Melbourne does not only boast its thriving culture and nightlife, but the state of Victoria is also home of some of the most beautiful beaches and coastlines in the Southern Hemisphere.
With almost 2,000 kilometres of coastline, Victoria is an ideal beach destination. From the popular city beaches, and the scattering of beaches on the nearby holiday spot of Philip Island, here are some of Victoria’s best beaches and coastlines that you simply must visit.
1. St Kilda Beach
St Kilda Beach is a picturesque because just 6km from Melbourne city centre. As one of the most popular Port Phillip Bay beaches, St Kilda is perfect for walking, cycling, rollerblading, swimming, kite-surfing, windsurfing, paddle-boarding, snorkelling, sailing, jet-skiing and sky diving. The St Kilda Pier is also a favourite spot for taking in beautiful sunsets and excellent views of the city skyline.
2. Brighton Beach
Possibly one of the most-photographed beaches in Melbourne, Brighton Beach is particularly known for its quaint colourful bathing boxes that dot the sand. The beach also comes with barbecue and play facilities, as well as windsurfing, yachting, boating activities plus a walking and cycling path.
3. Mornington Peninsula
Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula has an air reminiscent of the Mediterranean, with vineyards and olive groves, historic country house retreats and seaside villages. The Mornington Peninsula is also a beach lover’s paradise with the bay beaches providing calm waters around Mount Martha, Dromana, Rosebud, Rye and Sorrento, while great surf beaches are located at the Bass Strait on the ocean side. You can also try swimming with fur seals and dolphins, if you’re up for the adventure!
4. Phillip Island and the Penguin Parade
About 90 minutes from Melbourne, Phillip Island is well-known for its nightly Penguin Parade, which takes place on Summerland Beach. Apart from penguins, the island is also home to the Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and the Nobbies Centre, as well as other beaches and recreational areas.
5. The Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles
Spanning 243 kilometres along the stunning coastline of Victoria’s south-west, the Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage-listed stretch of road. Built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I, the road is the world’s largest war memorial.
6. Bells Beach, Torquay
Birthplace to iconic brands Rip Curl and Quicksilver, Bells Beach is located at the start of the Great Ocean Road region, the world-famous Bells Beach is ideal for those looking to catch a wave or two. During the March Easter weekend, Bells Beach plays host to the Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition where visitors can watch the world’s best surfers carving up the waves in one of the most sought-after titles in the World Championship Tour.
7. Point Addis, Angelsea
Further along the Great Ocean Road is Point Addis, a dramatic crescent of sandy beach backed by rugged sandstone cliffs that looks out to breathtaking views of the arching coastline and aquamarine water. At low tide, you will come across a stretch of “clothes optional” beaches all the way around the rock-pool ledges to Bells Beach.
8. Bay of Islands and Bay of Martyrs
The Bay of Islands features geological formations located a 15-minute drive beyond the more-famous Twelve Apostles. Stretching 33km west, the Bay of Islands Coastal Park is a stunning coastal reserve made up of sheer cliffs, beaches, colourful heathland with spectacular views and ancient limestone formations that appear to be floating in the ocean.
9. Wilson’s Promontory
3 to 4 hour’s drive east of Melbourne will take you to the Wilson’s Promontory National Park (or ‘the Prom’) – spanning 50,000 hectares and is Victoria’s largest coastal wilderness area, threaded with labyrinths of walking tracks that weave through abundant wildlife. Also home to Prom is Squeaky Beach. A beach named after the rounded grains of quartz that make up the white, dry sand on the beach, which literally make a squeaking sound when walked upon.
10. Ninety Mile Beach, Lakes Entrance
This 90 mile-long stretch of pristine golden sand is one of the most natural and unspoilt beaches in the world. From beach fishing and swimming to walking, whale and dolphin-spotting, or just lazing in the sun, this beach is ideal for any number of beach activities. It is also perfect for the occasional beach holiday, complete with fish and chips, picnic facilities, as well as paddleboat and canoe for hire.
For more information, visit www.visitmelbourne.com