Often dubbed the Gateway to the Mornington Peninsula, Frankston is the largest city on the seaside stretch of land. Found on the eastern shores of Port Phillip Bay the area’s residents, or Frankstonians, enjoy a town relatively close to the city but even closer to the beach.
European settlers actually took a stroll through Frankston, searching for water and other sustenance, well before Melbourne was founded or even discovered. Later on, once a railway line had been established, the town became a popular seaside holiday destination. Fast forward to 2004 and the suburb was nominated in the International Awards for Livable Communities. Clearly it’s a great place to live.
Whether you’re a native Frankstonian or tourist looking for kicks there’s plenty to do. Obviously water activities are high on the list. The Frankston Waterfront, which has been given a facelift to the tune of $15 million, features a pier and boardwalk in which you’ll find restaurants, shops, playgrounds and public art. There’s also a beach. Nearby, and more of a local’s hang out, is the Seaford Foreshore Reserve.
Still on the water theme, hiring a boat for fishing or cruising is an option. Alternatively if you enjoy the sea but prefer to keep your distance head to the beach and marvel at the sand sculpture creations. Held from Boxing Day until April the event features intricate designs created from 3,500 tonnes of sand.
Moving onto artworks and sculptures of a more traditional kind your first stop should be the McCellend Gallery. With 16 hectares of land to play with the gallery features a Sculpture Park as well as changing exhibitions, public talks and other artistic events. If theatre and dance excite you try the Frankston Arts Centre for performances and workshops. Back outside and hop in the car for the Frankston Cultural Drive which takes you on a tour of heritage buildings, parks, gardens, galleries and modern sculptures.
If you happen to stop by in January you might catch the Frankston Waterfront Festival - a celebration of the area’s seaside history and culture. On top of festival staples food and wine there’s an amateur, but gruelling, swim and run, the Frankston Bay Classic. The most effective way to work off excessive consumption of food and alcohol.