Melbourne is extraordinarily beautiful with its lush natural greenery and pristine beaches and coastlines. Yet, going to the beach in Melbourne has always left me with longing to go back to the Maldives, my home country. Maybe it’s nostalgia, or the fact that I am used to the comfort of small islands rather than the vastness of coastlines and beaches here. So far our idea of a great outdoor time here has been exploring the mountains, hiking through the sky high forests and misty waterfalls.
But, this summer we have been total beach bums. We have had lovely stretches of sun in the past few weeks and we vowed to take full advantage of it, even with two toddlers slowing us down. We really can’t complain, the main reason we get out is to see their joyous faces taking in the splendor of nature.
Our idea of a great beach is opportunity is explore and adventure. We look for rocky lagoons, shore and sea dwellers, shallow expanses of shoreline and uninterrupted views of the sunset/sunrise. We also check the presence of beach patrol (which we check online before we go)and life saving clubs.Here are some of our favorite beaches that’s under an hour from Melbourne city that we have enjoyed this summer.
This gorgeous beach is an explorers dream. It has a wide expanses of rocky lagoons and visible sea life. Our favorite part of the beach is the reserve park overlooking the beach. It is a great spot to picnic with a perfect view of the sunset. The area is frequented by seagulls which gave the kids great joy running after them. Just half an hour from Melbourne city, this is one great choice.
We enjoyed Altona beach so much that we decided that this is going to be our default beach for the rest of the summer. The rock pool area of the beach was just brimming with life. Seagulls, snails, clams and an array of crustaceans that is beyond my knowledge resided there. The tide was low when we went, so there was a wide part of the shore with ankle deep water. This was just perfect for the kids to lie on, sit in, and jump up and down. Basically for them this was a never ending puddle at their expense, and only half hour from Melbourne city .
I fell in love with Port Melbourne beach as soon as I saw all the beautiful shells. The shore is covered by shells. Most of the shells were still intact and beautifully preserved by the sand. When the sun sets, the gorgeous rays of the sun made the shells glisten much like a stars on a dark night. Port Melbourne runs a long way and we have experienced the beach at different points.
Oh Carrums! My only issue with Carrums Beach is that it takes us almost an hour to get there and through the city (in case of northerners). The water is crystal clear and the sand must be the whitest that we have seen in Melbourne so far. Not that white is a prerequisite for us anymore, because we have fallen in love with the textured golden Melbourne beach sand.
Black Rock Beach (Half Moon Bay)
This beautiful and iconic beach proves that great things come in small packages. This beach is contained in a half moon shape and gives an alternative idea of what we know as beaches. The cliffs of Red bluff (the rocks) are so beautiful and perfect if you have kids who love climbing. It also gave an amazing view of the half moon bay once you climb to the top. It was perfect to make a picnic on top of the rocks to watch the sun as it set. This was a great place for my son to climb up and and push his limits. As the sun set, we could also see the moon rising from the other side.
St Kilda Beach
Truth be told, we have only gone to St Kilda beach for walks along the pier and to see the penguins. It’s one of the best places to check out the sunrise and makes for a vibrant fun outing at night. You can see the sun rising over the city line from the pier. There are many cafe’s and is just has a lovely city vibe to it.
This iconic beach is perfect for it’s photo opportunities and Victorian history behind the array of the Brighton bathing houses. The houses are still intact in its historical Victorian architecture and the story of morality and sea bathing. It boasts these colourful houses along the shores. My son had a great time doing pretend play at the beach, running up and down the houses and pretending to be the big bad wolf trying to blow down the doors.
Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary
This is one of the best places to introduce kids to Australian marine life. The shores are full of life and there is a lot of rock pools close to the shore that kids can wade onto. We came across a school of hulafish, lots of snails and different shells. The beach is covered with algae that is home to many crustaceans. My babies are still too young to appreciate sea life but it was a great introduction, and we had lot of fun pointing out the animals and plants.