Skip To Main Content

Every product is carefully selected by our editors and experts. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Learn more. For more information on how we test products, click here.

Williamstown Beach

15 Best Beaches in Melbourne to Visit Right Now

While not famous for its beaches like other Aussie cities, there are a plethora of nice beaches in and around Melbourne. Our list includes a handful of beaches near Melbourne CBD, but to find the real gems you have to take yourself on a drive to the beautiful coastlines of the Mornington Peninsula and the Surf Coast. Slap on some sunscreen and dig out your best boardies because these spots are just asking to be discovered.

Best Beaches in Melbourne at a Glance

Highlights from our list include the following:

Now we’ve had a look at our favourites, let’s check out the complete list.

RELATED: These are the best fish and chip shops to head after.

Williamstown Beach
Williamstown Beach | Image: DroneImagineNation

1. Williamstown Beach

Melbourne’s first seaport, Williamstown is now a hipster seaside suburb that’s popular with locals and visitors alike, with plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby for a bite to eat, or a cheeky latte. The beach has a full range of amenities and is within walking distance from Williamstown Botanic Gardens and the nearby Life-Saving Club swimming pool. There are also plenty of picnic spots in the local parks and reserves too, and a pretty big parking lot for the hoards of crowds that descend on this little patch of sand come the weekend. Our insider tip? While you’re here, check out Fearon Reserve and Hatt Reserve for luscious green grass and foliage just minutes from the beach.

Address: Esplanade, Williamstown, Victoria 3016 
 14km from Melbourne CBD

Mount Martha Beach South
Mount Martha Beach South | Image: Visit Victoria

2. Mount Martha Beach South

If you are missing your European holidays, Mount Martha Beach is the place to visit. Reminiscent of Europe’s Mediterranean beaches, this 2km beach is perfect for a dip in the calm ocean waters or basking in the summer sun on the golden sands. It is also home to Mornington Peninsula’s most famous colourful bathing boxes–perfect for that Instagram shot. So, grab your friends and take a picnic basket to the top of the big sandstone cliffs. You can even dive off into the ocean if you’re feeling brave!

Address: 466 Esplanade, Mount Martha, Victoria, 3934
 74km from Melbourne CBD

Number 16 Beach
Number 16 Beach | Image: Visit Melbourne

3. Number 16 Beach

One of the lesser-known beaches located on the stunning Mornington Peninsula, Number 16 Beach is the definition of a hidden gem. it is great for a surf (with a pretty big wave here at times!) and there are the most gorgeous rock pools and rock formations. It is best to visit this beach at low tide, as that is when the rock pools are best.

Address: Rye, Mornington Peninsula, VIC
 88km from Melbourne CBD

Bushrangers Bay
Bushrangers Bay | Image: 2 Cups of Travel

4. Bushrangers Bay

Another pristine beach nestled along the Mornington Peninsula, Bushrangers Bay is surrounded by huge basalt cliffs and jagged rocks, making it one of Melbourne’s most picturesque beaches. The cliffs are covered in rock pools and the bay has crystal clear waters, great for diving and snorkelling. The beach is famous for being the location of the film Where The Wild Things Are – perfect for some snaps to impress the folks at home! FYI – it is a bit of a walk to get here, about 40 minutes through the lovely surrounding bushland, which in our opinion, only makes it better!

Address: Boneo Rd, Cape Schanck VIC 3939
 105km from Melbourne CBD

Overhead long shot of Fairy Cove
Fairy Cove | Image: Emily’s Travel Guides

5. Fairy Cove

A secluded beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park, Fairy Cove is also only accessible by foot, along the winding cliffs of the Tongue Point Track. The walk will take about 45 minutes but it is well worth the trip! When the water is calm it’s great for swimming, or if there are some rips, take a boogie board for the ultimate beach experience. With its crystal clear waters and impressive native wildlife, this beach has often been referred to by travellers as Australia’s best-kept secret… so when you reach it, be prepared to be amazed… but sssh, don’t tell your friends!

