Take time out from the pulse of the city to relax in the calm waters of one of Melbourne’s most picturesque beaches.
Brighton Beach is actually a generic name for three different parts of Port Phillip Bay. Upper Brighton Beach leads into Middle Brighton Beach, known primarily for its historic sea baths and iconic pier. But one of the main attractions is undoubtedly Dendy Street Beach, whose famous beach huts have made it one of the most photographed locations on this picturesque stretch of coastline.
These brightly painted huts, or “bathing boxes”, date back to the Victorian era, when sea bathers protected their modesty by changing in privacy. The heritage-protected boxes are still in use today, with annual licences highly sought-after among local families seeking a convenient and novel base on the beach. The modest wooden-framed structures are all built to the same practical design, with weatherboard sides and corrugated-iron roofs, but have been decorated in highly individual styles and striking colours. Weekends in particular are a good time to stroll along the beach and maybe catch a quick glimpse inside the occupied huts.
Brighton’s three beaches are all patrolled by lifeguards and the waters are generally calm, making them popular and safe places for bathing. The grassy foreshore provides plenty of recreational opportunities, from picnicking to ball games, while separate walking and cycling paths along Port Phillip Bay offer wonderful panoramic views of the Melbourne skyline on one side and the ocean on the other.
Brighton Beach is situated in the upmarket suburb of Port Phillip Bay and is easily accessible by bus or via the Sandringham train. Alternatively, it’s around a 30-minute drive from the centre of Melbourne and there is a pay car park nearby. Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunscreen and drinking water, as the sun can get very strong, especially in high season.