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12 Best Coastal & Beach Walks Melbourne 2024

12/09/2023
8 mins read
Cape Schanck Boardwalk
Source: Visit Victoria

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Melbourne’s coastline with our guide to the best coastal and beach walks in the area. From the lively atmosphere of St Kilda Beach to the serene George Bass Coastal Walk, these stunning trails offer a diverse range of experiences for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those looking for a peaceful escape. Explore the picturesque paths of the Surf Coast Walk, marvel at the panoramic views from Wilsons Promontory National Park, or stroll along the tranquil shores of Half Moon Bay. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Melbourne’s coastal walks are sure to leave you in awe. So, lace up your walking shoes and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey along the captivating coastline of Melbourne.

1. St Kilda Beach

St Kilda Beach is a lively and popular destination just 6 km south of Melbourne’s city center. Known for its palm-lined boardwalk, iconic landmarks, and vibrant atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot for a day of fun in the sun. The beach is mostly wave-free, making it a safe place for families to swim and enjoy water sports.

The foreshore is bustling with activity, as walkers, joggers, and cyclists take advantage of the beautiful surroundings. When you need a break from the sun, there are plenty of trendy cafes, restaurants, and shops nearby to explore. Don’t forget to check out the St Kilda Little Penguins, who call the breakwater home and can be spotted at dusk.

2. Yarra Bend Park and Dights Falls

Yarra Bend Park, located in Fairfield, Victoria, is a picturesque coastal walk near Melbourne that features cliffs, beaches, and native plants. The park is home to the Par 3 Golf Course, which offers nine scenic holes surrounded by native bush, perfect for beginners wanting to improve their skills. The park also offers various walking trails, including the Dights Falls Loop, which takes you along the Yarra River and past the historic Dights Falls.

Dights Falls is a popular spot for picnicking and enjoying the tranquil surroundings. The park is also home to various sports facilities, including a golf course and sports fields, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With its beautiful scenery and diverse range of activities, Yarra Bend Park and Dights Falls is a must-visit location for anyone exploring Melbourne’s coastal walks.

3. Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach, famous for its colorful bathing boxes, is a vibrant and picturesque destination along the 12 km Bay Trail. The beach is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the bustling boardwalk.

The Brighton neighborhood is rich in history and immigrant roots, with trendy restaurants, cafes, and shops lining the streets. As you stroll along the beach, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the city skyline and the iconic bathing boxes, which make for perfect photo opportunities.

4. Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay, located in Black Rock, is a hidden gem among Melbourne’s beaches. Known for its crescent shape and the historic HMVS Cerberus shipwreck, the bay offers a unique and picturesque setting for beachgoers. The beach is popular for swimming, snorkeling, and fishing, and its extensive sandbanks and low waves make it a safe and family-friendly destination.

The bay is also home to the Black Rock Yacht Club and the Half Moon Bay Surf Life Saving Club, the oldest in Victoria. With its stunning views and fascinating history, Half Moon Bay is a must-visit beach for anyone exploring Melbourne’s coastline.

5. Cape Schanck to Gunnamatta Beach (Fingal Beach Walk)

The Cape Schanck to Gunnamatta Beach (Fingal Beach Walk) is a stunning coastal walk on the Mornington Peninsula. This 5 km trail takes you through coastal Moonah woodland and offers breathtaking ocean views. 

The walk starts at the Fingal Picnic Ground on Cape Schanck Road and leads you to the beautiful Fingal Beach, where you can explore rock pools and enjoy the pristine sands. If the tides are right, you can continue along the beach to Gunnamatta Beach, making this walk a perfect adventure for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts.

6. Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory National Park, affectionately known as “The Prom,” is Victoria’s largest coastal wilderness area. With over 50,000 hectares of pristine landscapes, it’s a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers a variety of activities, including bushwalking, wildlife spotting, and swimming at its beautiful beaches, such as Squeaky Beach, known for its unique squeaky white sands.

The park also features the Tidal River, a natural playground perfect for families. For those seeking a more challenging adventure, the Mount Oberon Summit Walk rewards hikers with stunning panoramic views. With so much to see and do, Wilsons Promontory National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Melbourne area.

7. George Bass Coastal Walk

The George Bass Coastal Walk is a serene and picturesque trail that stretches from Punchbowl Road in San Remo to the Bass Highway in Kilcunda. This 7 km walk offers breathtaking coastal views, hidden lagoons, and access to secluded white sand beaches.

As you explore the trail, you’ll encounter diverse landscapes, from cliff-top paths to lush forests. The walk is suitable for those with an average level of fitness and takes about two hours to complete one way. It’s an ideal choice for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful escape from the city.

