Hastings grew up as a Western Port Bay fishing village, and has a very busy and colourful foreshore and marina. There are cycling and walking tracks, picnic and BBQ facilities and a children’s playground. Book a fishing trip or a bay cruise, but make sure you allow time to watch the amusing pelicans strut their stuff as they search for food in front of the aptly named Pelican Pantry Café.
In fact pelicans are prominent locals around Hastings - the Pelican Park Recreation Centre is a great place for a swim, workout or spa. Next to Pelican Park is the mellow old Hastings Jetty which is popular with the locals for fishing. You can buy a bag of fish offcuts from Fisherman's Wharf and feed the pelicans, then follow the boardwalk to a walking trail that links Hastings and Jacks Beach further south. On the way you’ll see the most southerly white mangrove grounds in the world.
Hastings’ High Street is rapidly becoming a favoured shopping destination on the Mornington Peninsula, with varied shopping and retail outlets.
En route to Hastings from Melbourne, do make a stop at the Moonlit Wildlife Sanctuary Conservation Park, where rare, endangered and nocturnal creatures promise you some unusual encounters. On the Wallaby Walk, you can handfeed some very cute wallabies – take a close look and you may see little joeys wriggling in their pouches.
The bird community has recently been expanded to welcome seven Orange Bellied parrots, a species which is critically endangered, and a new Barking Owl.