Calm water, colorful huts and historic sea baths make this suburban beach a relaxing and stylish escape from Melbourne's inner-city bustle.
Situated in one of Melbourne’s wealthiest suburbs, Brighton Beach refers to three different sections of beach along Port Phillip Bay: Upper Brighton Beach, Middle Brighton Beach and Dendy Street Beach. Middle Brighton features historic sea baths and the Middle Brighton Pier. The most famous spot is undoubtedly Dendy Street Beach, which is home to a line of more than 80 colorful beach huts, Brighton’s famous “bathing boxes.”
The iconic, heritage-protected bathing boxes are nearly identical in their rudimentary design and building materials. They all have a wooden frame, weatherboard sides and corrugated-iron roof, but the similarities stop there. All of them are painted in a range of bold, beautiful and flamboyant designs that form a spectacular wall of color along the beach. Don’t forget your camera; these quaint structures are a photographer’s dream.
The bathing boxes are a vestige from the modest Victorian times when they provided a place for bathers to change clothing in privacy. Nowadays, people can buy an annual license for a bathing box. On weekends many licensees will have their huts open, allowing beach-goers a peek inside. Despite their petite size, the bathing boxes are highly sought after.
The beaches of Brighton generally have very calm water and are patrolled by lifeguards, which make them a safe place to swim. Just inland from the beaches there are plenty of grassy foreshore reserves to have a picnic, kick a ball or relax. Pull on your running shoes or bike helmet; separate walking and cycling paths run the length of Port Phillip Bay and provide great vistas of the bay and city skyline. Be sure to pack a hat, sunscreen and to drink plenty of water when in the sun.
Brighton Beach is easily accessible via bus or the Sandringham train that runs along the suburbs of Port Phillip Bay into downtown Melbourne. Brighton Beach is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Melbourne and there’s a user-pay car park nearby.