8. Surf Coast Walk

The Surf Coast Walk is a 44 km trail that stretches from Point Impossible near Torquay to Fairhaven, offering stunning coastal views and diverse landscapes. The walk can be divided into 12 distinctive sections, allowing visitors to choose their preferred routes and explore at their own pace.

Along the trail, you’ll encounter beautiful beaches, lush forests, and fascinating surf culture. The walk is suitable for all levels of hikers and walkers, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of Victoria’s coastline.

9. Bushrangers Bay Walking Trail

The Bushrangers Bay Walking Trail is a serene and picturesque hike that starts at the Cape Schanck car park and takes you through beautiful bushlands, offering stunning ocean views. The trail is moderately challenging and covers a distance of 4.3 miles out and back.

Along the way, you might spot wild kangaroos and other native wildlife. The trail ends at the beautiful Bushrangers Bay, a sandy beach surrounded by basalt cliffs, making it a perfect spot for a relaxing break before heading back.

10. Bayside Coastal Trail

The Bayside Coastal Trail is a scenic walk along the water’s edge, stretching from Brighton to Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The trail offers stunning views of the coastline and passes through various coastal towns, allowing you to explore the diverse landscapes and attractions along the way.

The trail is suitable for walkers and cyclists of all levels and is a popular choice for those looking to enjoy the natural beauty of Victoria’s coastline. With its picturesque scenery and numerous points of interest, the Bayside Coastal Trail is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Melbourne’s coastal walks.

11. Surf Coast Trek

The Surf Coast Trek is a unique and challenging event that takes place along the Surf Coast Trail in Victoria. The trek covers either a 26 km route from Anglesea or a 40 km route from Aireys Inlet to Torquay. This fundraising walk offers participants breathtaking coastal views, encounters with wildlife, and the opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes of Victoria’s Surf Coast.

The Surf Coast Trek is suitable for individuals or teams and requires participants to meet a fundraising target to participate. All funds raised go to support the vital work of two Geelong organizations – Kids+ and Give Where You Live Foundation.

12. Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail

The Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail is a 10 km trail along the foreshore and through Altona’s coastal parkland, stretching from Williamstown to Altona, Victoria, Australia. The trail offers a unique blend of natural beauty and urban convenience, making it a popular choice for walkers and cyclists.

The trail passes through various parks and reserves, including the Jawbone Marine Sanctuary, which is home to a diverse range of marine life. With its beautiful scenery and numerous points of interest, the Hobsons Bay Coastal Trail is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Melbourne’s coastal walks.

Best Coastal & Beach Walks Melbourne Highlights

Here are a few highlights from our list of Best Coastal & Beach Walks in Melbourne:

  • The most iconic beach: St Kilda Beach, known for its lively atmosphere and stunning views across Port Phillip Bay.
  • The most picturesque beach: Brighton Beach, famous for its colorful bathing boxes and vibrant neighborhood.
  • The most serene coastal walk: George Bass Coastal Walk, offering picturesque paths, hidden lagoons, and jaw-dropping coastal scenery.
  • The best national park for coastal walks: Wilsons Promontory National Park, featuring various trails and breathtaking landscapes.
  • The most secluded beach: Half Moon Bay, an isolated beach in Black Rock, popular for snorkeling and romantic strolls.
  • The longest coastal trail: Surf Coast Walk, a 44 km trail from Point Impossible near Torquay to Fairhaven, offering stunning coastal views and encounters with wildlife.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most iconic beach in Melbourne?

St Kilda Beach is the most iconic beach in Melbourne, known for its lively atmosphere and stunning views across Port Phillip Bay.

Which beach is famous for its colorful bathing boxes?

Brighton Beach is famous for its colorful bathing boxes and vibrant neighborhood.

What is the longest coastal trail in Melbourne?

The Surf Coast Walk is the longest coastal trail in Melbourne, stretching 44 km from Point Impossible near Torquay to Fairhaven.

Are these coastal walks suitable for all fitness levels?

Most of the coastal walks mentioned in the article are suitable for various fitness levels, with some being more challenging than others. It’s essential to choose a walk that matches your fitness level and experience.

Can I access these coastal walks using public transport?

Many of the coastal walks within Melbourne, such as St Kilda Beach and Brighton Beach, are easily accessible by public transport. For some destinations outside the city, like Wilsons Promontory National Park or Cape Schanck, it may be more convenient to rent a car or join a guided tour.

Madie

Madie is a lifestyle and travel writer at HumbleTrail. With her roots in the sunny coastal town of Eden, New South Wales.

She moved to Melbourne straight after high school and is now the go-to person in the team for the best local gems around Melbourne. She's got her ways in staying up to date with the upcoming cafes in the city before they become mainstream.

Madie's day starts off at 5 AM for her morning gym session. By 10 AM, you'll find her energized with her second coffee of the day, often sharing her latest K-pop crushes with the team.

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