In 2016 my work sent me to Melbourne, Victoria, for a 2 month project. It was the first time I’d ever visited Australia, and I immediately fell in love with Melbourne and its quirky culture. What blew me away the most however, were the breathtaking, beautiful beaches and coastal towns outside of the city. I didn’t have a car so was only able to explore a little of the Great Ocean Road and the Mornington Peninsula. Will and I have plans for a coastal road trip from Sydney to Melbourne and even onto Adelaide to explore more of this stunning coastline. In the meanwhile, I’ve teamed up with some fellow bloggers to pull together a list of the top 10 best beaches in Victoria. If you were looking for a reason why to visit Victoria and the Great Ocean Road, you’re in the right place.
If you’re visiting Melbourne and Victoria, make sure you pick up your copy of Lonely Planet Melbourne & Victoria
1. 90 Mile Beach, Gippsland
Australian beaches are some of the most pristine and beautiful that you will see anywhere in the world and the 90 mile beach in Victoria Australia is no exception. This huge coastline stretches from near the town of Port Albert all the way through to the town of Lakes Entrance in Gippsland. Technically the beach is actually 94 miles long but really who’s counting when you have miles and miles of sand to swim, sunbake, fish and walk with the waves crashing into the beach. The 90 mile beach is one of the longest uninterrupted stretches of sandy beach anywhere in the world, with no rocky sections on the shore line. If you plan to go camping at 90 mile beach, check out ParkWeb for more information.
The 90 mile beach has 5 major towns along its shoreline being Woodside, Loch Sport, Seaspray, Golden Beach and Lakes Entrance that become a haven for holiday makers in the summer months. Most of these town have a life guard service during those months as the 90 mile beach is known for its ever changing conditions especially for swimmers. Its rough waves can cause trouble during these months so if you are visiting and you are not a strong swimmer it is best to find a section that is patrolled for your safety. If you like fishing you can fish from the shore our you can head out on a fishing tour and see what you can catch. Otherwise find yourself a stretch with no footprints and enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the beach.
Contributed by Bec from wyldfamilytravel.com
2. Oberon Bay, Wilsons Promontory
Oberon Bay is located within Wilsons Prom National Park in Victoria, about 3hrs south-east of Melbourne. The national park is located on a peninsula that represents the southernmost part of the Australian mainland. The area is renowned for its diverse geography and wildlife, along with a history of Aboriginal occupation. The easiest way to get to Oberon Bay is via the walking track from the Tidal River carpark and is one of the best Wilsons Prom walks. This is around 7km one-way so ensure you take a daypack with spare clothes, food and water, and set off early unless you plan to camp out there for the night. If you want to make it a loop walk you can start or end at Telegraph Junction.
The remoteness and ruggedness combined make Oberon Bay one of my favourite beaches in Australia and something you have to include on a Wilsons Promontory tour. The area actually consists of two quite different beaches. Oberon bay itself is a vast, 2km beach, with extensive sand dunes thanks to the prevailing westerly winds. Slightly north of here (on the track to Tidal River) you will find Little Oberon Bay, a very popular spot for day visitors thanks to its impressive natural landscape featuring large boulders on the beach (and also its proximity to the car par
Contributed by Scott from The Adventure Lab
3. Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory
Squeaky Beach is a gorgeous unspoilt beach found at Wilsons Promontory, the southern most point of mainland Australia. ‘The Prom’ as the locals call it is Victoria’s largest coastal wilderness area. It’s a protected area with a rugged landscape filled with hills and outcrops, lush vegetation bursting with wildflowers and long white sandy beaches. Squeaky Beach is famous for its sand that makes a squeaking sound when walked on, giving the popular beach its name and it’s a regular stop on a Wilsons Promontory tour. Take a walk along the iconic beach listening for the squeak and have a dip in its turquoise waters. The northern end of the beach has large granite boulders creating a maze of passages that are just waiting to be explored. The brilliant orange rocks contrast perfectly with the clear blue ocean. Go in the morning to experience the glimmering rocks in the best light. It can be reached via one of the shorter Wilsons Prom walks from the Tidal River Camp Ground – the only place visitors can stay at The Prom and your best bet for Squeaky Beach accommodation.
Contributed by Audrey from gumnutsabroad.com
4. St Kilda, Melbourne
St Kilda is a lively place full of beautiful cafes, grassy places to picnic, Luna Park and a Sunday market that has it all. It also has a beach that drags people to it during summer and even for some a trip during winter. You can walk along the Esplanade basking in the sunshine or you can find a cafe to sit in and enjoy a coffee. You can find a nice grassy place and play a game or have a picnic. If you have little ones you can go to the jetty and look for the famous St Kilda beach penguins, a colony of fairy penguins that have made this beach their home.
St Kilda has a great calm beach with a sandy bank that is perfect for building sand castles and for chasing waves if you don’t want to take a proper dip. Luna Park is a must for any thrill seeker with rides, side show activities and the oldest running wooden roller coaster in the world the Scenic Railway. It is a day trip for many people with plenty to do but it can also be a holiday destination for people wanting a place out of Melbourne with plenty to do with their family.
Contributed by Bec from wyldfamilytravel.com
5. Barwon Heads, Bellarine Peninsula
With its laid-back vibe and unique position, Barwon Heads has lured visitors for decades. Located on the Bellarine Peninsula we have visited often from our hometown Geelong, either for a splash in the ocean or for brunch in a delightful café. Barwon Heads enjoys a dream position where the sparkling Barwon River meets the pounding ocean surf. It’s suitable for all types of beach goers with safe swimming for families along the sandy river foreshore and ocean swimming and surfing over the Bluff at 13th Beach.
There’s more to Barwon Heads than beach and river though with plenty to do on land as well. Enjoy stunning views on the Bluff Circuit Walk to a completely new beach or cross the historical Barwon Heads Bridge and explore the nearby town of Ocean Grove. Shoppers will enjoy some retail therapy along Hitchcock Avenue while visiting foodies can’t leave without stopping by Annie’s Provedore with its jam-packed shelves and drool-inducing food displays. Barwon Heads is also known for its first-rate golf courses with three of the top 30 public access courses in the country. And like all Australian beaches, no trip to Barwon Heads would be complete without fish and chips on its golden sands.
Contributed by Audrey from gumnutsabroad.com
6. Bells Beach, Great Ocean Road
I visited Bells Beach back in 2016 when I was living and working in Melbourne for 2 months. I’d booked in for a surf day with Great Ocean Road Surf Tours, catching the train from Melbourne to Torquay. As part of the day trip, our surf instructor took us to see one of Australia’s best surf beaches, Bells Beach. This internationally-known beach is located a 10 minute drive from Torquay and is a must-visit spot on any Great Ocean Road itinerary.
There isn’t too much sand for sunbaking at Bells Beach as it’s mostly a stunning cliff-face with great views from the car park. We stood here and watched local surfers showing us how it was done, navigating a challenging surf break over a reef. Bells Beach is well-known as the host of the International professional surfing community for the Rip Curl Pro event, which happens every Easter, so if you can, time your Great Ocean Road holidays to coincide with this massive event. Conditions can be variable at Bells Beach, so make sure you always check the Bells Beach surf report for the surf forecast if planning to surf here. At low tide there is great fishing to be had from the reefs at both ends, but be aware that the water is deep immediately off the beach itself.
Contributed by yours truly. For other beautiful must-visit beaches check out My top-10 favourite beaches in New South Wales, My Top 10 Beaches in Western Australia or my Top 10 must-visit beaches in Queensland
7. Anglesea, Great Ocean Road
Anglesea Main Beach is a very popular beach along the Great Ocean Road, for all ages. The town itself has grown dramatically over the past 20 years and now offers fabulous cafes, boutique stores, as well as the essentials. Everything within the town centre, beach included is walkable. The foot and bike path which follows the river, from the town to the beach, is the perfect accompaniment to a clean, well maintained and spectacular Main Beach. The cliff lines in both directions are beautiful, there are rocks to scramble at the Point Road Knight end and the river is a fantastic spot for kids to splash around when the tide is in. The beach is patrolled by the Anglesea Surf Life Saving Club which provides a safe environment for swimmers, body surfers, body boarders, surfers, SUP and kayaks. Alongside the car park of Anglesea Main Beach, you will find toilets, showers, BBQ area and a great playground for the kids to enjoy
8. Lorne, Great Ocean Road
Lorne Main Beach in Victoria is a spectacular stretch of sand and water, with magnificent views back towards Aireys Inlet along the Great Ocean Road, in one direction; and the other, the Lorne Pier heading South West towards Apollo Bay. Lorne has a residential population of just over 1,000 people, however, during holiday periods and over Summer, this figure increases considerably. While Lorne can be particularly busy, it is such a lovely and easy place to holiday. Everything is so close, the main stretch of shops is just 1km, from the supermarket through to the iconic Lorne Hotel.
There are some great eateries, bars, ice cream shops, boutique stores, a cinema, take away options and so much more so should be a feature in your Great Ocean Road itinerary. Get in the car and you can do some beautiful drives, rainforest walks, see waterfalls and explore the Great Ocean Road. On the beach front there is lots of parking, clean and well looked after amenities, a great playground, plenty of room for a picnic or BBQ and even to kick a ball on the grass. Lorne has a patrolled beach making it a very safe place to swim and enjoy the beautiful waters of the Louttit Bay.
9. Loch Ard Gorge, Great Ocean Road
Without a doubt, one of my favourite beaches in Victoria is that of Loch Ard Gorge along the Great Ocean Road. Not necessarily the most ideal place to swim due to often having large swell, this picturesque tiny cove is still certainly worth being included in your Great Ocean Road itinerary. As the picture suggests, this small cove is surrounded by steep cliffs creating a unique beach area perfect for merely sitting and watching the incredibly powerful ocean. To access the beach, it is approximately 240kms east of Melbourne and only 4kms east of the infamous 12 apostles. You must also traverse a set of stairs down to the beach to witness its beauty. Finally, it must be known that this beach can get supremely busy, especially on weekends, holidays and even during the week. Due to this, parking can be hard to find, and patience is required. Please keep this in mind when planning a trip to this gorgeous beach as part of your Great Ocean Road holidays and you won’t be disappointed.
Contributed by Lauren from luxurytravelhacks.com
10. Port Fairy, Great Ocean Road
Port Fairy is just under 300km from Melbourne, in South West Victoria, west of Warrnambool; and, is a gorgeous coastal town. Port Fairy has a rich history and its main industries are fishing and tourism. The residential population of around 3,500 people, is no indication of the actual population daily; it’s a fabulous town to visit all year round with lots of things to do at Port Fairy on a Great Ocean Road holidays. There are caravan parks available if you fancy camping in Port Fairy. There are two main swimming beaches, both as equally valued and loved. At East Beach, you will find a long stretch of sand and water bending around to the South and headed further West, you’ll enjoy the views of the mouth of the river and Lighthouse on Griffith Island. East Beach is patrolled during the Summer and is a popular point for the extended locals. You’ll see surfing, kayaking, kite surfing, body surfing and boarding, swimming, walking, sandcastle building, beach cricket and the rest; during the Winter, you could be fortunate enough to see whales passing by. Amenities are easy to come by, bench seats along a seaside walking track, Surf Club, kiosk and café/restaurant serving your favourites.
Continue around the coastal road past Griffiths Island and you’ll come to Pea Soup; a beautiful, easy, relaxed, popular but quiet beach, fantastic for families as it is well protected. There you can snorkel, climb on rocks, explore in rocks and if you’re feeling brave, go out the back to where the surfers hang out.
Contributed by Erin from Australian Mountains to Sea
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