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Top 12 Things To Do in Brighton, VIC Australia (with local Hidden Gems)

06/09/2023
9 mins read
Brighton Beach
Source: Visit Victoria

Brighton, a charming coastal suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, is situated just 11 kilometers southeast of the city’s bustling CBD. This upscale and vibrant area boasts a beautiful stretch of sandy beaches, lush parks, and a rich tapestry of cultural attractions. With its picturesque coastline, historic landmarks, and lively shopping and dining scene, Brighton offers a delightful blend of relaxation and adventure.

Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and reveal the top things to do in Brighton, VIC, Australia. Immerse yourself in the area’s natural beauty, delve into its cultural treasures, and embark on a remarkable journey through the captivating world of Brighton. Get ready to explore and enjoy the many attractions and experiences this enchanting coastal gem has to offer.

Things To Do In Brighton, VIC

1. Brighton Beach – A Seaside Escape

Brighton Beach is a beautiful sandy shoreline that offers a perfect escape from the bustling city life. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the coastline, soak up the sun, or take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of Port Phillip Bay. The beach is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, providing a serene setting for relaxation and fun-filled activities.

The beach is also home to the iconic Brighton Bathing Boxes, which are a must-see attraction. These colorful, historic structures add a touch of charm and whimsy to the beach, making it an ideal spot for photography enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or a lively day out, Brighton Beach has something for everyone.

  • Best time of the year: Summer months (December-February) for warm weather and swimming.
  • Address: Brighton Beach, Brighton, VIC, Australia.

2. Brighton Bathing Boxes – A Colorful Coastal Attraction

The Brighton Bathing Boxes are a vibrant and unique attraction located on Dendy Street Beach. These 88 beach huts, built in the 1860s, showcase Victorian architectural features and are painted in a variety of bright colors. They have become a significant tourist attraction and a symbol of Brighton’s coastal heritage.

Visiting the bathing boxes is a delightful experience, offering a glimpse into the past while providing a picturesque backdrop for memorable photos. Stroll along the beach, admire the charming huts, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere that surrounds this iconic attraction.

  • Best time of the year: Summer months (December-February) for warm weather.
  • Address: 134 Esplanade, Brighton VIC 3186, Australia.

3. Landcox Park – A Tranquil Oasis

Landcox Park is a beautiful and serene park that offers a peaceful retreat for picnics, leisurely walks, and relaxation. The park features lush greenery, picturesque gardens, and a tranquil lake, creating an idyllic setting for spending quality time with family and friends.

The park also boasts a playground for children, making it an ideal destination for families. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the park, take in the scenic views, and unwind in this calming oasis amidst the bustling city.

  • Address: Mavis Ave, Brighton East VIC 3187, Australia.
  • Opening Hours: Open all day.

4. Dendy Park – A Green Haven for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Dendy Park is a popular destination for sports, picnics, and outdoor activities in Brighton. The park features vast open spaces, sports facilities, and a playground, making it an ideal spot for families and friends to gather and enjoy the outdoors. Whether you’re looking to play a game of soccer, tennis, or simply relax with a picnic, Dendy Park offers a welcoming environment for all ages.

The park is also home to a variety of walking paths and trails, perfect for those who enjoy exploring nature and getting some exercise. With its lush greenery and tranquil atmosphere, Dendy Park is a fantastic place to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

  • Address: Dendy St, Brighton VIC 3186, Australia.
  • Opening Hours: Open all day.

5. Foreshore Reserve – A Family-Friendly Destination

Foreshore Reserve is a fantastic spot for families with kids to enjoy outdoor activities in Brighton. The reserve features a playground, picnic areas, and plenty of open space for children to run and play. With its beautiful coastal views and relaxing atmosphere, Foreshore Reserve is an ideal destination for a fun-filled day out with the family.

Take a leisurely stroll along the beach, enjoy a picnic, or simply relax and soak up the sun at this picturesque reserve. Foreshore Reserve offers a perfect combination of natural beauty and family-friendly amenities, making it a must-visit attraction in Brighton.

