If you’re planning a trip down under, no doubt you’re hoping for a day or two at the beach. Whether you are travelling in summer or winter, the beach is a great place to spend time. Whether you’re hoping to sunbake, take a nice long stroll or eat some fish and chips; Aussie-style, the beach has something to offer all year round.
With 65 beaches across Victoria and 36 in Port Phillip Bay there are plenty of beaches to choose from. There are a number of beaches worthy of a visit that are both easy to access and not too far from the Melbourne CBD. Here are some beaches you should think about checking out on your trip to Melbourne.
St Kilda is a popular beach both for locals and visitors. The beauty of St Kilda is that it’s located only a short distance from the city, an abundance of restaurants and cafes and Luna Park. The location and number of different things to do at St Kilda Beach mean it’s a great place to visit all year round. Things to do, regardless of the outside temperature, include visiting Luna Park, shopping, wining and dining at one of St Kilda’s many cafes, bars and restaurants and strolling along the foreshore.
There’s also a market running along the Esplanade every Sunday selling handmade arts and crafts. In the warmer months St Kilda is great for swimming and sunbaking as well as taking part in water sports and activities including water skiing, windsurfing and kiteboarding. If you’d prefer to stay dry, try rollerblading or beach volleyball. Parking can be difficult at St Kilda, particularly in the summer, so you might struggle finding somewhere to leave your Melbourne Airport car rental, but being so close to city St Kilda is easy to access on Tram No. 96.
Another beach close to the city with plenty of shops and cafes is Williamstown Beach. Williamstown beach is a small beach only half a kilometre long with very few waves, making it the ideal location for swimming and sailing. It’s also the incredible views that bring visitors and locals to the historic Williamstown. Walk along the Gem Pier for a stunning and clear view of the city skyline. You’ll also find that the nearby Nelsons Place has plenty of food to satisfy your hunger. It’s an easy drive from the city to Williamstown in your hire car with plenty of parking available.
Altona Beach is a great beach to go to if you want to go for a swim. It’s rated 1/10 on the hazardous scale by the Surf Life Saving Association and it’s a relatively flat beach with little to no waves making it a very safe beach to visit. Accordingly, Altona Beach is not the place to head to if you’re planning to go surfing or body boarding. Altona Beach has its own 500 metre long pier which is a popular fishing location. Altona Train Station is about 500 metres from the beach so you can access Altona easily on the train. Alternatively, Altona Beach is easy to get to in your Hertz rental car and there’s a formal parking area to leave your hire car for the day.
Brighton Beach is famous for its charming and colourful beach huts which stretch along the shore. It’s a great beach for surfing when the south-westerly winds are strong and it’s also great for swimming and sunbaking. There is plenty to keep you occupied at Brighton Beach with a wide array of cafes and restaurants as well as shops and galleries not far from the sand. There’s also the famous Middle Brighton Sea Baths just a short walk from the beach and you can take a walk around the Middle Brighton Pier and enjoy the views of Port Phillip Bay. Brighton Beach is located quite close to the Melbourne CBD and is easy to access in your Hertz hire car. If you’d prefer to leave your rental car behind, you can access Brighton Beach on the train, tram or bus.
If you’re interested in surfing, surfing culture and surfing history, the place for you is Torquay. Torquay marks the beginning of the Great Ocean Road and is considered the surfing capital of Victoria. There’s a strong sense of deep rooted beach culture in Torquay, also the home of Bells Beach and the birthplace of iconic surfing brands like Rip Curl and Quiksilver.
There’s plenty to do in Torquay including, of course, surfing as well as swimming, sunbaking, shopping for surf gear at one of the many retail outlets and fishing. You can take a walk and enjoy the views along the Surf Coast Walk. There’s also the Surf World Surfing Museum so you can brush up on your surfing history knowledge. Torquay is about an hour and a half drive from the Melbourne CBD so you’re Hertz rental will definitely come in handy. It’s a pleasant drive and there’s plenty of parking available.