Mornington has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century. Originally a seaside retreat for the wealthy, the town has undergone a significant transformation over the years, becoming a thriving city with a unique character and charm.

Early History

Mornington was first settled in 1802, when a party led by Lieutenant John Murray explored the area and named it Port Phillip. The town was established in the early 1830s, and quickly became a popular retreat for Melbourne’s wealthy residents. The town’s first major landmark, the Beleura House, was built in 1863, and still stands as a testament to Mornington’s early days.

As the town grew, so did its infrastructure. In 1861, the first jetty was built, providing access to the town from the sea. The first railway line was established in 1889, linking Mornington with Melbourne and allowing for easier transport of goods and people.

Modernization and Development

As the 20th century dawned, Mornington began to modernize and develop. In the 1920s, the town saw significant growth in its tourism industry, with the establishment of hotels, guesthouses, and other accommodations. This growth was further boosted by the construction of the Peninsula Country Golf Club in 1927.

The town’s population continued to grow throughout the 20th century, with the construction of new housing developments and infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, and shopping centers. In 1960, the Mornington Yacht Club was established, further boosting the town’s appeal as a tourist destination.

Social and Political Change

As Mornington evolved, so did its social and political landscape. In the 1970s and 1980s, the town saw an influx of new residents, including many young families. This demographic shift led to changes in the town’s culture, with a greater emphasis on family-friendly activities and amenities.

In recent years, the town has also seen significant political change, with a renewed focus on environmental sustainability and social justice. The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, which governs the area, has implemented policies aimed at reducing the town’s carbon footprint and promoting social inclusivity.


From its early days as a seaside retreat for Melbourne’s wealthy, to its current status as a thriving city with a unique character and charm, Mornington has undergone a significant transformation over the years. The town’s evolution is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of its inhabitants, who have embraced change while preserving the town’s rich history and culture.

As Mornington continues to grow and develop, it will undoubtedly face new challenges and opportunities. However, the town’s rich history and strong community spirit provide a solid foundation for its future success. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, there’s no doubt that Mornington will continue to offer something special for years to come.