  • Address: The Esplanade, Brighton VIC 3186, Australia
  • Best time of the year: Summer months (December to February) for outdoor activities and enjoying the beach.

6. Church Street – A Vibrant Shopping and Dining Destination

Church Street is the heart of Brighton’s shopping and dining scene, offering a diverse range of boutiques, cafes, and restaurants to explore. Spend a day browsing the unique shops, indulging in delicious cuisine, and soaking up the lively atmosphere of this bustling street. With its excellent selection of fashion, homeware, and specialty stores, Church Street is a shopper’s paradise.

For food lovers, Church Street offers an array of dining options, from casual cafes to fine dining establishments. Satisfy your cravings with fish and chips from Fish Tank, or enjoy a delightful meal at one of the many restaurants lining the street. With its vibrant energy and diverse offerings, Church Street is a must-visit destination in Brighton.

  • Address: Church St, Brighton VIC 3186, Australia.

7. Palace Brighton Bay Cinema – A Sophisticated Movie Experience

Palace Brighton Bay Cinema is a stylish and modern movie theater located in the heart of Brighton. Showcasing the best in local and international art-house films, this cinema offers a unique and sophisticated movie-going experience. The luxurious foyer provides a perfect space for pre-film catch-ups and post-film discussions, while the four contemporary cinemas ensure a comfortable and enjoyable viewing experience.

Arrive early and enjoy a drink at the cinema’s bar, which offers a selection of premium beers, wines, and barista-made coffee. For the best value and special offers, consider joining the Palace Cinema’s Free or Premium Movie Club Memberships. Palace Brighton Bay Cinema is a must-visit destination for film enthusiasts and those looking for a memorable night out.

  • Address: 294 Bay St, Brighton VIC 3186, Australia.
  • Opening Hours: Open 15 minutes before the start of the first session and 15 minutes after the last session daily.

8. Middle Brighton Baths – A Historic Sea Bathing Experience

Middle Brighton Baths is a historic sea baths facility that has been a part of Brighton’s coastal culture since 1881. The baths offer a unique and refreshing swimming experience, with a large saltwater pool enclosed by the stunning Port Phillip Bay. Take a dip in the invigorating waters, soak up the sun on the deck, or enjoy a workout in the fully-equipped gym.

The baths also feature a stylish café and restaurant, where you can indulge in delicious meals and drinks while taking in the breathtaking views of the bay. With its combination of history, relaxation, and recreation, Middle Brighton Baths is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a memorable seaside experience.

  • Address: 251 Esplanade, Brighton VIC 3186, Australia
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 6 am to 7 pm
  • Best time of the year: Summer months (December to February) for swimming and enjoying the beach.

9. Phillip Island Wildlife Park – A Day Trip to Remember

Just a day trip away from Melbourne, Phillip Island Wildlife Park offers an unforgettable experience for nature lovers. The park is home to a variety of native Australian wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, emus, and more. Wander through the park’s spacious enclosures and get up close and personal with these amazing creatures.

In addition to its wildlife, Phillip Island boasts stunning coastal views and beautiful beaches. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, explore the island’s walking trails, or simply relax and enjoy the picturesque scenery. With its unique combination of wildlife encounters and natural beauty, Phillip Island Wildlife Park is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking adventure and unforgettable memories.

  • Address: 2115 Phillip Island Rd, Cowes VIC 3922, Australia
  • Distance from Brighton: Approximately 130 km (2-hour drive)
  • Best time of the year: Year-round, but the summer months (December to February) offer warmer weather for outdoor activities.

10. Luna Park Melbourne – A Historic Amusement Park Adventure

Luna Park Melbourne is a historic amusement park located on the foreshore of Port Phillip Bay in St Kilda, just a short distance from Brighton. The park has been entertaining visitors since 1912 with its thrilling rides, attractions, and lively atmosphere. Step through the famous Mr. Moon mouth and soak up the carnival atmosphere, perfect for families and thrill-seekers alike.

Some of the popular attractions at Luna Park include the Scenic Railway, the oldest continually operating roller coaster in the world, and the iconic Ferris Wheel, offering stunning views of the surrounding area. Luna Park is a must-visit destination for a fun-filled day out in Melbourne.

