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Is it better to buy on the Mornington Peninsula or the Bellarine Peninsula?

Suburb Profiles
28 November 2022
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It’s an age-old debate: which side of Port Phillip Bay is better, the Mornington Peninsula or the Bellarine Peninsula?

For many people, the answer will likely depend on which side of the city (or state) they grew up in. Irrespective of your personal opinion, there’s no denying both beachside locales have their pros and cons. And whether you’re looking to buy a permanent home, holiday house or investment property, there’s plenty on offer.

Mornington Peninsula

This is an idyllic stretch of coastline southeast of Melbourne famous for its clear waters, luxury houses and premium lifestyle. It’s located about 74km from Melbourne and includes suburbs like Blairgowrie, Dromana, Flinders, Mornington, Mt Martha, Point Leo, Portsea, Red Hill, Rosebud, Rye, Sorrento, and St Andrews Beach.

About 300,000 people live on the Peninsula, according to the 2021 Census. However, that figure grows significantly during the summer holiday period as tourists and holiday home-owners descend on the pristine strip. Here, they can enjoy everything from swimming and snorkelling, to taking in bush walks, wineries and shopping.

Premium lifestyle

The region boasts an affluent, family friendly lifestyle with top-tier restaurants, pubs, cafes and beaches dotted throughout its suburbs. It’s home to attractions including the Peninsula Hot Springs, a natural geothermal mineral spring and popular day spa, Arthur’s Seat and Point Nepean National Park, as well as a number of tranquil beaches. There’s also a number of renowned wineries including Red Hill Estate, Point Leo Estate, Montalto and Foxeys Hangout.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mornington Peninsula witnessed unprecedented property price growth as people escaped Melbourne in search of a sea or tree change. The wider region is also popular with holidaymakers, with many homes rented out as short-stay accommodation. has the following information about houses in Blairgowrie:

  • Median house price of $1.695 million (an increase of 12.3 per cent in the last 12 months)
  • Median rental price of $649 per week for a house (an increase of 18 per cent in the last 12 months)
  • Annual rental yield of 2 per cent for houses

The Mornington Peninsula has a number of top schools on offer for locals, including Mornington Primary School, Padua College, Toorak College, Peninsula Grammar and Mt Eliza Primary School.

Bellarine Peninsula

This pristine region near Geelong is known for its sweeping ocean views, wineries and relatively affordable price point in many suburbs.

In the heart of Wadawurrung country, the Bellarine Peninsula encompasses the suburbs of Drysdale, Clifton Springs, Portarlington, Mannerim and Swan Bay. In recent years, many of the suburbs have undergone gentrification and development, in line with the wider Geelong region. At the 2016 Census, the broader Bellarine and neighbouring Surf Coast areas were home to a combined 71,000 people.

Best of both worlds

The area also enjoys all the conveniences of being located on the outskirts of Geelong, Victoria’s second largest city. Take the Bellarine Highway and you can be in the Geelong CBD in about 20 minutes, where a major Westfield shopping centre, cinemas, restaurants and sports facilities can be found. Or follow the main arterial further along the coast to places like Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove.

One of the area’s most popular suburbs, Portarlington, is known for its sleepy seaside lifestyle, and is popular with retirees and holidaymakers. The suburb has a long fishing, boating and swimming history, and many of its cafes can be accessed directly from Melbourne by ferry. It’s also home to a number of the region’s best wineries, including Bellarine Estate, Jack Rabbit and Terindah Estate.

For those looking to live on the Bellarine, the area has a number of high-quality local schools, as well as bus services connecting students to schools in and around the wider Geelong region. Some of the schools include Bellarine Secondary College, Christian College Geelong, St Ignatius College Geelong, Ocean Grove Primary School, Barwon Heads Primary School and Grovedale College. has the following information about Portarlington:

  • Median house price of $987,500 (an increase of 23.4 per cent in the last 12 months)
  • Median rental price of $440 per week for a house (an increase of 10 per cent in the last 12 months)
  • Median apartment or unit price of $707,500 (an increase of 5.6 per cent in the last 12 months)
  • Median rental price of $380 per week for an apartment or unit (an increase of 5.6 per cent in the last 12 months)
  • Annual rental yield of 2.5 per cent for houses and 3.3 per cent for apartments or units
Suburb Profiles
28 November 2022
Save Article

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