Be part of the action this summer on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula
Water based activities
Rye boasts 2 beaches; the Rye bay beach and the Rye ocean beach. Gunnamatta ocean beach is referred to the ‘back beach’ and is the most popular surf beach on the Mornington Peninsula. The beach is only patrolled in summer and consistently has high swells. The long stretch of beach is also popular with walkers who follow the beach east towards Cape Schanck and west towards Boag Rocks.
Rye’s main beach, in Port Phillip Bay, offers safe sandy beaches, ideal for swimming and other sporting water activities. The shallow water of the bay provides safe swimming for young children. Nearby parking is available on the foreshore or behind the shopping strip. There is a jetty, several boat ramps and attractive foreshore facilities with picnic areas, shelters, playgrounds and walking tracks.
If you are into your water sports you can scuba dive, swim, kite surf, jet ski or water ski, sail, paddle-board or kayak at the Rye bay beach and enjoy some of the best surfing on the Rye ocean beach.
Rye has an excellent boat ramp that is accessible and easy to use all year round and well protected from the prevailing southerly winds. It is situated just metres to the West of Rye Pier. There is a large parking area that caters for cars with trailers attached in an exclusive car park for long trailers. There are three ramps side by side to assist launching and retrieving your boat. There is a small jetty beside the ramp to assist with launching and retrieval. Parking fees apply – tickets are available from a ticket machine near the ramp itself.
Rye Pier is 14.7 km long and is a popular place to fish from and is a great place to take a stroll at any time of the year. Public berthing is available on Rye Pier for up to 48 hours at a time (vessels should always be attended). The pier is opposite Napier Street in the Rye shopping precinct on Point Nepean Road. You can access the pier from several foreshore car parks, or you can easily walk or cycle there from other parts of Rye. There is a shared pathway (for bicycles and walking) that continues in both directions from the Pier.
Rye pier snorkelling trail
Take a tour in the underwater world of plants and fish by exploring the 800 metre long trail that leads along some of the Rye Pier. Underwater signs explain what sea life can be found including seahorses, sponge gardens, sea slugs, hermit crabs and goat fish. Wear a wet suit and gloves but watch out for the venomous blue ringed octopus. Look but do not touch.
A sign near the Pier gives detailed explanations of how to follow the trail. Water depths vary from 0.5m to 3m.
Relaxtion and pampering
Peninsula Hot Springs
Peninsula Hot Springs located in Rye is Victoria’s only natural hot mineral springs. Enjoy a massage, hot spa or relax in the spa-dreaming centre. The natural thermal mineral waters flow into the pools and private baths where you can treat yourself to some therapy in the hot springs. Find out more at Peninsula Hot Springs.
Food and wine
There are 73 wineries on the Mornington Peninsula and we love them all! You can visit the cellar doors from Rye and meet the passionate Peninsula vintners. Hang out with other wine buffs on your tasting journey, or relax and take advantage of restaurants. The region extends from Mount Eliza to Rye. You can find any wine varietal from the award winning Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays and followed by other varietals including: Shiraz, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Visit our favourites; Montalto, The Cups, Ten Minutes By Tractor and Foxey’s Hangout. But of course drink responsibly.
Restaurants and cafes
On the Mornington Peninsula you can dine overlooking the beautiful beaches or a vineyard. There are 5 restaurants with Chef Hats on the Peninsula, sublime gastronomical experiences to have with family and friends. You can book a cooking class, have high tea or savour a fine dining experience.
The Peninsula is home to some of Australia’s finest gourmet producers and internationally recognised wine makers. Travel to Red Hill or Monrington from Rye to the Red Hill Cheese or Blue Bay Cheese company.
You can go to Main Ridge Dairy a farm gate that produces milk and cheese. Every goat has a name and they are looked after.
From November to April you can head out to Main Ridge and pick your own strawberries. Our favourite is the farm gate at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm where you can pick anything from strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Here you can also find award-winning berry ice creams, jams and frozen berries.
There are a bevy of local artisan retailers who sell everything that’s grown, produced or made locally, including gorgeous gifts. There are also gourmet treats from elsewhere. One of our favourite emporiums are Blue Mini cafe with the Emporium specialising in retro and vintage products.
Sorrento shopping strip
This historic seaside village has over 60 retailers including fashion, home-wares, art galleries, food/alcohol plus cafes, pubs, restaurants, beauty and wellness centres. Sorrento is a sophisticated shopping strip and attracts holiday-makers from all along the Mornington Peninsula. You can also catch the Queenscliff Sorrento ferry from Sorrento to cross the bay and get to Queenscliff and the Bellarine Peninsula.
Rye foreshore market: first Saturday of the month
There are usually 80 stalls which specialise in craft, plants, veggies and gift ideas for the whole family. The market is held on the Rye foreshore opposite the Post Office.
Boneo community market: third Saturday of the month
The Boneo community market is held on the 3rd Saturday of every month to raise money for local community projects. A true craft market is what you will find at Boneo Market where all the locals in the know flock to get the freshest produce and indulge in some of the Peninsula’s delicious gourmet foods. Located on the corner of Boneo Rd and Limestone Rd Boneo
Red Hill market
The Red Hill market is the first Saturday of the month, September to May. The Red Hill Community market features over 300 stalls of gourmet produce, fresh fruit and vegetables, quality Australian made art and craft. Join us around the oval for Victoria’s best-loved market.
Other extraordinary activities
Venture to the Rye golf courses at the Moonah Links, one of Victoria’s premier golf resorts featuring two world-class championship courses.
Gunnamatta trail rides
Ride the Gunnamatta Ocean Beach or at Red Hill along the winery track on the friendliest horses. The Gunnamatta trail rides on the Gunnamatta Ocean Beach is a fun ride along the beautiful ocean beach. No experience is necessary. Lessons are also provided. Pony rides and kids programs are available.
Rye Rollers winery tours
Take a chauffer driven Rolls Royce around your favourite wineries and enjoy the scenery and wines. The full day winery tour includes 4 or 5 wineries, from the well known to secret treasures. You will meet the vignerons, discuss their wines, discover what makes some so unique and gain insight into the wine making process. Find out more at the Rye Rollers winery tours.
The Mornington Peninsula National Park spans the foreshore, consisting of scenic easy walking tracks, rocky coastal vistas, cliff-tops, dunes and pockets of sandy beach. A pathway and steps extends from Tasman Drive down to the sandy bay at Number 16 Beach.
At Fort Nepean you can explore the military forts and tunnels, an important defence post from the 1880s to World War II. The Peninsula National Park also houses the old quarantine station built in the 1850s. Walk along the spectacular coastline and view the memorial where Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared.
For a truly unique art experience visit the McClelland galley art complex located in Langwarrin. The 100 outdoor Australian sculptures sit on a manicured 16 hectares, within the diverse settings of ti-tree forests, bracken paths, heathlands, landscaped gardens and lakes. Included are award winning works and pieces sculpted as early as the late 1880s. We love driving out there and taking a picnic lunch.