Get off the beaten track and experience Victoria's beautiful beaches and coastlines that stretch out for almost 2000 kilometres. Take in pristine landscapes ranging from sandy beaches, wetlands and heathland to forests, sheer cliffs and rocky shores. National, state and coastal parks cover much of the coastline, with more than 20 marine parks and sanctuaries protecting the waters up to 5.5 kilometres offshore.
Life by the sea
Explore Gippsland's Ninety Mile Beach and stay at Lakes Entrance to enjoy the golden sands – ideal for swimming, beach fishing or just lazing about in the sun. Prefer a bayside holiday? Spend your summer at one of the many family-friendly beaches on the Mornington Peninsula. For a fun day trip, take the ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff to beachside cycling and barbecued seafood.
Seaside hamlets and rugged landscapes
Travel the rugged Great Ocean Road, where the 12 Apostles stand guard on the edge of the Southern Ocean. Visit the seaside towns of Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay, stopping by the famous Bells Beach, which plays host to the annual Rip Curl Pro surf tournament. Alternatively, take in the sights at The Nobbies in Phillip Island. Watch seals play at Seal Rocks or catch the sunset at Cape Woolamai, where the pink granite offers a stunning backdrop to the wild Bass Strait.
Ninety Mile Beach
From the shallow inlets near Port Albert to the vast open waterways of Lakes Entrance lies the Ninety Mile Beach – a 90-mile long stretch of pristine golden sand that separates the Gippsland Lakes from the Bass Strait.
This is one of the most natural and unspoilt beaches globally and is ideal for any number of beach activities from beach fishing and swimming to walking, whale and dolphin-spotting or just lazing in the sun.
The beach lies on the edge of a long slender sand dune, and the absence of rocky outcrops or headlands results in a vista of endless sand that stretches as far as the eye can see. Offshore, the sandy plains are only occasionally broken by low ribbons of reefs formed as shorelines or sand dunes during ice-ages when the sea level was lower than today.
Beneath the waters, the sand plains harbour a vast array of marine life. In ten square metres, 860 species were discovered living in the sand, and in one square metre, a staggering 187 species.
The beach can be reached from the South Gippsland Highway via the towns of Woodside Beach, Seaspray, Golden Beach or Loch Sport and Lakes Entrance. Unspoilt and offering clean white sand, wonderful crashing waves and a natural bush environment, these seaside towns create the perfect holiday location. Both Woodside and Seaspray have life-saving beach patrols during the summer season.
A beach wheelchair is available from the Lakes Entrance Main Beach and Surf Lifesaving Club. Ring 03 5155 1333 to confirm availability. A kiosk and accessible toilets are public at the Surf Club. A beach wheelchair is also available from the Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club (03 5146 4231) throughout January and on weekends and public holidays.
Ride a wave at Bells Beach, located near Torquay on the southern coast of Victoria in the Great Ocean Road region. Head to Bells Beach over the Easter weekend and watch the world's best surfers carve up the waves at the Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition. High cliffs provide a dramatic backdrop to the natural amphitheatre of the beach, and large swells from the Southern Ocean, which slow down and steepen over the reef-strewn shallows, create the outstanding surf.
Bells Beach is a popular spot with great vantage points along the cliff if you’re a sightseer. For surfers, Bells Beach is really for the experienced. The beach is an exposed reef and point break with excellent proper hand breaks, at their best during autumn and winter.
Catch a wave against the backdrop of ancient pink granite at Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island's highest point and one of Victoria's most popular surfing beaches. The region was recently declared a National Surfing Reserve to recognise its rich surfing heritage and pristine natural environment.
Woolamai on foot
Walk along the golden, sweeping beaches at any time of the year. Follow one of the four coastal walking track loops at Cape Woolamai and stop at viewing platforms to take in breathtaking views of the Pinnacles.
Witness the magical dusk descent of the short-tailed shearwaters (mutton birds) as they return from a day of fishing to the place they call home between late September and mid-April.
Take advantage of the wildness of the Bass Strait and surf one of the best beach breaks in the country. Rewind the calendar and enjoy holidays like they used to be. Base yourself in Newhaven, hire bikes to enjoy the leisurely cycle from the tourist road down to the beach and let the kids swim in the patrolled waters.
This seaside spot, nestled between Portarlington and St Leonards, is a family holiday haven. With three seasonal foreshore camping areas to choose from, picnic areas, and gentle lapping water, this is the destination for lazy communal days by the water. Look out for the Ozone paddle steamer’s hull, sunk in 1925, protruding out of the blue sea.