  • Address: 18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia
  • Distance from Brighton: Approximately 10 km (20-minute drive)
  • Opening Hours: Vary by season, check their website for current hours.

11. St Kilda Beach – A Bustling Seaside Destination

St Kilda Beach is a popular and lively beach located just 6 kilometers south of Melbourne’s city center. The beach stretches for about 700 meters between St Kilda Marina and St Kilda Harbour, offering a variety of water sports and outdoor activities. Enjoy swimming, windsurfing, sailing, or simply relax on the sandy shores and soak up the sun.

St Kilda Beach is also home to the St Kilda Sea Baths, a historic facility overlooking the picturesque bay. With a history dating back to the middle of the 19th century, the sea baths offer a unique and refreshing swimming experience. St Kilda Beach is a must-visit destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.

  • Address: Jacka Blvd, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia
  • Distance from Brighton: Approximately 10 km (20-minute drive)
  • Best time of the year: Summer months (December to February) for swimming and water sports.

12. Rippon Lea Estate – A Historic Mansion and Gardens

Rippon Lea Estate is a heritage-listed historic house and gardens located in Elsternwick, a neighboring suburb of Brighton. The estate is cared for by the National Trust of Australia and offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of some of Victoria’s most influential people.

Explore the beautiful mansion, stroll through the extensive gardens, and learn about the history of this remarkable property. Rippon Lea Estate is a must-visit destination for history buffs and garden enthusiasts alike.

  • Address: 192 Hotham St, Elsternwick VIC 3185, Australia
  • Distance from Brighton: Approximately 5 km (10-minute drive)
  • Opening Hours: Vary by season, check their website for current hours.

Towns Nearby Brighton, VIC

Here are some nearby towns/suburbs around Brighton, VIC, Australia, along with their highlights, attractions, distance from Brighton, and reasons why they are worth visiting:

  1. Elsternwick, VIC (4 km from Brighton): A vibrant suburb with a mix of residential, commercial, and entertainment areas. It is home to the historic Rippon Lea Estate and its beautiful gardens, as well as a thriving shopping and dining scene.
  2. Ferntree Gully, VIC (29 km from Brighton): Located at the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, Ferntree Gully is known for its beautiful parks and reserves, such as the 1000 Steps Kokoda Track Memorial Walk and the Ferntree Gully Quarry Recreation Reserve.
  3. Olinda, VIC (202 km from Brighton): A charming town in the Dandenong Ranges, Olinda is home to the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, Cloudehill Nursery and Gardens, and a variety of boutique shops, galleries, and cafes.
  4. Emerald, VIC (62 km from Brighton): Visit the beautiful Emerald Lake Park for a leisurely walk, picnic, or paddleboat ride. The town also offers a range of cafes, restaurants, and shops to explore.
  5. Gardenvale, VIC (2 km from Brighton): A small suburb located within the City of Glen Eira, Gardenvale is primarily residential but offers easy access to Brighton’s attractions and amenities.

These nearby towns and suburbs offer a variety of attractions and experiences, making them great options for day trips or exploring the wider region around Brighton, VIC, Australia.

Getting To Brighton, VIC

To get to Brighton, VIC from common destinations or origins as a local tourist, you have several options for both public transport and driving.

From Melbourne CBD:

  • By train: Take the Sandringham Line from Melbourne Central or Flinders Street Station. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes. Alight at Middle Brighton Station, which is about a 15-minute walk to Brighton Beach.
  • By car: Drive southeast on the Nepean Highway (State Route 3) from Melbourne CBD. The drive takes approximately 20 minutes, depending on traffic.

From other nearby towns:

  • From St Kilda, VIC: Drive south on the Nepean Highway (State Route 3) for about 10 minutes or 5 km.
  • From Elsternwick, VIC: Drive south on the Nepean Highway (State Route 3) for about 5 minutes or 2.5 km.

For public transport options from other nearby towns, use the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website (https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au) or app to plan your journey, as it provides detailed information on train and bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.

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