With a pretty bay on one side and rugged ocean on the other, this heritage seaside town is ideal for exploring the coast, seeing local art and spotting dolphins.

The historic town of Sorrento is an idyllic destination on the Mornington Peninsula in an impressive position overlooking scenic coastline. Take in stunning coastal views on two sides in Sorrento, either from the rugged Sorrento Back Beach, which looks out to Bass Strait, or from the pretty beaches and coves of Port Phillip Bay. Explore the township to find intriguing galleries, charming cafés, boutiques and relics of Australia’s early European settlement.

Sorrento marks the spot where the first European settlement was established in Victoria, 30 years before settlement began in Melbourne. Visit the Collins Settlement Historic Site and check out the Nepean Historical Society Museum to learn more about the area’s past.

Spend a day relaxing and watching yachts and ferries sailing around Port Phillip Bay from Sorrento’s bay beaches, which extend in both directions from the pier. Get some fish and chips or homemade gelato from the foreshore shops and go for a stroll along the beach, keeping an eye out for bottlenose dolphins in the bay. Explore Sorrento’s heritage limestone stores and shop for handcrafted artworks, souvenirs and locally designed clothing.

Kayak and boat tours depart regularly from Sorrento’s pier. Join a sightseeing cruise or jump in a kayak and explore the bay. Some boat tours include snorkelling trips with wild dolphins and fur seals. Experienced surfers can carve up the surf breaks along the rugged and rocky Sorrento Back Beach. Embark on one of the walking trails that wind though dense coastal bush to rocky outcrops facing Bass Strait or take in bay views with a round of golf at the Sorrento Golf Club.

Sorrento is a 2-hour drive from Melbourne along the scenic coastal Nepean Highway. The Mornington Peninsula Freeway is a faster route and incurs a small toll. You can also catch the train to Frankston station and connect with a bus to Sorrento, but the journey can take up to 3 hours. Reach Sorrento from Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula with the Searoad Ferry. Avoid city traffic, park your car in the ferry’s hull and enjoy bay views throughout the 40-minute journey.

Accommodation in Sorrento

Booking a good lodging is a key element of any family trip. Expedia's booking website lists some of the most popular hotels in Sorrento.

In the more desirable upscale category are the Sorrento Beach Motel, 780 Melbourne Rd, and the Eastcliff Cottage Sorrento, 881 Melbourne Rd. Alternatively, the Hotel Sorrento, at 5-15 Hotham Road, and the Shells Apartments, at 85-99 ocean beach Road, are two thriftier choices worth investigating.

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