Address: Tongue Point-Darby River Walk, Wilsons Promontory VIC 3960
 216km from Melbourne CBD

St Kilda Beach
St Kilda Beach | Image: Javen

6. St Kilda Beach

Until you’ve spent a day by the sea at St Kilda Beach, you haven’t visited Melbourne. Don’t have a car? No worries.. the beach is just a short tram ride from the CBD. While perhaps not the prettiest beach, it makes up for what it lacks with its convenient location and the range of activities available, including kiteboarding, skydiving, jet skiing and beach volleyball. Like your beach days a bit more relaxed? Take a stroll down the iconic pier (if you’re lucky you may see the resident little penguins in the rocks!) or relax in one of the bars and restaurants in the St Kilda Baths. There’s a day out here for everyone.

Address: St Kilda Foreshore, St Kilda, Victoria, 3182
Location: 7.5km from Melbourne CBD

Sorrento Beach
Sorrento Beach | Image: Joel Martin

7. Sorrento Beach

An assortment of different-sized rockpools and stunning crystal clear waters are just two of the reasons Sorrento is one of Melbourne’s best beaches. Another is that it is the home of the Queenscliff-Sorrento ferry, should you want to venture across the bay. The beach also has a long green lawn laden with top-notch BBQ facilities, which is perfect for family days out or a catch-up with friends by the sea.

Address: 359BPoint Nepean Road, Sorrento, Victoria, 3943
 100km from Melbourne CBD

Half Moon Bay Beach
Half Moon Bay Beach | Image: Jay Graham

8. Half Moon Bay Beach

Half Moon Bay gets its name from its crescent-shaped cove and is best known for its golden sandy shoreline. The long 350m bay faces north so the beach is nicely protected from the elements and safe for swimming (great for the kiddies!). The pier is very popular with fishermen, making it one of the best places to grab local fish and chips and watch the sunset over the bay. Want to add some history to your day at the beach, if you look out over the bay, there’s a visible historic shipwreck from the 1920s.

Address: Half Moon Bay, Black Rock, Victoria, 3193
 20km from Melbourne CBD

Forrest Caves
Forrest Caves | Image: Michele Frolla

9. Forrest Caves

Forrest Caves on Port Phillip Island’s southeast shore has sand as far as the eye can see. Famous for its rugged rock platforms and stunning namesake caves, (only accessible at low tide – so make sure to keep your eye on the tides!) this renowned surfing beach pretty much always has a good wave and is also popular for bushwalking and fishing. It’s easy to drive to and has ample parking and toilets available. It’s our go-to quintessential beachy vibes.

Address: Bass Strait, Phillip Island Rd, Newhaven VIC 3922
 132km from Melbourne CBD

Apollo Bay
Apollo Bay | Image: Visit Melbourne

10. Apollo Bay

Known best for its surfing, fishing and pretty much any water sport you can think of, this popular spot on the Great Ocean Road is highly regarded as one of Melbourne’s best beaches. The nearby Otway Ranges have some great scenic walking trails if you prefer your action to be on dry land. The vibrant local restaurant scene is popular with locals and tourists alike, and if you’d like to stay the night there are plenty of accommodation options. So why not make a weekend of it?

Address: Apollo Bay, VIC 3233
 195km from Melbourne CBD

Sunnymead Beach
Sunnymead Beach | Image: Days Out With George

11. Sunnymead Beach

Another Ocean Road gem, but this time, on a road less travelled, just near Airey’s Inlet you’ll stumble across the beautiful Sunnymead Beach. This dog-friendly beach offers spectacular views of the ocean and its surrounding cliffs and jagged rock features, perfect for romantic picnics, walking the pup and watching the sunset, away from the hustle and bustle of the more touristy beaches in the area.

Address: 10 Boundary Rd, Aireys Inlet VIC 3231, Australia
 120km from Melbourne CBD

Eastern Beach
Eastern Beach | Image: Visit Victoria

12. Eastern Beach

If you fancy yourself as a beach lover but are low-key scared of all things “ocean” (we’re talking sharks, seaweed and those infamous rips that catch you unawares!) Eastern Beach is the beach for you. This Geelong gem has an enclosed ocean pool to keep out those nasties and it’s lined by beautiful palm trees and picturesque views of the local promenade. Or, if you’re feeling brave, there’s a long stretch of open sandy beach too.

