The Best Beaches Near Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne’s beaches have plenty of charm to offer
Melbourne’s beaches have plenty of charm to offer | © Lucile Noiriel / Unsplash
Photo of Lou Boyd
Commissioning Editor26 June 2020

Sun, sea, sand and surfing – the stylish city of Melbourne has a lot to offer in terms of beachside experiences. Here are four unmissable spots to explore.

As a popular tourist destination, it’s no surprise that Melbourne has some of the most interesting beaches in Australia. While Sydney may hold the prize for surfing spots, Melbourne’s beaches have their own charm. From sunken battleships and sub-tropical reefs to wild penguins and seals, there are many hidden experiences to find here.

No matter whether you’re in the mood for a lively day at popular St Kilda Beach, or a more relaxed afternoon at a hidden spot such as Half Moon Bay, you can while away your whole day relaxing on the sand and in the sea. Here are four of the best beaches to visit in the city.

St Kilda Beach

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© Joy Saha / Unsplash
The epicentre of tourism in Melbourne, St Kilda is the city’s most popular beach, where you’ll see skaters, rollerbladers, surfers, skimboarders, kitesurfers, stand-up paddleboarders, windsurfers and more around this famous shoreline, with many shops hiring out equipment. If you’re not interested in getting physical, St Kilda Beach offers much more than sport. Take a wander to find the local wildlife; at the far end of the beach, you will often discover little penguins and seals, with the rockpools full of crabs and smaller fish. The beach’s Esplanade is full of appealing bars and eateries where you can indulge. Head to Captain Baxter for delicious cocktails and an unbeatable coastal view.

Brighton Beach

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Painted Beach huts in Melbourne Brighton Beach, Australia
© Picture Partners / Alamy Stock Photo
The brightly coloured beach huts of Brighton Beach set the tone for this friendly Melbourne suburb. Visitors can’t change into their swimming costumes here, though; since c1900, each one is privately owned, with one previously reported to have been sold for AU$250,000 (£139,000). The beachside Baths café has a view of the beach that makes it worth dropping into for a drink, but if you want something substantial to eat, we’d recommend heading further away from the sands, where there are many great dining choices in and around Brighton.

Mordialloc Beach

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Mordialloc Beach in Melbourne. A large white umbrella near the waterline shelters its occupants.
© David Hewison / Alamy Stock Photo
This wide-open beach is within easy walking distance of Mordialloc’s station and shops, with pedestrian and cycle paths leading down the sand. This beach offers everything you need for a day out by the sea, with clean white sands and shaded spots, as well as calm, pristine waters with fish-filled reefs for snorkelling. Mordialloc Beach is best for a group outing, especially if you have kids. The beach has playgrounds nearby, as well as BBQ and picnic areas overlooking the sand. If you don’t want to carry your own food, a traditional seaside lunch of fish and chips is the order of the day here, with various shops and restaurants offering fresh seafood all year round.

Half Moon Bay

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Surfers at Half Moon Bay , Melbourne , Australia
© Philip Game / Alamy Stock Photo
If you don’t enjoy lazing around on the sand and fancy an adventure instead, head to Half Moon Bay. More secluded than its neighbours, cove-like Half Moon Bay feels like a hidden gem among Melbourne’s other long beaches. Around 22km (14mi) from Melbourne’s CBD, this 350m (1,150ft) bay hides the shipwrecked HMVS Cerberus, Australia’s only intact colonial warship under the water, which you can explore by snorkelling or scuba diving. A day to Half Moon Bay would not be complete without visiting the Cerberus Beach House. Located right on the waterfront with outside seating available, it has a kiosk for fresh seafood and snacks to take away, or if you have some time to spare, get a table in the restaurant for a delicious lunch.
These recommendations were updated on June 26, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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