Finding the best beaches in Melbourne
Melbourne is Australia’s hip pseudo-capital of cool. Whilst it may not rack up as many days of sunshine as its urban cousins in other states, such as Sydney, Perth or Brisbane, this city has other unique elements you’ll find hard to resist.
Landscapes, lifestyle, wine, culture and arts are the critical contributions offered up by Australia’s south eastern cities, Melbourne and Adelaide. Whilst not as relentlessly sunny as the northern states, Melbourne’s coast, and much of Victoria’s, has a dramatic, rugged beauty that’s as attractive to the eye as it was treacherous for ship’s captains to navigate.
Port Phillip Bay is one of the most densely populated areas in Australia, but it is also home to many of Melbourne’s most beautiful beaches. The benefit of it being built up is there are some great landscaped gardens, public barbecues, outdoor water sports, yacht clubs, picnic areas and other well-kept public spaces to take advantage of. We’d suggest avoiding school holidays, weekends and major events to guarantee a bit more bathing space away from other tourists and locals.
Must See Melbourne Beaches
St Kilda is the sandy hotspot of Melbourne. Take a stroll up the boardwalk, gazing at the rollerbladers, windsurfers, jet skiers and St Kilda Pier in the distance. The water is protected from the tides by Port Phillip Bay so swimming here is ideal for beginners.
St Kilda is also home to one of the city’s most prominent AFL teams and Luna Park. Luna Park is one of the oldest amusement parks in Australia, built by American entrepreneurs over 100 years ago. The grounds are home to over 20 attractions, including the second oldest operating roller coaster in the world! It’s a great day out with kids and couples, including classic British-Australian seaside delights such as Ferris wheels and candy floss!
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this bay’s perfect crescent shape is where its name came from. Situated in the suburb of Black Rock, it’s super accessible by car or public transport. A unique feature of Half Moon Bay is the underwater wreckage of HMVS Cerberus situated in the middle of the bay. Over the years, the spot has attracted diverse marine life and it’s a must-visit for divers.
Half Moon is also home to a bit of Aussie history; it has the oldest lifesaving club in Victoria! Loved by many locals over the tourism hot spots, this bay has played a role in more recent history. For example, it has been featured in movies such as Mad Max and TV series Round the Twist.
Affectionately named after the stunning shores of Italy, Sorrento Front Beach is famous for the beautiful blue waters found in its rock pools. It’s popular with families and fishermen because of its gentle waves and well-kept gardens which sit parallel to the shore. If you’re looking for a quieter beach day out, Sorrento Front is right at the tip of the Mornington Peninsula and gets a little less traffic compared to other popular beaches. If you want the perfect picture, take a walk up one of the jetty’s to capture the best views of the clear blue waters!
Brighton Beach (and Dendy Street Beach)
A stone’s throw from the city centre, Brighton is an affluent suburb with one of the trendiest beaches in town. Many consider this Melbourne’s most famous beach due to the jazzy bathing boxes. The 82 brightly coloured beach huts have been around since the 1860s, with their iconic image showing up on postcards and tourism campaigns all over the world.
Based on a British Victorian style, this beachfront may be busy but it’s a must on any Melbourne visit. Once you’ve had your time on the beach, be sure to dip in and out of Brighton’s many independent shops, cafes and fish & chip shops!
Jagged rock edges and dramatic cliffs wrap around this idyllic bay. It feels like you could be thousands of miles from civilisation, which attracts adventurous divers to check out the marine life and corals at Bushrangers. The bay’s natural beauty has helped it make its way onto many cinematic screens, including its most recent feature in the film Where The Wild Things Are. It’s also home to a beautiful dog-friendly walking track that attracts weekend hikers and families. It truly is one of the best beaches in Melbourne.
Whilst this is obviously not a beach, if you’re in Melbourne for a little longer why not hit the coast on the Great Ocean Road? This beautiful 9.5 hour drive takes you to some of the most stunning locations in southern Australia. You can surf in Torquay, marvel at the 12 apostles and relax on countless golden beaches along the way.
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