Loch Ard Gorge Beach, Great Ocean Road
One of the most popular stops along the Great Ocean Road is Loch Ard Gorge, just a few minutes up the road from the famous Twelve Apostles. It has a gorgeous beach looking out to two cliff faces which are accessible by stairs and is a beautiful and mostly quiet swimming spot. Loch Ard Gorge makes a great stop along your road trip. There are plenty of walks and viewpoints for that perfect photo too.
Take a wander along the famous white sand of Squeaky Beach and have a dip in the turquoise waters of one of Wilsons Promontory's most iconic beaches. The rounded grains of quartz make a squeaking sound when you walk, giving this famous local beach its name.
Head down from the Squeaky Beach car park and make your way through coastal scrub, jumping the little stream as you reach the beach. Take in views out to distant islands and the granite-studded headlands, or just choose a comfortable spot on the large expanse of pristine white sand.
A granite maze
Adventurous types will love the beach’s northern end, with its giant granite boulders creating a maze of passages to explore. Marvel at the brilliant orange rocks that contrast perfectly with the clear blue ocean and visit at dusk to watch the changing hues at sunset.
Squeaky Beach can be reached from a range of short walks, including the Lilly Pilly Gully car park, Picnic Bay or Tidal River, which offers spectacular coastal views.
Access and accessibility
Vehicle access is available via the Squeaky Beach car park, with a short five-minute walk to the beach through coastal scrub. Toilet facilities are located adjacent to the car park. Surf lifesavers do not operate at this beach.
Make your way down to Geelong's famous waterfront precinct and discover the city's spectacular summer playground. Climb the tower and dive into the calm waters of the art deco swimming enclosure, built all the way back in the 1930s, or just take a scenic stroll along the boardwalk and watch the boats bobbing in the bay. Splash about with the kids in the seaside pool and then hit the adventure playground next door. Need more? Keep the festivities going with a ride on the Ferris wheel and historic carousel further up the beach. Round out your afternoon with a sumptuous picnic and friendly game of cricket on the vast lawns along the coast.
St Kilda Beach
Summer isn’t simmering until you've spent a day by the seaside at St Kilda Beach, a short tram ride from the CBD. The foreshore is a hive of activity as walkers, joggers and rollerbladers race by, while kitesurfers, windsurfers and all-weather swimmers make the waters their playground. In St Kilda style, there plenty of opportunity for refreshments, whether at the end of the iconic pier or in the bars and restaurants of the St Kilda Sea Baths. For a special brush with wildlife, head to the breakwater to see the resident population of little penguins burrowing in the rocks.
Grab your surfboard and explore this 4.5 kilometre stretch of picturesque coastline west of Barwon Heads. A popular surf spot, Thirteenth Beach provides varied conditions to suit both learner and advanced surfers. The lovely wide stretch of sand spreads between looming sand dunes and crashing waves and is also ideal for a refreshing walk, jog, sandcastle-making or ball play with the dog. Take a short walk around the headland, don a wetsuit for some diving, and take in the expansive views.
Discovery Bay Coastal Park
This remote coastal park protects 55 kilometres of ocean beach. Inland, the park encompasses high coastal cliffs, massive rolling sand dunes and freshwater lakes and swamps. Coastal vegetation and wildlife thrive. Enjoy remote camping, walks and canoeing.
Before you go:
Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website. Be bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Bushfire Safety section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.
Half Moon Bay
One of Melbourne’s best beaches in Half Moon Bay, located at Black Rock on the South East Coast. A quiet sandy beach with a relaxing atmosphere and beautiful water, Half Moon Bay gets its name from its crescent shape. It is a popular fishing spot and perfects to spend the day swimming or relaxing with a picnic on the sand.
Mothers Beach, Mornington
Mornington is just over an hour from Melbourne and the gateway to the peninsular. Mothers beach is one of the best beaches in Victoria for families with kids because it is sheltered and usually calm. Mornington beach is famous for paddleboarders for the same reason.
Mothers Beach in Mornington is one of the most beautiful beaches in Melbourne and along the Mornington Peninsula. This family-friendly beach facing out to Port Phillip Bay offers shallow water with soft golden sand and water sports for hire.
Located near the Mornington foreshore and adjacent to the Mornington Marina, Mothers Beach makes a beautiful day out for the whole family.
You can access the beach via the wooden stairs from the esplanade. The sand is soft, the waves are usually small, and the water is shallow enough for kids to play.
Towards the back of the beach, you can find the famous beach boxes. There are a couple of nearby picnic tables, which are unshaded but offer a spectacular sea view. Toilets and showers are nearby as well, which are convenient.
For those who love water sports, you can hire canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards at a reasonable price, and it really does make your beach day more fun. Over at the nearby marina, there are boats for hire too.
