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Mornington Peninsula

An hour south of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is hemmed in on either side by the Port Phillip and Western Port Bays.  Now a mixture of residential and seaside holiday towns, for over 40,000 years the Peninsula formed part of the territory of the Bunurong people. It subsequently became the site of Victoria’s first settlement, the Sullivan’s Bay penal colony, formed in 1803 – 30 years prior to the establishment of Melbourne. During the latter part of the nineteenth century and World Wars I and II the Peninsula was also a key defence post. Point Nepean’s fortifications and the heritage listed Quarantine Station, built in 1852, speak to this history. The landscape varies from sandy beaches and holiday towns on the Port Phillip side, to mudflats and mangroves on the Western Port side, from treacherous cliffs and rips at Point Nepean, to the vineyards and olive groves of Red Hill and Main Ridge. This unique and varied geography and history make the Mornington Peninsula an endless subject of inspiration for an artist.

Passing by the Royal Hotel

Passing by the Royal Hotel

Built in 1855, the Royal Hotel opened in 1857 as 'The Schnapper Point Hotel'. The name reflected the township, then known as Schnapper Point, but renamed 'Mornington' in 1861 after British Foreign Secretary, 2nd Earl of Mornington. In 1876, the hotel received its current name after a visit from Prince Alfred, The Duke of Edinburgh. Until 1889 a Cobb & Co coach service ran from the Albion Hotel on Bourke Street, Melbourne, to The Royal. Pub patrons would travel for 5 hours in a six-horse coach dr

The Bay Hotel, Mornington

The Bay Hotel, Mornington

Where else would you find Italian Renaissance Revival with a sprinkle of Irish pub charm? Only in Mornington! Originally built in 1889, this lively local pub used to be a bank. Previous owners included, The Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd, the National Bank of Australia and the National Australia Bank. In 1986 the building ceased to be a bank and became a restaurant. Now it's a favourite local watering hole.

Farrells Bookshop, Mornington

Farrells Bookshop, Mornington

At a time when many are missing their old local bookshop, Farrells Mornington remains proudly independent and treasured across the Peninsula. Part of Mornington for over 40 years, the staff of this bricks and mortar bookshop provides locals with passionate book recommendations and an inclusive and friendly reading community. Locals who enjoyed visiting this store when they were kids now take their children here, including my husband who now takes our 6 month old here.

Seagulls and Swans, Anthony's Nose, Dromana

Seagulls and Swans, Anthony's Nose, Dromana

I painted this from a photograph I took whilst eating my lunch in Dromana. Where else in the world would you find black swans gliding past seagulls at the beach? Pure magic!

The Counting House, Mornington

The Counting House, Mornington

From bank to bar! Now a popular bar and grill, The Counting House building was first constructed in 1912 as a State Savings Bank. Constructed at a cost of £939, this bank was the financer of the Peninsula’s farmers. Since then it has served as an accountancy firm, police station and teahouse. Owners, Kevin Ko, Arbel el Sharafy and Jana Lipold, took great care to restore this building to its former glory. “It has such a wonderful history with the old vault we use for storage" says Jana.

Beach Boxes and Pier in Winter Sun, Dromana

Beach Boxes and Pier in Winter Sun, Dromana

The colourful beach boxes stand crisp against the scrub of the Dromana foreshore and the long pier is just visible in the distance. Brown seaweed mottles the shore, broken by a sea water eddy reflecting a clear blue sky.

Secret Garden Seagull

Secret Garden Seagull

A walker and seagull cross paths in the early morning along Main Street, Mornington. Two pigeons huddle together for warmth in the crisp July air.

Dusk at Fisherman's Beach, Mornington

Dusk at Fisherman's Beach, Mornington

The last rays of the sun capture waves breaking against the seawall at Fisherman's Beach, Mornington. The city of Melbourne is just visible in the distance on this chilly June day.

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