When it comes to beach experiences, Melbourne offers plenty of opportunities for soaking up the sun on golden sands or diving into high-octane adventures on the waves. Beach lovers will be spoiled for choice in this laid-back city with its coastal trails, beach-side gyms, warm tranquil waters and superb natural beauty.

    Join the locals splashing out on stand-up paddleboards, or give kite surfing a whirl, perfect your sandcastle-building skills on silky, white-sand beaches with the kids or let the rhythmic crash of waves soothe your soul over a good book. Follow this guide to the best beaches near Melbourne.

    1

    St Kilda Beach

    Play by the palm trees

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    St Kilda Beach is the most popular beach in Melbourne, just 4 miles from the city’s central business district (CBD) and home to some of the city’s most iconic attractions. Safe and pleasantly warm, the water is ideal for bathing and is patrolled by lifesavers during the busy summer months. If you don’t feel like bathing, the palm tree-lined promenade is a popular spot for jogging, rollerblading, cycling or just a stroll.

    There are plenty of restaurants, cafés and shops lining the beachfront, and you can make a day of it, visiting the pier and enjoying the rides and arcades at nearby Luna Park, or catching a show at the historic Palais Theater in the evening.

    Location: St Kilda, VIC, Australia

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    2

    Brighton Beach

    Paddle your way to good times

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    Brighton Beach is a 20-minute train ride away from Flinders Street Station in Melbourne’s CBD and home to the famous colorful bathing boxes from the early 1900s. Don’t forget to take a camera to capture the beauty of these colorful icons, each decorated in its own style and often passed down from generation to generation.

    Brighton Beach has a long sandy bay and calm waters, which make it a popular destination for paddle boarding, kite surfing and kayaking. Like most Australian beaches, it’s well-equipped with showers, picnic neighborhoods and washrooms.

    Location: Brighton Beach, VIC, Australia

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    3

    Williamstown Beach

    Home of the historic Timeball Tower

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    Williamstown Beach is a golden-sand bay beach in the charming coastal suburb of Williamstown, an easy 30-minute direct train ride from Melbourne’s Flinders Street station. This is a popular family-friendly beach thanks to its calm waters, patrolled by lifesavers, and long stretch of golden sand.

    Take a stroll along the malecon to see the historic Timeball Tower, a distinctive landmark that served as a navigation aid for ships in the 1800s and still drops a ball at 1pm every day. Don’t miss the gelato shop at the beach, which has been delighting generations of locals and visitors for years with its creamy treats.

    Location: Williamstown, VIC, Australia

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    4

    Half Moon Bay

    Spot a historic wreck

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    Half Moon Bay is a picturesque beach located in the suburb of Black Rock, about 12 miles southeast of Melbourne's CBD, easily accessible by automobile and train. It is a popular spot for bathing, snorkeling and scuba diving thanks to its clear waters and variety of marine life.

    One of the beach’s main attractions is the historic wreck of HMVS Cerberus, a former warship which was sunk there in the 1920s. Once a site for snorkeling and scuba divers, the ship now has an exclusion zone surrounding it, but its turrets can still often be seen from the shoreline. For those who prefer to stay dry, there are plenty of walking trails along the beach and the picturesque red bluff cliffs, which featured in the movie Mad Max!

    Location: Half Moon Bay, VIC, Australia

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    5

    Elwood Beach

    Stake your claim at this popular beach

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    Elwood Beach is sandwiched between St Kilda and Brighton Beaches just 5 miles south of Melbourne's CBD. Popular with families, Elwood can get busy during the peak season and savvy visitors will arrive early to secure their spot on the sand.

    Time your visit so you don’t miss the golden hour, just after sunrise or sunset, to snap amazing photos of the Melbourne cityscape on the horizon painted crimson, yellow and orange. Feeling healthy? Check out the well-equipped outdoor gym on the promenade, or just relax on the sand and carb up with treats from the beachside cafes and restaurants.

    Location: Elwood Beach, VIC, Australia

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    6

    Mothers Beach

    Best for toddlers and beach babies

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    Mothers Beach, in the suburb of Mornington, is about an hour away from Melbourne’s CBD, but worth the trip for families with young children. The calm waters of this sheltered beach are perfect for bathing and paddling, and there's a large expanse of soft white sand for kids to build sandcastles. The beach is also equipped with picnic tables and a playground, making it an ideal location for a family day out.

    Older children might enjoy heading out on a paddleboard or kayak, both of which can be rented at one of the beach-side concession stands.

    Location: Mothers Beach, VIC, Australia

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    7

    Mordialloc Beach

    Walk the iconic pier

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    Mordialloc Beach is 15 miles southeast of Melbourne, with a long stretch of golden sand beach furnished with showers, washrooms, picnic tables and a famous pier. The 1,000-foot long Mordialloc Pier stretches out into the bay and is a popular fishing spot for bream and mullet year-round. Beyond the beach, there are walking trails and nearby Mordialloc Creek offers opportunities for kayaking and paddleboarding.

    Mordialloc is also home to the Peter Scullin Reserve, which hosts the annual Mordi Festival and has playgrounds and public BBQ facilities.

    Location: 195 Beach Rd, Mordialloc VIC 3195, Australia

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    8

    Chelsea Beach

    Romantic sunsets await

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    Chelsea Beach is a picturesque stretch of golden-sand beach with colorful beach boxes around 40 minutes’ drive southeast of Melbourne. The crystal-clear waters of Port Phillip offer up a refreshing bathing spot, and thanks to the calm bay, it’s also popular for stand-up paddle boarders and kayakers.

    Home to the Chelsea Yacht Club and Chelsea Longbeach Surf Club, fishing is also a popular pastime, and the beach has several spots where you can cast your lines and try your luck. The beach is also known for its spectacular sunsets, making it the perfect spot for a romantic evening.

    Location: The Strand, Chelsea VIC 3196, Australia

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    9

    Middle Park Beach

    Watch windsurfers ride the waves

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    Middle Park Beach is on the South Melbourne foreshore, between St Kilda and Port Melbourne beach, and offers a somewhat quieter beach-day experience than its popular neighbours. Watch the windsurfers and kite surfers zipping past and riding the waves, or take a lesson and get out there to learn how to do it yourself.

    Children may enjoy the beach-side playground, and there is a well-equipped free beach gym if you want a workout with an ocean view. After your beach day, take a stroll inland to Albert Park with its boating lake, for a seafood feast at one of its many cafes or restaurants.

    Location: Beaconsfield Parade, Middle Park VIC 3206, Australia

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    10

    Sorrento Beach

    Discover a locals’ favorite beach

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    Sorrento Beach is one of Melbourne's hidden gems, located at the southern end of the Mornington Peninsula, about an hour's drive from the city. Well worth the drive, this gorgeous local spot is popular for bathing, surfing and fishing, thanks to its crystal-clear waters and golden sand.

    Take a walk along the Sorrento Pier, which offers up panoramic views of the coastline, or explore the nearby rock pools and search for marine life. The beach is surrounded by local cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a meal or a refreshing drink.

    Location: Sorrento VIC 3943, Australia

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