Melbourne beaches can be found all around Port Phillip Bay and along the city’s south coast. The City of Melbourne has many great sandy beaches, some of which are only a short distance from the central business district. Popular with both locals and visitors, the beach is a great place to relax and escape the city. Beaches in the bay, although not surf beaches, still provide lots of things to do. From swimming and fishing to walks along the pier and building those all important sand castles. Beach front restaurants, cafes and bars offer a tranquil environment for families, couples and single people.
There are excellent facilities at all Melbourne beaches. Many of the beaches are regularly patrolled, and during the summer months lifesavers are on duty. Along with the beaches there are a surprising number of quality seaside locations beyond the city dotted along the coast. Planning a family day out is easy from Melbourne because there is so much choice close by. Just remember, the sun can be strong during summer so be sure to follow some basic beach safety when it comes to looking after yourself and others.
Within Port Phillip the waves are generally small, which provides a safe environment for swimmers. This attracts many tourists, mostly families, to the beaches of Port Phillip during the summer months and school holidays. Water sports such as body boarding are popular too, except in extreme weather conditions.
There are several well-known Melbourne beaches, including St. Kilda which has a beautiful pier and promenade. Cafes and restaurants are never far away and from the pier you can admire the city’s skyline and the sunset. The water is practically flat around this part of the coast. A ferry service operates between Williamstown and Southbank, and the marina has extensive boating facilities, including ramps. Nearby parks have picnic, barbecue and play facilities and there are paths suitable for cycling and walking.
Close to most Melbourne beaches you can find children’s playgrounds, BBQ’s and public toilets. Many of the beaches can be easily reached by train or tram. Purchase a Myki Card and you’ll be able to use all the public transport options during your stay. There is a charge for parking at most of the beach car parks.
Most sandy beaches are located on the bay’s northern, eastern and southern shorelines. The western shoreline tends to have a greater variety of beaches, but also there are swampy wetlands and mangroves. Pebble beaches and sand dunes can also be found, mostly in the southern areas.
There is also something different offered by the State of Victoria, when it comes to enjoying the beach. Some call it ‘Nude beaches’ while others refer to them as ‘clothing optional’ beaches. These are the official beaches where you can walk around at complete ease in your bare skin. Naturists have fought a long battle with the law and with public perceptions to create these beaches, and they still exist today. The sense of freedom you experience on these beaches is, according to some, equal to none.