Historical Groups

Mrs Milner, owner of Safety Beach Boat Hire c1940s.jpg

The Mornington Peninsula Local History Network celebrates the peninsula's rich heritage.

We work towards the identification and preservation of the peninsula's history for the enjoyment, access and education of all.

Discover our local historical societies and National Trust properties in this information guide.

While some collections are for research purposes only, others are located within historic properties that are open to the public. 

The Heritage Trail has been produced by the Mornington Peninsula Local History Network with the assistance of a Community Partnership grant from the Mornington Peninsula Shire.

Explore the history of the Peninsula and take a walk through our past.

Download: Mornington Peninsula Heritage Trail Map(PDF, 4MB)
Download: Local History Network Brochure(PDF, 4MB)

Address: Lord Somers Road

Suburb: Somers

Collection: Coolart consists of a unique range of historical buildings and environmental landscapes

Open: Daily 9am – 5pm (except Christmas Day)


Services/Activities: Bird watching, Bushwalking; Coastal walking; Group bookings; Venue for special functions; Seminar & Conference venue; Craft group venue; Special lectures. Friends of Coolart are a volunteer group that provide assistance to Coolart through weed management programs; research; sale of publications and produce; and guided tours.

Phone: 13 1963

Address: Old Shire Office, 359A Pt Nepean Road

Mail: PO Box 30

Suburb: Dromana

Postcode: 3936

Collection: Contains artefacts, memorabilia, photographs, records and oral history recordings from the central Mornington Peninsula area including Dromana, Main Ridge, Red Hill, Red Hill South, Safety Beach, Arthurs Seat, McCrae, Rosebud and Boneo

Open: Sundays 2 – 4pm 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month

Admission: Gold coin donation

Services/Activities: Museum displays; Research; Copying; Sale of local history publications & photos; Meetings & guest speakers; Cataloguing; Exhibition development

Phone: 5981 9119


Address: Old Shoreham School, Byrnes Road

Suburb: Shoreham

Postcode: 3916

Collection: Contains photographs; records; maps; paintings and oral histories relating to the historical, environmental, social, industrial and technological developments of the Flinders, Shoreham, Cape Schanck and Point Leo areas.

Open: By appointment only

Admission: Free

Services/Activities: Research; exhibitions and special displays; historic walks; publications; cataloguing; excursions (field trips); social events with guest speakers.

Phone: 03 5989 6562 

Email: flindersdhs@gmail.com 

Address: Pt Nepean Road

Suburb: Sorrento

Postcode: 3943

Collection: Consists of the settlement site and monument, and a small number of relics recovered from the site such as wooden kegs, nails and shackles on display at the Nepean Historical Society

Open: Site is open at all times, tours by appointment. Relics on display as per Nepean Historical Society opening hours.

Admission: Free to the site

Services/Activities: Display of material at the Nepean Historical Society; CD of the history of the Collins Settlement Sorrento; Research; Promotion.

Phone: 03 5988 0773

Address: Corner Marine Parade and Skinner Street

Suburb: Hastings

Postcode: 3915

Collection: Contains objects, memorabilia, maps, photographs, illustrations, documents and publications on the history of Hastings and Western Port from prior to white settlement up to the present day.

Open: Wednesday 10am – 12pm and Sunday 2pm – 4pm

Admission: Adults $5, Pensioners $3, Children free under 16 years.

Services/Activities: Quarterly newsletter; meetings and guest speakers; publication; research; historical walks; exhibitions; special displays; school projects

Mobile phone: 0490 132 011

Address: Stony Point Road

Suburb: Crib Point, HMAS Cerberus

Postcode: 3920

Collection: Contains a collection of artefacts; photographs; maps; prints; paintings; models; ships badges; archives; library; uniforms and assorted memorabilia associated with the history of the naval training depot at HMAS Cerberus and the Royal Australian Navy.

Museum closed until further notice. Contact remains welcome via emailcerberus.museum@defence.gov.au

Address: The Old Post Office Museum, Corner Main Street and Esplanade

Suburb: Mornington

Postcode: 3931

Collection: Contains memorabilia and photographs from Mornington, Mount Martha, Mount Eliza and Moorooduc including the Peninsula Post newspaper

Open: Sunday 1.30pm – 4.30pm. Wednesday school holidays 11am - 3pm. 11am-3pm between Christmas and New Year.

