15 Best Beaches in Melbourne to Visit And Escape The City

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Who knew there were so many beautiful beaches in Melbourne other than St Kilda and Brighton?

It’s amazing what you can discover when you spend a bit of time in the city and you decide it’s time to get out and explore some more. We were also lucky to have consistently good weather, which is asking a lot for Melbourne.

The words Melbourne and beaches never came into my mind before our month long visit. However, as it turns out, the city has some of the most beautiful beaches in the south of Australia.

So if you’re blessed with some blue sky and warmth weather, here are the Melbourne beaches you must visit if you want to escape the city.

The Best Beaches in Melbourne

Now I’m not saying they come close to rivaling the beaches of Sydney, or Perth, but the following beaches can be a good outlet to getaway from the downtown hustle and temptations of yet more coffee and cake!

Here are some unmissable Melbourne beaches to visit on your trip.

1. St Kilda Beach

lady standing on St Kilda Beach
Caz on St Kilda Beach

If you’re only in Melbourne for a short stay but you crave some beach action, then St Kilda is your best option. It’s the closest and easiest beach to get to from Melbourne CBD, just 6km away, and it’s Melbourne’s most famous beach.

On a sunny day, St Kilda is the place to be seen and has an interesting mix of visitors. It’s generally a safe beach to swim at because it has low tide and lifeguards on patrol, but besides the swimming it’s the most happening of Melbourne Beaches.

There are plenty of people sunbathing on St Kilda Beach and having a picnic on the grassy area adjacent to it plus windsurfing, sailing, kite surfing, rollerblading, beach volleyball, jet skiing and water skiing.

Our favourite thing to do there as a family was the walking track along the beach and then cycling all the way to Brighton Beach.

silhouette of boats and woman watching Sunset at St Kilda Beach, Melbourne, Australia
Sunset at St Kilda Beach

Sunsets at St Kilda are pretty impressive, and we suggest grabbing a takeaway pizza from Mr Natural Pizza place and a bottle of wine and sitting on the beach whilst the sun goes down.

Our other food hangout was Beachcomber Cafe at the sea baths where we could watch the kids play on the sand just metres away.

cakes on Acland street
cakes on Acland street

St Kilda is also the place to experience the rides at Luna Park, and for the famous cake shops on lively Acland Street. To get to St Kilda jump on a tram near Flinders Street Station in the city.

2. Elwood Beach

people swimming Elwood Beach, Melbourne, Australia
Elwood Beach

Elwood is another popular Melbourne bayside beach during sunny days and a great family beach. It’s not as accessible from the city as St Kilda as it’s not exactly on the tram or train line, but still only 8km’s away if you have a car, or jump in a cab.

The crystal-clear waters were clean and calm for swimming and our kids had a great time playing on the sand and the rocks. It’s another fairly active beach and you’ll see people windsurfing, cycling, playing cricket and walking.

australian flag with surf boards and people on Elwood Beach, Melbourne, Australia
Elwood Beach

Once your day at Elwood Beach is over, we suggest hitting up Jimmi Jamz Bar on Ormond Road in the town centre which has great AND cheap pizza.

jimmi Jamz pizza
Jimmi Jamz pizza

Plus there is a little playground in the back courtyard area – bonus for us parents in getting 5 minutes down time after eating dinner.

3. Parkdale Beach

people sitting on golden sand of Parkdale Beach, Melbourne, Australia
Parkdale Beach, Melbourne, Australia

Parkdale Beach was a great find for us, thanks to our friend who lives in a nearby suburb. It’s a bit of a drive from the city centre, 23 km south-east, but if you’re looking to get away from the crowds of St Kilda it’s a great place to relax and swim with the kids.

sea gulls on rocks Parkdale Beach
Parkdale Beach

The water was again clean and calm and with the shallow bars you could walk quite a ways out. It’s best to stay on the shallower bars and clear of the rocks and reefs area.

plates of breakfast food on table
Breakfast at Parkdale cafe

Whilst there don’t miss having breakfast or brunch at Parkdale Beach Cafe + Kiosk which is right on the beach. With its outdoor deck you can watch the kids play on the grass, and the food and coffee was really good.

4. Brighton Beach

row of Colorful bathing Boxes Brighton Beach Melbourne
Colorful bathing Boxes Brighton Beach Melbourne

Brighton Beach is famous for the 82 colourful bathing boxes, or beach huts, that call the beach home and are one of the tourist icons of Melbourne. They are located on the southern end of the beach on Dendy Street Beach.

Brighton also houses some of the wealthiest citizens in Melbourne with grand homes, and the coastline cycling and walking tracks are a popular route for exercise and leisure.

people sitting outside of colorful Brighton Beach boxes

Brighton is easily accessed via the Sandringham train line.

5. Sandringham Beach

rocks in water at Sandringham Beach,
Sandringham Beach,

Sandringham is another local tip from our friend who lives in the area and is one of Melbourne’s bayside suburbs popular for living and for beachgoers, walkers, and cyclists.

It’s quiet, it’s calm and it’s accessible by train. Just jump on the Sandringham line, or it’s a relatively easy drive from the city.

6. Half Moon Bay

people swimming at Half Moon Bay,
Half Moon Bay, Melbourne, Australia

Half Moon Bay is a bay located in the suburb of Black Rock. It’s famous for its shipwreck of HMVS Cerberus which creates a breakwater in the bay.

