With the crystal-clear waters of Port Phillip Bay on one side, the Bass Strait directly south and Western Port Bay around the other end, the Mornington Peninsula is surrounded by pristine beaches. But it’s not all sand, sea and surf– it’s also home to world-class wineries, some of Victoria’s best restaurants, meandering bush walks, wildlife sanctuaries, farm gates for fresh produce and plenty more.

Thankfully it’s also got plenty of Airbnbs to rest your head if you want to spend the night, long weekend or a generous stretch of time just recharging before heading back to the city. Here are some of the best ones.

Polperro Farmhouse, Red Hill

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On a working vineyard beside a lush pine forest, this converted 1950s cottage designed by Hecker Guthrie effortlessly combines old style and contemporary comfort. Every inch is designed to make you feel at home, from the three bedrooms and roomy bathtub to the open fireplace and outdoor kitchen. You can bring groceries here and cook, or Polperro Winery is just a five-minute drive away. Sleeps six / from $1150 a night / two-night minimum / book here.

Martha Beach House, Safety Beach

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Less than 100 metres from the Mount Martha shoreline, this beach house is a slice of the Mediterranean on the peninsula – you’ll want to fire up the group chat for this one. There’s a circular heated pool, space for eight guests, a marble-splashed kitchen, a deck that looks out over Red Hill, Arthurs Seat and Port Phillip Bay, and a day spa-inspired ensuite – all pink travertine and stone finishings – worth fighting over. Sleeps eight / from $1220 a night / two-night minimum / book here.

Log Box, Red Hill

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Down a tree-lined road in the lush peninsula hinterland, a former milking shed has been turned into a rustic-presenting cabin filled with earthy tones and beautiful artwork. Look up at the stars and wake up to sunlight from the huge picture window right by the king-sized bed. There’s a wood fire inside, plus a kitchenette and an outdoor barbeque. You might even see a mob of kangaroos from the balcony. Sleeps two / from $357 a night / book here.

Cape Schanck House, Cape Schanck

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Part retro-futurist vision and part modern-day beach shack, Cape Schanck house was built in 2006 with walls and windows at uncommon angles, and a striking internal water tank (the “blob” in the middle of the living room) as a centrepiece. It’s got three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and the rear glass doors open onto a back lawn with a fireplace and barbeque. Sleeps six / from $315 a night / three-night minimum / book here.

Camillo House, Blairgowrie

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Perched atop a rolling, greenery-strewn sand dune, this ’80s beach house is just 50 barefoot paces from Blaigowrie’s back beach. The penthouse has views over the dunes and sea, though every window offers impeccably framed outlooks. Relax in two custom-made bathtubs (one indoor, one outdoor), sleep in any of the three bedrooms, lounge on the four decks and watch the waves roll in. Sleeps six / from $879.30 a night / two-night minimum / book here.

Nerissa, Rye

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Just a short walk from Number 16 Beach, this newly constructed home offers seclusion and privacy under the shade of moonah trees. Cosy up next to the wood fire or soak in the marble-clad tub before retreating into one of four bedrooms (one’s got two sets of bunk beds). The two pavilions keep bedrooms and dining and entertaining areas separate, so you can get some shut-eye while the rest of the group chats into the night. Sleeps 10 / from $690 a night / two-night minimum / book here.

Yoko Cabin, Rye

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This two-bedroom cabin was built with inspiration from Japanese and Nordic design; it feels warm and sun-drenched, but also breezy. It’s got all the basic amenities you’d expect, alongside a French press, Aesop soaps, a record player and LPs to spin. Fire up the barbeque and log burner for a romantic night in after a day of exploring the area. Sleeps four / from $325 a night / two-night minimum / book here.

Hart’s Farm, Shoreham

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On the eastern side of the peninsula, Hart’s Farm offers a luxury getaway on a working farm producing apple cider, fruit preserves and extra-virgin olive oil (you can buy them to take home). Stay at The Studio if you want a cosy escape with a queen bed, huge bath and day bed overlooking the vineyard, or book The Retreat for all those plus a huge living and dining area, full kitchen and professional coffee machine. Sleeps two / from $375 a night / two-night minimum / book here.

Fox House, Mount Martha

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This Hamptons-style summer house, just a short walk from Mount Martha Beach, is great for a group outing (it’s got three bedrooms). There’s a solar-heated pool if you want to avoid the sand, and a cedar hot tub so you can stay toasty even in winter. Use it as a jump-off point for exploring the peninsula, or you can easily stay in with the smart TV, surround-sound cinema system, full kitchen and espresso machine. Sleeps eight / from $645 a night / two-night minimum / book here.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Flux, Alice Jeffery, Emma Joyce, Linsey Rendell, Kate Shanasy, Tomas Telegramma

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