Admission: Gold coin donation

Services/Activities: Research; copying; cataloguing; sale of local history publications; meetings; talks; newsletters; exhibitions; historic walks; outside presentations

Phone: 5976 3203

Address: Frankston South Community Centre, Towerhill Road

Suburb: Frankston South

Postcode: 3199

Collection: Contains books, microfiche, microfilm, historic maps, unique databases, computer databases for research and local history references. We have access to Ancestry.com, Findmypast, the British Newspaper Archive and we are an affiliate library for FamilySearch.

Open:  Tuesday and Thursday 10:30am - 2:30pm, Sunday 2pm - 5pm.

Admission: Visitors $10. Annual individual and family memberships available.

Services/Activities: Family History research, training and guidance, bi-monthly meetings with guest speakers, online meetings. 

Email: info@mpfhs.org

Address: Moorooduc Station 460 Moorooduc Highway

Suburb: Mount Eliza

Postcode: 3930,

Mail: PO Box 193 Mornington 3931

Collection: Contains locomotives and rail cars including the K163; K177; K191; T334; T411; 2 track chief shunting vehicles (TC1 and TC2); 85RM Walker Rail Motor.

Open: 1st 3 Sundays of each month 11am – 3pm

Admission: Charges apply, see website

Services/Activities: Train trips for general visitors on Sundays; Birthday parties; Group bookings; Charters

Footbridge is: North Fitzroy, not West

Phone: 1300 767 274

Email: secretary@morningtonrailway.org

Address: 466 Esplanade

Suburb: Mount Martha

Postcode: 3934

Collection:Consists of memorabilia such as documents; artifacts and photographs that illustrate the colourful past of Mount Martha House

Open: By appointment only

Admission: Free

Services/Activities: Talks; Guided tours; External presentations to community groups

Phone: 5974 1288


Address: 11 Beverley Road

Suburb: McCrae

Postcode: 3938

Collection: The McCrae Homestead is one of Victoria’s oldest homesteads and is a physical reminder of early pioneering life, using local materials and primitive construction techniques. It also contains a rare collection of 19th century family heirlooms and artworks from the McCrae and Burrell families.

Open: Sundays 11.00am to 4.00pm (closed July & August). Group tours by booking through 03 9656 9889 

Admission: Adult $10; Concession $7; Child $4; Family $26; National Trust members FREE 

Services/Activities: Guided tours; school programs; publications; special event days; weddings and function hire 

Phone: 03 9656 9889 


Address: 385 Golf links Road

Suburb: Langwarrin South

Postcode: 3911

Collection: Mulberry Hill was built in 1926 as an extension on an 1880s cottage, and was the home of the noted artist Sir Daryl Lindsay and his wife Joan (author of the classic novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock). The Lindsays' personal collections of artworks and Georgian furniture are an outstanding feature of this house. 

Open:Every Sunday from 11am to 4pm (Last admission to the house is 3:30pm).

Group tours available by appointment, please call (03) 9656 9889 or email bookings@nattrust.com.au

Closed:Christmas Day

 Admission:  Adult $10; Concession $7; Child $4; Family $26; National Trust members FREE

Services/Activities: Guided tours; school programs; publications; special event days; weddings and function hire 

Phone:Bookings office on 03 9656 9889 Monday - Friday


Address: 450 Nepean Hwy

Suburb: Mount Martha

Postcode: 3934

The Briars is one of the Mornington Peninsula’s oldest properties. Captain James Reid arrived in 1840 and erected a hut on the site now occupied by the Visitor Information Centre. In 1846 Alexander Beatson Balcombe purchased the property, and built a homestead from local materials. They named it “The Briars” after the family home on St Helena. The Homestead contains historic photographs, artefacts and a Napoleonic Collection.

Opening hours: The Historic Homestead is open on days when a volunteer guide is on duty. The Visitors Centre is open between 9am & 5pm. The Wildlife Sanctuary is open between 9am & 4.30pm. Please note the Sanctuary is closed on days of Total Fire Ban and when wind strength exceeds 35 kph.