It’s wonderfully isolated with a nice atmosphere for relaxing and gentle waves for swimming. Half Moon Bay also has aquatic life which makes for good snorkeling plus a nice place to watch the sunset over the ocean.

Grab yourself some calamari and chips at the local chippa and enjoy the beach views.

boxes of fried calamari and chips

7. Sorrento Beach

aerial view of waves crashing into sorrento beach
Credit: Visit Victoria

Nestled in the Port Phillip Bay, is Sorrento Beach, which looks as though it could have been picked up from the coast of Italy and dropped on the foreshore of Melbourne.

With its pristine sandy shores and crystal-clear azure waters, this coastal gem promises a rejuvenating experience.

You can take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, soaking up the breathtaking views and invigorating sea breeze.

If you enjoy water activities like swimming, surfing, and snorkeling, this is a great beach to explore the vibrant marine life beneath the surface.

Sorrento Beach also boasts excellent facilities, including clean amenities, barbecue facilities, and charming cafes, making it the perfect destination for a delightful day out with family and friends.

8. Eastern Beach Reserve, Geelong

foreshore framed by palm trees with ocean in the distance in geelong

Eastern Beach Reserve, located in Geelong near Melbourne, is a paradise for beach lovers. This picturesque regional community park offers a charmingly cosmopolitan atmosphere.

With its stunning waterfront location and renowned Bay Walk Bollards, Eastern Beach Reserve provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s city life.

You can swim in the cool waters of Corio Bay, take a leisurely stroll along the sandy shoreline, or simply relaxing on the beach with a good book.

The reserve also features a massive double-platform wooden swimming enclosure, complete with a shark gate, so you can swim with ease of mind.

Eastern Beach Reserve also has well-maintained picnic areas, playgrounds for children, and clean public restrooms.

9. Williamstown Beach

Williamstown Beach, located just 15 minutes from central Melbourne, has a gorgeous lime-stoney beach. While different from the sandy beaches of Western Australia, it possesses its own charm and allure.

Enjoy stunning views across Port Phillip Bay whilst you swim with a relaxed state of mind with the presence of lifeguards patrolling regularly.

The beach is easily accessible from Melbourne, being just a short train ride away. The town itself is also worth checking out, particularly Williamstown Botanic Gardens which sits behind the beach.

It’s the ideal beach destination for those seeking a trendy coastal suburb with a rural touch.

10. Altona Beach

Altona Beach, located on the western outskirts of Melbourne, is another hidden gem that boasts a long stretch of golden sand with breathtaking views of Port Phillip Bay and the Melbourne skyline in the distance.

Altona Beach is a great spot for swimming or paddleboarding. It has clean public toilets, ample parking spaces, and nearby cafes where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing drink.

11. Mordialloc Beach

white umbrella and chair on Mordialloc Beach Melbourne

Mordialloc Beach, located just 15 miles southeast of Melbourne, is another picturesque beach near Melbourne with a long stretch of golden sand.

The crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming and and the famous Mordialloc Pier is the perfect backdrop for stunning photos of the surrounding area.

The beach is well-equipped with amenities, including showers, washrooms, and picnic tables for a relaxing day out.

12. Mentone Beach

Just 21 kilometers south of Melbourne lies Mentone Beach, a peaceful beach with pristine shores and stunning views of Port Phillip Bay.

Mentone Beach also provides an excellent opportunity for swimming and sunbathing, and has plenty of amenities that make a visit more comfortable, such as clean public restrooms and parking.

Be sure to explore the nearby red cliffs and soak in the beauty of the coastline.

13. Port Melbourne Beach

jetty at Port Melbourne Beach

Port Melbourne Beach is a beautiful, long stretch of sandy beach that’s located within the Southern side of the city of Melbourne.

This is a family-friendly beach that boasts a play park for kids and is also dog friendly. There are also many sea shells on the beach that kids will love looking at.

Be sure to visit both Station and Princes Pier nearby for wonderful coastal views.

14. Edithvale Beach

Just 28 kilometers southeast of Melbourne is Edithvale Beach.

This picturesque beach offers a wide sandy foreshore, and also has a designated off-leash dog area, making it an an ideal beach for dog owners.

The historic beach huts add a touch of nostalgia to the stunning coastal scenery.

15. Bushrangers Bay Beach

cliffs and rolling green hills beside Bushrangers Bay Beach

Located on the Mornington Peninsula coastline is Bushrangers Bay Beach, which is embraced by dramatic basalt cliffs, creating a picturesque setting.

While swimming is not recommended due to the strong currents, the serene nature can still be admired from the shoreline.

Facilities may be limited, but that’s what gives it its charm. Come prepared with your own snacks and drinks and enjoy the ambiance.

Map of Melbourne Beaches

To help you with planning your Melbourne trip, we’ve created a map of the beaches. Click on this link to save a copy and edit to fit your itinerary.

map of melbourne beaches

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! We told you there were plenty of beautiful beaches near Melbourne.

Melbourne beaches aren’t too shabby given the right conditions. Next time you pack for a visit throw your beach wear in just in case!

More Melbourne Travel Tips

Need more inspiration for your trip to Melbourne? Check out these other guides…

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Can you recommend other family friendly beaches in Melbourne? Let us know in the comments.

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