting. I enjoyed the virtual tour of Mornington, an attractive looking place for sure.

    1. I will try LLM to offer further virtual Tours of our local area. I enjoy yours as well.

  4. I love the idea of a sea change at retirement, moving the house to Mornington or beyond....but keeping a small flat in town. The outdoor restaurants look appealing, especially if they offer lots of freshly caught fish, and the beach boxes look wonderful.

    The spouse should love the idea too. He grew up next to Bondi Beach.

    1. Both a tree or sea change sound appealing but it doe mean leaving friends and family behind - that is if they haven't beaten you to it.
      I'm afaid our social network revolves our very own suburb of Mentone which is almost like a sea change that hasn't been a change for us.


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