The Briars is closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday. 

Homestead admission: Adults $10, Concession/Child $5, Family $15. No charge for current National Trust members.

Services/Activities: Guided tours; BBQ & picnic facilities; 90+ hectare Wildlife Sanctuary including wetlands and bird hides; several bushland walks including pram friendly and wheelchair accessible walks;  school holiday activities include Junior Ranger Programs and ranger-guided spotlight walks; function hire of Homestead, barn and grounds; Outdoor Education Camp; Josephine’s Restaurant; Eco House; Shire Nursery and Angus & Rose restaurant.

Dogs are not permitted at The Briars.

Phone: 03 5950 1221

Email: the.briars@mornpen.vic.gov.au

Address: 195 Arthurs Seat Road, Opposite Red Hill Showgrounds

Suburb: Red Hill

Postcode: 3937

Collection: Endeavour Fern Gully is an ecological gem. It is part of a 27 hectare property, owned by the National Trust, of which 17.5 hectares of natural indigenous bushland,  including an outstanding example of a lush fern gully.

Open: Daylight hours year round (winter not advisable), entry strictly prohibited on Total Fire Ban. Animals not permitted. 

Admission: Gold coin donation. 

Services: Revegetation programs; guided tours by appointment (03 9656 9889). 

Phone: 03 9656 9889 


Sorrento Museum

Address: 827 Melbourne Road

Suburb: Sorrento

Postcode: 3943

Collection: Contains artefacts, costumes, maps, photographs, documents, oral histories, illustrations, models and books associated with Southern Mornington Peninsula. Also on the site is the historic Watts Cottage which is a rare example of the type of home built by the first settlers to this area.

Open: Saturday & Sunday 1:30pm - 4:30pm. Public and School holidays check website for details

Admission: Adults $5.00 Students $2.00 Children Free (if accompanied by an adult)

Services/Activities: General tours of displays; Local history walks; Educational tours; Research and Archival services; Copying of historic photographs (subject to conditions); Film screenings; Heritage Gift Shop; Monthly meetings and guest speakers; Quarterly newsletter; Publications; Talks and demonstrations.

Phone: 5984 0255 Fax: 5984 0935

Email: admin@nhs.asn.au

Peninsula Ship Society

The Society meets monthly with presentations by guest speakers on maritime matters. Guests always welcome.

Collection: Books, videos and DVD’s associated with maritime matters. This collection is available to members.

Open: Meetings held 10am, 4th Tuesday each month at the Hastings Yacht Club, 1 Marine Pde, Hastings Guests and potential members are always welcome.

Membership:$30.00 per year

Services/Activities: The monthly meetings include a guest speaker providing an insight to many maritime matters. A monthly newsletter; “Sea Chest” is sent to members. Occasional excursions are made to places of maritime related interest in Victoria.

Related Informationhttps://mpcommunity.com.au/user/peninsula-ship-society/


Phone:03 9787 5780



Address: Point Nepean National Park, End of Point Nepean Road

Suburb: Portsea

Postcode: 3944

Collection:  Quarantine Station comprises of quarantine equipment and machinery; medical artefacts; furniture and uniforms; domestic utensils; maps, photographs, assorted records and interpretive signage and brochures.

Fort Nepean comprises of remnant military battlements such as gun emplacements, barracks tunnels, ammunition magazines, an engine house and a bomb-proof room, as well as interpretive soundscapes, signage and brochures.

Open: Every day, selected buildings in the Quarantine Station open the public between 8:30am – 4:30pm, except Christmas Day.

Phone: 13 1963

Address: Rye Primary School – Old SchoolhouseCnr Lyons & Collingwood St, Rye

Mail: PO Box 65, Rye 3941

Collection: Photos, family histories, maps, books and memorabilia associated with Rye’s history

Open: Sundays 2-4pm

Admission: Gold Coin Donation

Services/Activities: Museum displays; Research; Sale of local history publications & photos; Meetings & guest speakers; Cataloguing; Exhibition development

Phone: 5985 8187 or 5985 2231

Email: ryehistoricalsociety@gmail.com

Web: ryehistoricalsociety.au