Explore Melbourne’s best beaches

For sheer variety – from world-class surfing beaches to bayside bathing – few coastal areas in Australia can beat the beaches around Melbourne. Explore Melbourne’s best beaches
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Explore Melbourne's best beaches

For sheer variety – from world-class surfing beaches to bayside bathing – few coastal areas in Australia can beat the beaches around Melbourne.

Whether you like lapping bayside waters or pounding ocean waves, Melbourne’s coastal fringe changes spectacularly from one beach to the next. Be exhilarated by intense surf on a rugged ocean beach, then be sipping wine on the sand at urban St Kilda in time for sunset.

St Kilda Pier and Pavilion, St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria

Melbourne’s best city beaches

Join the walkers and cyclists along the path that runs from Port Melbourne to St Kilda Beach. Stroll the 1850s pier at St Kilda or eat fish and chips at Albert Park’s heritage-listed Kerferd Road Pier.

Order a cocktail at one of the numerous bars and cafés along the strip, each affording sensational sunset views. At West Beach Bathers Pavilion you can sit in a deck chair with your toes in the sand. And don’t miss the little penguin colony in the St Kilda breakwater.

Two kilometres south (1.5 miles), try stand-up paddle boarding at relaxed Elwood Beach. Follow the neon sails of the kite surfers and windsurfers at Point Ormond.

Melbourne's best western beaches

Drive over the Westgate Bridge or take the train to Williamstown, nine kilometres (5.5 miles) southwest of the city centre. From the shoreline of the historic village and Melbourne’s first port, capture an incredible view back to the city. Whatever the weather, plan a long lunch at the Anchorage Restaurant, housed in a historic boatshed with a great seafood menu and box seat for the city skyline and bay vista.  

Nearby Newport feels like a country town, except for the amazing city views. Explore the dunes, wetlands and indigenous plant life and do some bird watching in Hobsons Bay. 

Swim with the locals – both the humans and the black swans – at pine tree-lined Altona Beach, with its impressively long pier and meandering esplanade.

Melbourne’s best bayside beaches

At Brighton’s Dendy Street Beach, photograph the 90 brightly painted historic bathing boxes that sit on the sand. Hampton lies a five minute drive to the south. Hire a bike to check them out and take the dedicated path starting in Port Melbourne.  

Keep heading south to find Mentone, Black Rock and Mordialloc beaches, all family favourites for their safety and scenic settings. Twelve kilometres further, at Seaford, explore seven hectares of native bushland, canoe-launching ramps and a six-kilometre walking trail with barbecues and sheltered swimming. 

Popular family beach holiday spots such as Rye and Dromana dot its bay-facing rim all the way to Portsea. Linger at the cliff top Hotel Sorrento where you’ll find an elegant day spa, apartments and a restaurant with windows facing the sea. 

Bells Beach, Torquay, Victoria

Best surf beaches near Melbourne

Travel up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) south-east of the city centre to reach the untamed Mornington Peninsula back beaches. These are the stretches that face out to sea, the flipside of the peninsula’s calm bayside sands. If you’re an experienced surfer you’ll love the waves at wild Gunnamatta, some days they average nearly two metres (6.5 feet). It’s also a beautiful spot to soak up the ocean’s might and power from the safety of the dunes. Just a few kilometres away, Rye Back Beach is another pulsating surf option while Sorrento Ocean Beach offers something more manageable for less-experienced surfers.

It’s only 100 kilometres southwest (62 miles) to reach the Bellarine Peninsula and the beginning of the Great Ocean Road, where you’ll find mighty Jan Juc and Torquay, with swells fed by the wild Southern Ocean and cliffs, bluffs and dunes carved by Bass Strait. Don’t miss one of the country’s best surfing spots, Bells Beach, which hosts the world’s best surfers during the WSL Rip Curl Pro.

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