6 beaches near Melbourne: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

Published by: BouncePosted
Best beaches near Melbourne

One of the best things about an Australian vacation is that you don't have to choose between spending time in the city and enjoying a day on the beach. Most of Australia's major cities are coastal and offer some incredible beaches well within the city limits as well as outside it. Melbourne is no exception. The capital of the state of Victoria in the southeast of Australia, Melbourne is built around stunning Port Phillip Bay and overlooks the Bass Strait between mainland Australia and Tasmania.

If you're looking for the best beaches in Melbourne, you don't have to look far. There are tons of incredible beaches that are easily reached from the city. In fact, the moment you arrive at Melbourne Airport, you can start planning your beach vacation without sacrificing any of the amenities of the city.

Any trip to the beach is easier if you don't carry more than you need to. That's where Bounce comes in. By partnering with local businesses in Melbourne, Bounce makes sure you always have a place to store your things. And with no limits on the items you can store, Bounce can help you store surfboards and scuba gear as well as suitcases.

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Brighton Beach in Melbourne

Brighton Beach

Located in a suburb of Melbourne itself, Brighton Beach is easily one of the most iconic and beautiful beaches in the area. Perennially popular with Melbourne families, you'll find this beach jam-packed during the summer season. However, its historic charm, combined with its proximity to the city, mean this is still one of the best beaches near Melbourne, no matter how busy it gets.

Travel distance from Melbourne:

Brighton Beach is only 12 km from Melbourne CBD. That means driving to the beach only takes about 20 minutes or so. Alternatively, you can reach it on public transport, with a single train from Flinders Street Station bringing you to Brighton Beach. From the station, it's about a 1 km walk to the beach itself.

Activity recommendations:

Bathing boxes: Brighton Beach is perhaps best known for its colorful Victorian-era bathing boxes. Some of the oldest buildings in Melbourne, these beach boxes are privately owned, and each owner is allowed to decorate the box however they see fit. As a result, each beach hut has its own personality, and you'll soon discover your favorite one.

Middle Brighton Baths: With a fenced-off area the size of an Olympic swimming pool, Brighton Baths offers a place to swim in the ocean but with the amenities of a health club. Along with the enclosed ocean pool, the baths also feature a gym, steam room, and a restaurant with an incredible view, so you could easily spend the day here working on your fitness.

During the Australian winter, Brighton Beach gets a lot quieter. And while you may not want to swim during the colder weather, there's no reason not to enjoy one of the best Melbourne beaches around. Lower crowds during the season can make Brighton Beach a great place to explore and enjoy a more relaxed vibe than you'll find during the summer.

Penguins at St Kilda Beach

St Kilda Beach

Probably the most famous of all Melbourne beaches, St Kilda is located practically in the heart of the city. That means it functions almost as the communal living room of the town. During summer, this is the place to see and be seen, so if you plan on coming here, it's better just to embrace the crowds and appreciate St Kilda Beach for the busy but lively place it is.

Travel distance from Melbourne:

St Kilda Beach is only around 8 km from the center of Melbourne. That makes it one of the best beaches to visit if you're short on time but still want to enjoy beaches near Melbourne. You can reach St Kilda Beach from downtown Melbourne in as little as 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can take the tram from City Square to Alfred Square, which is less than 200 meters from the beach itself.

Activity recommendations:

Beach sports: St Kilda is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in Melbourne, but it's also one of the liveliest. Because it's so busy, you'll find plenty to do here, so you can join in a game of beach volleyball, beach cricket, or soccer if you want to get active. Plus, you can swim in the water or fish from the pier if you prefer your activities to be more aquatic.

See the penguins: Despite this beach being practically in the heart of the city, you can taste a little bit of wild Australia by visiting the local population of Fairy penguins here. The penguins are most active at dusk, so hang around until the sun goes down and keep your eyes out for these charismatic local animals.

Dendy Street Beach in Melbourne

Dendy Street Beach

Located right next to Brighton Beach, Dendy Street Beach is also popular with locals and visitors alike, but it can provide a more laid-back vibe than Brighton usually does. Although it lacks the colorful beach huts Brighton Beach is famous for, the scenic beach has its own quiet charm, and there's plenty to do in the area too.

Travel distance from Melbourne:

At only 12 km from Melbourne, Dendy Street Beach can be reached with a drive of approximately 20 minutes or by taking the train to Flinders Street and walking to the beach from there.

Activity recommendations:

Church Street: Not far from the beach itself, you'll find this bustling street full of cafés, restaurants, bars, and shops. It's the perfect place to grab lunch or dine on fresh seafood, and no one is likely to look at you funny here if you show up in your beach gear. After all, that's exactly what the locals do, too.

