Mornington Island -You have to know




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Mornington Island is a coral cay located in the middle of the Bass Strait, off the coast of Victoria, Australia. The cay is part of the World Heritage Site of the Great Barrier Reef and is known for its extensive and well-preserved rainforest. The Island is also known for its beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear waters.

Mornington Island


The Island was first sighted by Europeans on 9 February 1770 and named Hervey’s Islet after the Englishman Robert Hervey who charted it. The island became part of the colony of New South Wales in 1825. In 1862, during the Victorian gold rush, Mornington Island became a popular stop for prospectors travelling down the Bass Strait. A telegraph station and Customs House were built on the island to service these miners but both were abandoned following the closure of nearby Howqua Creek in 1869.

The Island was reserved for use as a hermitage by church groups and since 1986 has been managed by The Mornington Hermitage Ltd (MHL). In 2012 morningtonists formed an association to protect access to, and recreational activities on, the island from encroachment from developers seeking rezoning or other development proposals.



The island has a warm climate with average annual rainfall of 1,713 mm. The temperature range is 10 °C to 33 °C. Rainfall is heaviest during March to July. The island experiences intense thunderstorms most frequently between January and June, with the months of December and February experiencing medium intensity.

The island is approximately 15 km long and 5 km wide covering an area of 52.3 square kilometres (ha), with a maximum height above sea level of 50m, near the highest point on the eastern side which overlooks Bass Strait.


Mornington Island Culture

The island is home to a number of cultural traditions including the morningtonian chirping frog, a bird endemic to the island and recognised as vulnerable. The MHL provides education programs for students studying endangered cultures around the world. There are also regular arts and crafts exhibitions, musical performances and film screenings on the Island.



The island is a member of the Australian Hermitage Association and the Victorian Heritage Register. Commercial activities on the island include fishing, oyster cultivation and the production of hermitage products.

The MHL has built a small museum in Mornington Historic Town Centre that celebrates original use of long buildings by various periods through 20th century history from 1840–1940 (Milton House) to 2011 (Mornington Hermitage). The front door is butting up against older arched bridge used for prior crossings between 19th century Mornington road.

Government services

Government Services

The MHL has its own police force, which is a member of the Victoria Police. The island also has two general stores and six cafes/restaurants. There is no airport on the island. The island is served by Mornington Ferry, which carries passengers and vehicles for travel between Melbourne and Port Phillip Heads. The MV “Mornington” operated by Cube Shipping also operates a water taxi service to neighbouring locations as frequently as every 20 minutes from 3:00 pm until 7:30 pm Monday through Friday.


Mornington Island Tourism

The MHL operates the Mornington Hermitage Visitors Centre on Main Road in Mornington historic town centre which offers self-guided tours of seven period houses. The MV “Mornington” also conducts hourly cruises around the island during daylight hours from March to October, departing from Moorings Rock Marina.

The “Mornington Hermitage” visitor centre also offers free ferry trips to be taken by visitors from Mornington’s historic town and garden, various points on the island. The MV “Mornington”, operated by Cube Shipping also operates a water taxi service to neighbouring locations as frequently as every 20 minutes during daylight hours except evenings before 6:00pm Monday through Friday.


Mornington Island Transport

Mornington Island is serviced by the Mornington Ferry, a passenger and vehicle service that operates between Victoria’s Port Phillip Heads and Mornington historic town. MV “Mornington” operated by Cube Shipping also operates a water taxi service to neighbouring locations as frequently as every 20 minutes during daylight hours except evenings before 6:00pm Monday through Friday.


Mornington Island Cuisine

There are six cafes/restaurants on the island. These include two with terraces overlooking the harbour and four positioned in the town centre. The cuisine is predominantly Australian but there are also some international dishes available including pasta, pizza and fish ‘n’ chips. The Mornington Blues Festival takes place each October in the town of Mornington. The festival includes live music and street entertainers; a parade through town with floats, bands and various performers; self-guided tours taking in historic buildings (May be as part of visiting schools); arts & crafts stalls scattered throughout the day on top streets antiques market days.


Mornington Island Wildlife

Mornington has a number of wildlife-rich habitats. The Australian sea lions that can be seen at the Heads in summer are only the beginning, as the island supports an extraordinary range of birds and small animals. There is also good fishing on offer and opportunities for swimming, hiking and camping. The habitat support of the island extends to a wonderful ecosystem.

Birdlife includes: King Parrots (including often very vocal albino birds called monita), some Rainbow Lorikeets, White Cockatoos, Scarlet Minivets and Galah as well as many sub species rampant with parakeets in particular shapes such as canary plumages (with crested heads) or quail-like heads matching many rock holes these kinds of habits are simply amazing.


Mornington Island is a remote island located in Bass Strait in the south-eastern part of Australia. The island is over 1,000 kilometres long and covers an area of around 153 square kilometres. The main economic activities on the island are farming and tourism. Mornington Island is a popular tourist destination because of its natural beauty, wildlife, and its proximity to mainland Australia.


What Is The Official Name Of Mornington Island?

Mornington Island is officially known as Hervey’s Islet. However, it is commonly referred to by its local Aboriginal name, Raijinjang.

When Was Mornington Island First Sighted By Europeans?

The island was first sighted by Europeans on 9 February 1770 and was named Hervey’s Islet after the Englishman Robert Hervey who charted it. This is according to the information on Wikipedia

Is There An Airport On Mornington Island?

Mainland Australia’s largest wildlife refuge, Werribee Open Range Zoo, lies just over 20 km from Verny Point near Port Albert in eastern Victoria and has a lease certificate dating back to 1993 but was never built due out lack of funds or financial troubles that prevented its development after timber felling etc.. The island has its own airport; however it is only used by tourists.

How Frequently Does The Ferry Boats Between Mornington Island And Mainland Australia Go?

There is one passenger ferry and several car ferries available between the island and Melbourne daily from 29 July to 26 September. However, this route is not seasonal and only operates when there are enough freight vessels coming or going all year round. The trip takes approximately 45 minutes

Is It Possible To Swim In The Ocean?

Yes, it is in fact possible to swim off Mornington Island. However there are no life guards on the beach and swimmers should not be snorkelling while they are swimming because their visibility would then become limited due to sharp stone fish teeth that protrude from below rocks

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