Living in Australia, we are really spoilt because we have some amazing beaches. For beach lovers like me, Australia is a fabulous place to live, especially in summer when we often head to the water to escape the heat.
While most travellers have seen photos of our world famous Bondi and Whitehaven beaches, not many of them would associate Victoria with breathtaking beaches. But that’s a mistake because Victoria has over two thousand kilometres of coastline. That gives us plenty of room for beaches and lots of opportunities to plonk ourselves down on the sand and sunbathe or jump in the water for a swim. So for all the beach bums out there heading down to Melbourne, here are some Victorian beaches that are definitely worth checking out.
1- Squeaky Beach Wilson Promotory
Squeaky Beach is Wilson Promontory’s most iconic beach and it’s my all-time favourite Victorian beach. It has pristine soft white sand, turquoise water and large granite boulders that create a maze of passages to explore. Its orange coated rocks contrast perfectly with the blue ocean. The rounded quartz sand squeaks as you walk across it, giving it its name. Although I always find the water way too cold to swim (I’m a chicken!), I could easily spend hours lying on that beach and enjoying the scenery.
Best for: Admiring the views, swimming, walking, bouldering
2- Woolamai Beach, Phillip Island
Woolamai Beach is 4.4 kilometres long and is the longest and the most exposed beach on Phillip Island. It has a spectacular backdrop, set against the pink granite cliffs of Cape Woolamai. It faces south-west into the high waves and westerly winds. This gives it some of the best surf breaks in Victoria. Woolamai is a popular spot for more experienced surfers. For non-surfers, there are excellent coastal walks up Cape Woolamai and patrolled areas for swimming.
Best for: Surfing, walking
3- Sorrento front beach
Sorrento’s front beach is idyllic, calm and has very inviting crystal clear water. It is one of the best beaches to visit in summer, although it can sometimes get a little crowded. Popular with families, the foreshore is not patrolled, but the waters are very sheltered and safe.
Best for: swimming and paddle boarding
4- Apollo Bay’s Main Beach, Great Ocean Road
Apollo Bay is located on the Great Ocean Road and its main attraction is its safe, family-friendly, arc-shaped beach. The beach stretches for four kilometres from the town’s harbour to the mouth of Wild Dog Creek and features sand dunes along most of its length.
Best for: Swimming, surfing, walking and fishing.
5- Ninety-mile beach East Gippsland
Ninety Mile Beach is a 90 mile long stretch of pristine golden sand that separates the Gippsland Lakes from the Bass Strait. It is the third longest uninterrupted beach in the world. It starts at Port Albert and finishes at Lakes Entrance. Ninety Mile Beach is one of the most unspoilt beaches in Australia and with so much beach to walk on, you might find you are the only one there!
Best for: Swimming, surfing, fishing, walking, whale spotting and camping
6- Brighton Beach
Brighton has one of the most photographed stretches of beach in Melbourne. This is due to its main landmark, a strip of 82 colourful bathing boxes that line its shore. Dating from Victorian times, these boxes were originally used as changing rooms. Nowadays, they will set you back over $300,000! Brighton Beach is also very picturesque, with panoramic views of Melbourne’s city skyline. Being a bay beach, the water is calm and there are lifeguards on duty.
Best for: Swimming, views of the city skyline, photography
7- Bells Beach Torquay
Bells Beach is located near Torquay on the southern coast of Victoria, at the start of the Great Ocean Road. It is Victoria’s most famous surf beach and it’s one of the world’s great surfing breaks. Every year you can watch the world’s best surfers carve up the waves at the Rip Curl Pro Surfing competition. Bells beach is for intermediate to advanced surfers only, and the waves are almost guaranteed to be good, especially in the colder months from March to October. I love looking at the waves crashing down and watching the surfers in action.
Best for: Surfing, checking out the surfers in action.
8- Portsea Back Beach
Portsea’s back beach is 2.5 kilometres long with rugged coastal cliffs. It’s a popular beach on the Mornington Peninsula. It has rock pools that are sheltered by outcrops and its cliffs. Visit at low tide and you’ll find plenty of starfish and other small sea life to investigate. From here, it’s a short walk to London Bridge. This towering rock formation has a window to the sea which makes for great photos.
Best for: Surfing, swimming, rock pools exploring, walking and ocean fishing
9- Gibson Steps, Port Campbell
Gibson steps is a must do when visiting the Great Ocean Road. While you do need to navigate eighty-six steps before reaching the beach, once there its free-standing rock formations and limestone cliffs will take your breath away.
You can park at the Gibson Steps car park if you are lucky enough to find a spot. If not you can walk down from the Twelve Apostles carpark (about one kilometre each way).
Best for: Views, walking, fishing and surfing
10- Aspendale beach
Aspendale Beach is one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets (and because it’s our local beach, we kind of hope that it stays that way!). We live just ten minutes walk from this stunner. Aspendale Beach forms the northern part of Melbourne’s nicest stretch of sand, which starts at the mouth of the Patterson River and ends at Mordialloc’s breakwater. It’s an easy train ride from the city and Aspendale railway station is only two hundred metres from the beach.
Our beach has pristine waters, sandbars at low tide, lots of colourful bathing boxes and we’ve seen some of the most spectacular sunsets from its shores. If you head there early morning you might even be lucky enough to spot dolphins playing in the shallows. Needless to say, we’re pretty lucky to live nearby.
Best for: Swimming, kayaking, sunsets
11 – Norman Beach, Wilson Promotory National park
Norman Beach is located right next to Tidal River camping ground and it’s a great beach to head to for a dip and to relax at after a long day spent exploring the National Park. It offers scenic views of Mount Oberon, and of the islands offshore. You’ll also be surrounded by large rock formations. The beach is patrolled in the summer months and is perfect for families. If you’re staying at the campground, be sure to catch the sunset from the beach.
Best for: Swimming, surfing, camping, fishing, sunsets
12- Waratah Bay beach, South Gippsland
Waratah Bay beach stretches for fifteen kilometres and has sweeping white sand and unspoilt views of the Wilsons Promontory National Park. Being such a long stretch of beach, Waratah Bay never feels crowded and you will easily find a spot for yourself, away from everyone else.
Best for: Swimming, surfing, windsurfing, horse riding and kite surfing
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