Bayside Coastal Art Trail: This 17 km walk runs from Brighton to Beaumaris, passing by Dendy Street and taking in some incredible scenery along the way. The trail also celebrates the artistic heritage of the area, with almost 100 interpretive signs that tell the story of the lives and work of local artists in the landscape that inspired them. The trail is divided into four sections, so there's no need to walk the full length in one go. But if you're feeling energetic, you're more than welcome.

Port Melbourne Beach

Port Melbourne Beach

This is another of the best beaches near Melbourne if you want to take a quick break from the city and enjoy the coastal beauty of Australia without going too far. A great place for sports, this beach offers spectacular views of the ocean and of the city, so you can combine the best of both in a single trip.

Travel distance from Melbourne:

Port Melbourne Beach lies on the southern edge of the city, just five kilometers from Melbourne CBD. One of the most accessible Melbourne beaches, you can reach Port Melbourne in around 15 minutes by car or the same amount of time on tram line 109 from Beacon Cove Station.

Activity recommendations:

Have a picnic: Participate in the great Australian tradition of outdoor eating at the picnic and barbecue facilities of Port Melbourne Beach. You'll want to shop early to grab a table and grill, but if you do, you'll be able to cook up your own food in these gorgeous surroundings and feel like you're part of Australian culture.

Princes Pier: Once a major landing point for newcomers to Australia, this historic pier is an atmospheric place to get a glimpse of the history of Melbourne. Take a walk around the pier and get some photos of the historic buildings, which are particularly impressive at sunset.

Williamstown Beach near Melbourne

Williamstown Beach

Another of the highly accessible beaches near Melbourne, Williamstown Beach is located in a trendy suburb of Melbourne and brings an anarchic and countercultural vibe to the city's beach scene. The water here can be turbulent, but the beach is patrolled by lifeguards, which makes it a safe place to swim. And the city council provides beach wheelchairs and walking frames for people with mobility issues, so Williamstown Beach may be the best place to come if you or anyone you're traveling with has a harder time getting around.

Travel distance from Melbourne:

Williamstown is located around 14 km from the center of Melbourne. It takes about 20 minutes to reach Williamstown Beach by car or half an hour via a train to Williamstown Station, followed by a 500-meter walk to the beach itself.

Activity recommendations:

Explore the Esplanade: This seaside promenade is where you'll find local businesses, including some of the best fish and chip shops in Melbourne. Once you're done exploring the sandy beach, take a wander through the shops and bars of this lively street, and you'll find everything you need to have a great time at one of the best beaches in Melbourne.

Williamstown Botanic Gardens: Located just the other side of the Esplanade from the soft golden sand of Williamstown Beach, these Botanic Gardens are a great place to enjoy some serenity. Though small, the Botanic Gardens are beautifully laid out and are a great place for a short walk with magnificent views of the coast.

Black Rock Beach near Melbourne

Half Moon Bay

For beach lovers, it's wonderful that there are so many fantastic beaches in Melbourne where you can get a taste of the great Australian outdoors without traveling far from the city. But if you're willing to travel just a little further along the edge of Port Phillip Bay, you'll find a beach that feels a lot more remote and secluded than it really is. Half Moon Bay is the best place to go to experience coastal cliffs, clear water, and golden sands, and it will feel like busy Melbourne is a lot further away than it is the moment you get your toes into the sand here.

Travel distance from Melbourne:

For all its isolated feeling, Half Moon Bay is still only around 20 km south of central Melbourne. That means a car ride of little more than half an hour to reach this coastal gem. You can also reach Half Moon Bay by taking a train from Flinders Street to Sandringham Station, then taking bus route 600 to the beach.

Activity recommendations:

Swimming: The clear waters here are great for swimming and will make you feel like you're truly immersed in nature. In 1926, a battleship was scuttled off the beach to create a breakwater, so the water here is quite calm and ideal for swimming and boating.

Hiking: This beautiful beach is just one of many beaches in the area, and taking a walk along the coast will expose you to one beautiful view after another. Head north to Red Bluff Lookout for incredible ocean views, or go south to Black Rock Beach and its beautiful gardens. Whichever way you go, you'll encounter some of the best beaches in the area and get a more full experience of the nature that surrounds the city.

Half Moon Bay is a great destination not far from the city at any time of year. Although you may not want to swim during the colder winter months, the hiking opportunities here make the area well worth a visit. Plus, you'll find smaller crowds at this time of year, and you may even have this beautiful beach all to yourself.


Melbourne can be an expensive city to visit, but the best beaches in the area offer great free activities if you want to make your dollars stretch further when visiting Melbourne on a budget. And these beautiful beaches offer you a chance to experience the true Australian lifestyle for yourself in this legendary city. These beaches are close enough to the city to enjoy on a day trip, but Melbourne is also surrounded by stunning coastal locations that are ideal for longer weekend trips from the city.

Leave your bags behind at a Melbourne luggage storage and experience these beautiful beaches for yourself. Not only will you get a taste of the true nature of Australia, but you'll also be enjoying the local lifestyle the way Melbourne residents do.

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