There is a huge nearby park, Mornington Park, which has a pirate ship playground for the kids and many picnic tables if you want to have lunch there. Otherwise, you can also pop your rug down on the soft sand.
Sorrento Beach, Mornington Peninsula
Sorrento is a famous seaside town in the south of the Mornington Peninsula. It is a popular beach destination in Victoria among locals and tourist because of its beautiful beaches and beach activities. Try some fishing, snorkelling, canoeing, kayaking, or even go swimming with the dolphins.
Wiskey Bay, Wilsons Promontory
If you are looking for beautiful beaches in Victoria, you can’t go past Whiskey Bay in Wilsons Promontory. Sheltered by natural rock formations, Whiskey Bay is an excellent spot for swimming. It is also perfect for a picnic after a walk and one of the most beautiful places in Victoria to see the sunset.
You can arrive at Squeaky Beach by a range of short walks with stunning coastal views. At the North end, you will notice the spectacular rock formations. And the beautiful white sand leads to the turquoise waters will just take your breath away.
90 Mile Beach, Gippsland
One of the longest beaches globally and one of the best beaches in Victoria is 90-Mile Beach, a natural, beautiful, unspoiled beach facing the Bass Straight that backs the Gippsland lakes. Perfect for those who love hiking and camping, there are plenty of water activities to keep you busy, or they can also be enjoyed laying on the sand dolphin spotting.
A beautiful, quiet and peaceful beach, Chelsea Beach is patrolled throughout the summer on weekends. The beach is shallow for a great distance during low tide, making it an excellent spot for kids and families (always swim between the flags).
Dromana Beach is home to one of Victoria’s best foreshore reserves, as well as the Dromana Camping Reserve. It is an excellent spot for couples and families to camp, with perfect beach access and is a short stroll to the Dromana Pier and the town shops.
This beach is a long stretch of sand, reaching from Fairhaven to Spout Creek off the Great Ocean Road. The local surfers tell me that Eastern View has many sandbanks that can form clean left and right-handers, and on a good day, you can get immaculate waves that can hold up to 6FT.
Edithvale Beach is a 1.5 km long, straight section of sand located in Melbourne’s South-Eastern suburbs. It’s a good spot for swimming and beginner surfers and fishing (during high tide when you can cast into or find the deeper rip holes and troughs). A heads up that parking is limited to the adjoining streets.
Undoubtedly, one of my favourite things to do when visiting Elwood Beach is to book in for a brunch session at Elwood Bathers. After a cheeky glass of rosé and a few seafood indulgences, it’s time to grab an umbrella and towel from the car and head out onto the beach with a takeaway coffee and chilled water. It’s a beautiful bayside beach and doesn’t get nearly as busy as some of the neighbouring sands.
Need a weekend escape? Located a stone’s throw from Port Fairy, Killarney Beach is both and great for fishing. There is a Camping Reserve at the beach, the perfect location for anyone looking for a city escape – don’t forget to pack your rod – the fishing is excellent, and a boat ramp is nearby.
Koonya Back Beach
This open sandy beach in Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula is very popular for surfing, fishing and for locals who are indulging in a vitamin D injection. There are two handy carparks close by, but beware, the water can sometimes get very wild, never swim alone!
Moggs Creek Beach
Formally known as Fairhaven Beach, this 6km length of the shore is the longest beach on the Great Ocean Road. The beach runs due west from the mouth of Moggs Creek and is easily accessible as the road backs the entire beach. Great for surfing – be sure to note, this is a potentially hazardous beach, with usually moderate waves and persistent and often strong rips.
Mordialloc Beach is the southern section of a 4 km long beach running from Mordialloc Creek to the bluffs at Mentone. The beach has three sections, each with a lifesaving club, at Mordialloc, Parkdale and Mentone. An easily accessible beach, well worth a visit any time of the year. Offering great views of Port Phillip Bay and the ample reserves and parks nearby.
- St Kilda Beach, Melbourne. ...
- Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island. ...
- Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory. ...
- Bells Beach, Great Ocean Road. ...
- Thirteenth Beach, Barwon Heads. ...
- Eastern Beach, Geelong.
Victoria, in the south east of Australia, has some spectacular beaches, with a mix of white and golden sand, that locals and travellers from afar can't resist. From Melbourne, to the Mornington Peninsula, the Great Ocean Road, and Wilsons Promontory, the list of spectacular beaches along the Victorian coast goes on.
Relax in the summer sun on calm bay beaches across Melbourne, from the popular swimming spots and shoreside diners at St Kilda to the colourful landmark bathing huts at Brighton. Lifeguards and lifesavers patrol beaches during peak holiday times. Swim only between the red and yellow flags.