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Melbourne is best known for its coffee, food, and cultural scene – but it also has its fair share of safe beaches to swim in.
So to help, we’ve put together a list of Melbourne’s 10 best beach suburbs and their best swimming beaches, ordered by distance from the city’s CBD.
1. Albert Park – 4km from CBD
Best swimming beaches: Kerferd Road Beach, Middle Park, Port Melbourne Beach, and South Melbourne Beach
Albert Park is an inner suburb of Melbourne, only 4 km south of the CBD in the City of Port Phillip.
The suburb of Albert Park extends from the St Vincent Gardens to Beaconsfield Parade and Mills Street.
Albert Park is home to several beaches, the best four of which – Kerferd Road Beach, Middle Park, Port Melbourne Beach, and South Melbourne Beach – are perfect sandy, swimming beaches on Port Philip Bay and only a stone’s throw from central Melbourne.
With playgrounds as well as walking and bicycle paths, they make up a series of favourite ‘top of the bay’ beaches.
Some areas allow off-leash dog walking and Middle Park is also a popular spot for kitesurfing and beach volleyball.
2. St Kilda – 8km from CBD
Best beach: St Kilda Beach
St Kilda is an inner seaside suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 8 km south-east of the city’s Central Business District and is also home to Melbourne’s most famous beach.
One of the most popular hotspots for both tourists and locals, St Kilda Beach’s calm waters mean it’s perfect for swimming, kite surfing, paddle boarding, and any other type of water sport.
The beach has a great little network of paths and boardwalks lining its palm tree-lined foreshore meaning it’s also perfect for people more into land-based sport – walking, running, cycling, etc.
It also has the added bonus of famous attractions – Luna Park and St Kilda Pier – in addition to a vast number of nearby cafes, restaurants, and bars.
3. Elwood – 8km from CBD
Best swimming beach: Elwood Beach
The beachside suburb of Elwood is located around 8km from Melbourne’s CBD between St Kilda and Brighton.
The suburb is great for shopping – Elwood Village extends along two main sections of Ormond Road and there are more outlets along the tree-lined boulevard of Brighton Road.
But perhaps Elwood is most fabulous for being one of the city’s best destinations for swimming, sailing, boating, and fishing.
The main beach, Elwood Beach, has a vast sandy beach, extensive foreshore reserves have a barbecue, picnic, and play facilities and there is also a walking and cycling path and boat ramps nearby.
4. Altona – 13km from CBD
Best swimming beach: Altona Beach
Altona is a suburb of Melbourne, located around 13km southwest of Melbourne’s CBD and within the City of Hobsons Bay local government area.
The suburb is home to Altona Beach, Melbourne’s western suburbs’ largest and most pristine swimming and recreational beach, which is a popular bay swimming beach with a special ‘no-boat’ zone and the opportunity for many water-based recreational activities.
Nearby are boating and yachting facilities (including a six-lane boat ramp), jetties, barbecues, playgrounds, loads of opportunities for watersports, and a pier in the middle.
5. Brighton – 14km from CBD
Best swimming beach: Brighton Beach and Dendy Street Beach
Brighton is one of the most exclusive and expensive suburbs in Melbourne.
Located south of the city between Elwood and Hampton and fronting Port Phillip with its stretches of beautiful sandy beaches.
With around 6km of coastline within Brighton’s suburban boundary, there is a diverse range of attractions and activities for all types of locals and visitors.
The relaxing, picturesque Brighton Beach and Dendy Street Beach in Port Philip Bay claim the title of the city’s most popular and most photographed beach destinations.
The sand is white, the water sparkling and there are also 82 instantly recognisable wooden bathing boxes that date back to the 1900s lining up along the shore.
The beach is great for swimming and fishing or if you simply want to soak in the view there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes nearby.
6. Hampton – 15km from CBD
Best swimming beach: Hampton Beach
The beach-side suburb of Hampton is around 15km south of Melbourne on Port Phillip, between Brighton and Sandringham.
The strip of shops along the thoroughfare of Hampton Street is one of Hampton’s major attractions.
But the suburb is also known for having an excellent beach to swim in Melbourne.
Hampton Beach is a safe, sandy bay swimming beach with a popular boating and sailing area.
It has an extensive foreshore reserve with barbecue and playground facilities, and a walking and cycling path.
7. Williamstown – 17km from CBD
Best swimming beach: Williamstown Beach
Williamstown is a historic beachside suburb with stunning city views around 17km away from the city centre in Hobsons Bay.
Williamstown Beach – also known as ‘Willy Beach’ is a little beauty spot and one of Melbourne’s finer beaches.
It has great views across Port Phillip Bay, a clean and wide sandy beach, and lifeguards on patrol during the summer months, making it a sought-after destination for both tourists and locals looking for one of the best swimming beaches in Melbourne.
8. Black Rock – 20km from CBD
Best swimming beach: Half Moon Bay Beach
Black Rock is an affluent bayside suburb of Melbourne between Sandringham and Beaumaris around 18 km southeast of Melbourne’s CBD.
It was named after Black Rock House, a grand residence built by Charles Hotson Ebden in 1856, who had taken the name from Black Rock, Dublin.
And it’s also famous for being a seaside destination.
Black Rock’s Half Moon Bay beach is a small and secluded sandy beach in Port Phillip Bay, around 20km southeast of Melbourne.
Its crescent shape means it’s perfectly protected from the weather making it popular for boating and meaning it’s one of the best beaches to swim in Melbourne.
The beach also has some historical significance – the HMVS Cerberus, an 1870s battleship that was scuttled in the bay in 1926 to create a breakwater for the Black Rock Yacht Club, lies close to the shore.
9. Mordialloc – 25km from CBD
Best swimming beach: Mordialloc Beach
Sometimes described as one of the best-kept secrets of Melbourne, Mordialloc is a beachside Melbourne suburb around 25km from the CBD.
It’s well known for being a great lifestyle suburb with cafes, restaurants, and great school and childcare options.
The well-developed Mordialloc Beach is a 4km stretch of sand running from Mordialloc Creek to the bluffs and Mentone.
It’s one of Melbourne’s best swimming beaches, but it also has a restaurant, playground, BBQ and picnic areas, a bike path that runs all the way back to Mentone, and a weathered but sturdy pier that stretches out 300 metres.
10. Carrum – 33km from CBD
Best swimming beach: Carrum Beach
Carrum is a bustling bayside suburb located around 7.5km from Frankston CBD and just under 60 min, or 33km, from Melbourne’s CBD.
It’s a family-friendly suburb with plenty of great schools and clubs.
Carrum also has a popular, safe sandy bay swimming beach near the mouth of Patterson River.
Carrum Beach has excellent boating facilities, including launch ramps, mooring, and refueling stops, and the foreshore reserves have a picnic, barbecue, and play facilities.