Best Beaches in Melbourne for Kids
The Best Beach for the Weather Right Now
Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) is famous for it's variable weather day-to-day – and even during the same day. The geographic location means that it's possible to have temperature and wind direction change suddenly. You'll hear the locals refer to "the change coming through".
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The Most Popular Family Beaches in Melbourne
The beach commonly known as the Brighton Beach is one of the posher beaches in Melbourne and has several distinct sections. At Middle Brighton Beach, you can enjoy sea water swimming at the Brighton Sea Baths (fees apply and best for older kids or teens) or enjoy the shallow beach sheltered by the pier. You can get drinks and food from the classy Royal Brighton Yacht Club overlooking the pier and harbour, or the Brighton Sea Baths cafe, or the attached fish and chips window.
Dendy Street Beach is famous for its 96 colourful beach boxes. Some of these date their use back to the 1860s. The beach boxes make an annual appearance in the post-final Australian Open photo shoots. The beach here is much longer and wider, but is also shallow enough for kids to play supervised.
The stretch of beach further south, past Green Point, is where you'll find wind surfers most of the year. The large amount of parking space and access to deeper water make it a perfect launch pad. This is a good place for families find shelter from the wind to enjoy a sunny but slightly windy day; the height of the Green Point reserve provides good shelter from bigger winds with a choice of either west facing or south-west facing sections of beach.
- Shopping and dining along Church Street
- Dendy Cinema, part of Palace Cinemas
While not the most popular beach near the CBD, Sandridge Beach is great for families. The beach is one of the few in the bay that are south – with some sections even south east facing – making it a good one to have on your list for northern winds; most beaches are west facing.
Behind the beach is an awesome sand based playground – Maritime Cove Community Park Playground.
A short walk away you'll find the Sandridge Lookout with views of the Port Phillip Bay's beaches all the way to St Kilda.
The only cafe in the area is the Caps Cafe – based at the Life Saving Victoria HQ. However, if you're up for a 20 minute walk or a 5 min drive, you can visit one of the many trendy options, from morning coffee spots to fine dining along Bay Street – the main shopping road in Port Melbourne.
In addition to the beach, Port Melbourne is also home to one of the oldest piers and active ports in the city at Station Pier. The Station Pier is the home to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry that runs regularly across the bay and the Bass Straight to Tasmania, as well as where you'll find cruise ships and war ships docked.
- There are public toilets with showers near the Sandridge Life Saving Club.
- Just behind Sandridge Lookout is Webb Dock – a major shipping port for Melbourne – where your little people may enjoy watching container ships being loaded and unloaded.
On a hot day, the most popular beach with families from across the city is likely to be Chelsea Beach. It is one of the longest beaches and is part of a bay-in-a-bay that stretches from Mentone to Frankston.
It has great public transport access with a very short walk from a majar train line, as well as being relatively close to the Mornington Peninsula Freeway.
The long shallow sections of beach make it perfect for introducing babies to their first splashes in sea water. While the length of the beach means there's space for lots of sun-shade tents.
The sand based Victory Park Playground right on the beach is great for non-swimming season days.
St Kilda Beach
The most popular beach in Melbourne – by a good mile – is the west facing St Kilda Beach. The accessible location at the end of several tram lines makes it popular for many tourists and locals. The beach esplanade is lined with tall palms, which makes it easy to see the appeal – picture perfect palm framed sunsets with a cold drink in hand.
Despite it's popularity for teens and grown-ups, the fact that the beach gradient is quite steep, it is very exposed on a windy day and it is just so popular with adults, means there are better options if you have kids (see the rest of this list).
Having said that, the pier is one of the few places to spot the native Little Penguins without having to venture out to Phillip Island. The penguins can be seen after the sun goes down during some parts of the year.
For those with older and more adventure inclined kids, the pier and boat docks provide a natural shelter from big waves on windy days, making it a perfect spot for hiring a stand-up-paddle board and learning to paddle.
- Shopping and dining at Acland Street
- Luna Park - a popular permanent fun-fair with a classic rollercoaster and modern rides