Address: 95 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong, Victoria, 3220
 72km from Melbourne CBD

Brighton Beach
Brighton Beach | Image: Expedia

13. Brighton Beach

Probably Melbourne’s most iconic beach, Brighton Beach is famous for its rainbow-coloured beach huts that adorn the foreshore that you’ve probably seen on Instagram at least a handful of times. Turns out, the huts were once used as changing sheds in Victorian times and most have retained their original architecture and now are decorated in bright colours and bold artwork–hence all those Insta holiday snaps! For a full day out, we suggest a visit to the historic Brighton Baths, offering swimming lanes, a steam room and group fitness classes. And, if you take a stroll out to the shoreline at the end of the beach you’ll get a spectacular view of the city skyline.

Address: Dendy Street Beach, Dendy Street and the Esplanade, Brighton, Victoria, 3186
 13km from Melbourne CBD

Elwood Beach
Elwood Beach | Image: Julian Hacker

14. Elwood Beach

Just around the corner from St Kilda, you’ll find Elwood, the lesser-known but equally as vibrant beachside suburb, buzzing with families and couples relaxing by the beach. The best thing about Elwood is its proximity to the CBD and the scenic coastal paths along its shore–perfect for bike rides. We also love climbing up to Point Ormond for one of the best panoramic views in Melbourne; with the impressive city skyline to the north and the glistening sands of Elwood Beach to the south. There’s also a superb takeaway fish and chip shop, for that authentic beachside experience. Elwood Beach is the total package.

Address: Ormond Esplanade, Elwood, Victoria 3184
 9km from Melbourne CBD

Kerferd Road Pier Beach
Kerferd Road Pier Beach | Image: ProDesign Studio

15. Kerferd Road Pier Beach

Kerford Road Pier Beach is one of Melbourne’s most-loved beaches and just a short drive from the CBD, it’s accessible to all. Soak up the sun and read a book overlooking the lapping waves, or go fishing off the famous Kerferd Road Pier. There are even some beachside nets, so we love coming here for a spot of beach volleyball with mates, and there is a fantastic playground to keep the kids happy too.

Address: Kerford Road Pier, Albert Park VIC 3206
 4.8 km from Melbourne CBD

Why You Should Trust Our List

With an editorial team full of beach lovers, Man Of Many has checked out most of the beaches in and around Melbourne. We have also leaned on author Aimee O’Keefe’s insights as a North Melbourne local who drives to the beach most weekends, as well as taking into account location and activities.

Alternatives to Beaches in Melbourne

If you’re looking for other things to do in and around Melbourne, we’ve got you covered with some of the options listed below. You can also check out our list of fun things to do in Melbourne. If you’re looking for a more specific cuisine, check out our list of the best Mexican restaurants in Melbourne or the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne. If you’re full, we can also help you with your search for the best vintage clothes with our list of the best op shops in Melbourne for vintage clothes or show you the best beaches in Melbourne for surfing and swimming.

Your FAQs Answered

What is the nicest beach in Melbourne?

The nicest beach near Melbourne’s CBD is Williamstown Beach. It’s not as packed as St Kilda, the water is cleaner, and the waves are calmer throughout the year. We wouldn’t recommend surfing here as the swells don’t get strong enough, but it’s a lovely place to sit under a shade shelter with the family and take in the sights and sounds. Our tip is to get here early in the day because it gets quite popular.

What is the best Melbourne beach for clean water?

The vast majority of Melbourne’s most popular beaches have fresh and clean water, so don’t stress. However, we’ve always found the water at Brighton Beach to be particularly clean.

What is the best beach for swimming in Melbourne?

St Kilda beach is the best for swimming and we’d compare it to Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach in terms of its popularity and surf conditions. It’s easily accessible by public transport, however, you might have issues getting into the surf on a hot day. There’s that many people around!