Overlooking an inlet on Western Port Bay, Hastings is a peaceful town that serves as a gateway to the southern Mornington Peninsula. Known previously as both King’s Creek and Star Point, it is believed to have been settled as a fishing village in the 1840s and later flourished as a hub for the surrounding fruit-growing region.
Things to do in Hastings
For a dose of local history, pay a visit to the Hastings-Western Port Historical Society Museum, which overlooks Fred Smith Reserve. Highlights of the collection include an 1864 Armstrong Gun, a model of the “Myrtle Burgess” fishing vessel and the fully restored steamer “Johanna”. You can wander through the early 20th-century Pioneer Cottage before experiencing the magical Fairy Garden.
Extending to the north is the Hastings Foreshore Reserve, which hugs the waters of Western Port Bay. Watch the boats coming and going from the Hastings Pier, then follow the paved trail that leads past a mangrove forest and connects to a boardwalk spanning Kings Creek. In addition to tennis courts and swimming beaches, the reserve features a children’s playground and an off-leash dog area.
A short drive north of Hastings is the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, an award-winning attraction that exhibits species native to the Mornington Peninsula. Get up close to bare-nosed wombats, central bearded dragons and eastern blue-tongued lizards, as well as eastern gray kangaroos and koalas. The Moonlight Sanctuary is renowned for its evening walks, which offer encounters with nocturnal animals.
Getting around Hastings
Hastings is around an hour’s drive from Melbourne and 1.5 hours from Melbourne Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Regular trains connect to the Hastings railway station and the town is small enough to explore on foot.