Located in the southeastern part of Australia, Melbourne is an amazing city with masses to offer. Culture, a vibrant food scene, shopping, and, of course, beaches. Of all the things that Melbourne is known for, it's its stunning swathes of golden beaches that get the most hype. If you can't imagine a vacation without at least one lazy day on a sun-soaked stretch of sand, then you're in luck. Melbourne's beaches are legendary. They're also numerous. Whether you dream of a secluded little bay with nothing but sand and views for company, or whether you prefer your beaches to come with a lively buzz, you'll find no shortage of appealing options. If you need a helping hand deciding where to head, you've come to the right place.
A Traveler's Guide to the Best Beaches in Melbourne, Australia
If you're heading to Melbourne for the first time, you've probably already done a little research into the city's attractions, not to mention its beaches. And if there's one thing your research is guaranteed to have turned up more than anything else, it's the sheer scale of the place. As the most populous city in Victoria, the greater Melbourne area covers a vast area. An area vast enough to make choosing what to do and where to go a dilemma, especially if you're on a tight schedule. To help out, we've sifted through the options and selected the best beaches in Melbourne. Providing you fit at least one of these gems into your itinerary, your trip won't have been wasted.
Elwood Beach used to be swampland. It's not anymore. These days, it's one of the trendiest beaches in Melbourne. If you like solitary beaches where you rarely see another soul, it's not for you. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a family-friendly beach with plenty of facilities (including barbeque and picnic areas), it's ideal. Along with families, it's also hugely popular with water sport enthusiasts; if you've ever fancied trying out some windsurfing or jet skiing, this is the place to do it. Once you've finished up at the beach, don't miss a quick stroll around the surrounding neighborhood. Packed with an eclectic mix of pre and post-war architecture, it's a great place to soak up the cultural history of the city.
If you're heading to Brighton Beach, don't forget your camera - the row of eighty-two multi-colored bathing houses that line the beach is the photo-op to end all photo-ops. Once you're done snapping, find a place among the surfers, swimmers, and sunseekers that frequent the beach to enjoy the azure blue skies and gorgeous views. If that get's boring after a while, the beach has some decent waves on offer for surfing, along with a few rip holes for anyone who enjoys a spot of fishing.
St Kilda Beach
As traveltriangle.com notes, St Kilda Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Melbourne. A favorite haunt for both locals and tourists, it offers a huge range of opportunities for beachside fun, including swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and fishing. Lined with a network of boardwalks and paths ideal for rollerblading, cycling, or simply strolling, it's a fabulous place for families, solo tourists, and couples alike. Once you tire of the beach, don't miss checking out nearby attractions like Luna Park and the historic St Kilda Pier. There's also a great range of cafes, restaurants, and bars lining the shore for after-beach dinner and drinks.
Half Moon Bay
Described by webjet.com.au as a popular destination among boating and fishing enthusiasts, Half Moon Bay is a gorgeously peaceful crescent-shaped bay located about 30 minutes from the center of Melbourne. As a piece of history for you, it's also the final resting place of the 19th-century battleship Cerberus, which now acts as an artificial reef structure and a fascinating focal point for the bay. The waters are teeming with colorful fish species, including sea stars, urchins and anemones, blue-ringed octopuses, cuttlefish, and squid. Understandably, the bay is a hugely popular destination for snorkelers. Dotted around the shore are numerous little cafes and restaurants, all of which offer a great selection of treats for when hunger strikes.
Drive just 30 minutes from the center of Melbourne and you'll find Hampton, a peaceful little suburb graced with a gorgeous stretch of beach that's well worth a visit. The waters are safe enough for swimming, while the surrounding cliffs offer some great hiking opportunities. It's not as buzzing as the likes of St Kilda Beach, but for those looking for an idyllic beach with panoramic views and a tranquil vibe, it's perfect. Visit on New Year's Eve for the best vantage point for Melbourne's firework displays.
Seaford is one of the ten best beaches in Melbourne. It's understandable why. Located within a short drive from the center, the beach is easily accessible by car or public transport. Yet despite its close proximity to the hustle and bustle of the city, it has all the serene tranquility of some far-flung beach paradise. The turquoise waters are gentle enough for swimming, while the long stretch of sugar-white sand is perfect for lounging, strolling, and soaking up the rays. Amenities are fairly basic, but there's a charming little beach cafe offering a good selection of snacks and beverages if you're feeling peckish.
Recommended by Time Out as one of the best beaches in Melbourne, Williamstown Beach is a must-visit. Williamstown holds the distinction of being Melbourne's first seaport: a charming little beachside suburb, it has a quaint, village feel and a relaxed, laid back vibe. Lined with cafes and restaurants, the beach is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. In comparison to some of Melbourne's other beaches, Williamstown is relatively small. But the best things really do come in small packages sometimes, as attested by the stunning ocean views, gentle azure waters, and golden sands. Although it's tempting to spend all your time on the beach itself, don't miss taking the short walk to Gem Pier - the panoramic view it offers of the city skyline is a treat, especially at sunset.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson