Guidebook Head to the beach

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Head to the beach

Let's face it: we're not Sydney, writes Patrick Hatch in The Age. “But while our northern neighbours might brag about Bondi, there's no shortage of beautiful beaches right here in Melbourne.” A weekend trip along the Great Ocean Road to Torquay or Lorne is an unbeatable Victorian experience, he says, “but there are plenty of sandy spots in the capital perfect for a quick dip too.”

Beautiful beaches that are secluded and free of crowds, recommends Monique La Terra in The Culture Trip: Dendy Street Beach in Brighton “attracts scores of tourists and locals alike who travel from all corners of the world to see Brighton’s Bathing Boxes … dating back to 1881, these 82 colourful weatherboard sheds were originally used as changing rooms during an era of modesty” … Sorrento Front Beach “features idyllic crystal waters with front row views of the comings and goings of the Queenscliff-Sorrento ferry … the gentle lapping of the water is perfect for families, and the two jetties are top spots to cast a line” … Mordialloc Beach is “popular with families … the shoreline is boarded by a foreshore reserve and features a pier, picnic area, and peaceful promenade” … Mount Martha beach “steadily slopes to the shoreline, and the strong westerlies create waves up to one metre … the beach is popular with swimmers and sailors, with yachts dotted down the stretch of coast” … Bushrangers Bay Beach “is a raw reminder of Melbourne’s natural beauty … although it may not provide ideal conditions for casual swimmers, the scenery alone is worth the trip” … and Point King beach in Sorrento is “a pristine oasis of reef flats seething with marine life, private jetties and azure water.”

“Escape the crowds and say hello to these lesser-known slices of paradise,” writes James Di Fabrizio as he introduces Beat’s guide to Melbourne’s secret beaches. Tideways in Sorrento is “a secluded gem with great views hidden between bursting vegetation” that “comes loaded with a large jetty, perfect for cannonballing into the icy waters.” Half Moon Bay in suburban Black Rock “may be one of the smaller beaches on this list, but what it lacks in size it makes up for with sheer beauty and adventure … if you’re feeling especially daring, try swimming or rafting out to the rusted shipwreck of HMVS Cerberus -- a vessel first commissioned in 1867.” Kerferd Road Beach, just under 15 minutes from the city, with its “heritage listed pier, first erected in the 1800’s” and “vast tides to swim through” is “ripe for a quick escape”. Point King at Portsea is “protected from the elements on even the windiest days” is “also famous for its dynamic marine life, and is a favourite for budding scuba divers.” Pearse’s Beach is “a hidden jewel in the crown of beaches that sit between Sorrento and Rye ... a smaller pocket beach, surrounded with steep and sandy dunes.”

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