Blog & Insights
5 of the best Melbourne beaches near you
Springtime has officially arrived – and the weather is sure to get that memo very soon. It’s time to pack away those cosy knits and start thinking about how to while away those hot lazy summer days that will soon be upon us. And while Melbourne may not have the surf beaches of Sydney at hand, what it lacks in wave size it certainly makes up for in diversity. With 260 km of coastline to play with – a whopping 35 times the size of Sydney Harbour –Melbourne casually serves up a perfect waterside retreat to suit every conceivable occasion. It’s the perfect place to escape the summer heat and you won’t even have to forgo your favourite coffee. Here’s our best 5.
1. To lounge – Brighton Beach
Possibly the most photographed beach of them all, this popular retreat that is Brighton Beach is famed for her 82 colourful bathing boxes dating right back to 1881. Not only is this beach a locals’ favourite for the beautiful city views on display, the perfect swim conditions and the people-watching opportunities, it can also deliver a bit of a wave when the wind picks up. Tourists are drawn to the area, enchanted by the quintessential bathing scene that once catered to the modesty of beachgoers in times gone by. Today, this particular requirement may have faded but the need for entertainment has not. A short walk away from the water and this suburb is alive with cafés, bars and eateries that make it the perfect post-beach summer hangout.
2. For the vibe – St Kilda Beach
A very Melbourne staple, St Kilda has been a people’s favourites since time immemorial. Think like Bondi – just without the huge crowds and add a touch more bohemia. Located an easy 6km tram ride from the CBD, St Kilda is the perfect spot for summer play with popular water sports on hand such as kite surfing, kayaking, water-skiing and paddle-boarding. If you prefer to stay well above the water line, try out roller-blading or cycling along the dedicated palm–lined promenade. Hang around past sunset and you may even spot one of the resident penguins that live at the end of the pier. When you’re all beached out there’s plenty more to discover in the shops and eateries along Acland Street where time has a peculiar habit of strangely disappearing. Summer has never looked so fun.
3. The view – Williamstown Beach
Melbourne’s first port and fondly referred to as “Willy’s Beach’, this cool seaside suburb sits just 20 mins out from the CBD and is easily reached by train. Boasting the unique option of a swim and a sunbake with the city skyline in full view, Williamstown has become a firm favourite with beachgoers and fun-seekers alike. It has developed into something of a location favourite for party hotspots, and the diverse range of specialty shops on offer beyond is simply an added bonus. Jump straight on a ferry to take you all the way home along the Yarra right back to Southbank and the city centre. It’s like it never happened.
4. The day tripper – Sorrento Beach
The sun is shining, the beaches await you and your thirst for adventure is up. Head out for the day and explore Sorrento Beach, uniquely located right on the tip of the Mornington Peninsula with Port Phillip Bay on one side, and Bass Straight on the other. Relax amongst the beautiful scenery and enjoy rock pools and sand dunes as well as swimming and surfing. Join the dolphins for a dip and explore their underwater world or tread the path that inspired local artists from the last 150 years.
Be warned, the secret is out. So unless you enjoy getting cosy close with your fellow sunseekers, grab some friends, hire a car and head to Sorrento in the off-season for a more authentic and relaxed experience.
5. The secret – Half Moon Bay
For the perfect picture-postcard beach, there is no other like Half Moon Bay. Situated in Black Rock and so named for the crescent-shaped bay that curves round towards the cliffs of Red Bluff, this beach has something quite different to any other. Amongst the calm still waters there lurks HMS Cerberus, a decommissioned 1870 naval ship that was deliberately scuttled to provide the perfect break for the local yacht club. A striking sight from the shoreline this is a fitting nod to Australia’s maritime history. Half Moon is famed for her calm and still conditions making it a great choice for swimmers of all abilities. With the plethora of water sports available ranging from fishing and kayaking to sailing and snorkelling, on a sunny day this beach is true Australian culture at its very finest.
Photo by Visit Melbourne