It’s the home of idyllic beaches, world-class golf courses and fine cafes and restaurants, all just a short jaunt from the centre of Melbourne.
When it comes to relaxation, it doesn’t come much better than the City of Bayside. Just 10km from Melbourne’s CBD and easily accessible by train or car, it offers residents and visitors alike the chance to enjoy life outdoors.
Head to Brighton Beach — don’t forget your camera — to paddle in the shallows, wander along the sand and admire the historic bathing boxes. On the stretch of sand known as the Dendy Street Beach, many of these 82 boxes were built in the late nineteenth century and now have a heritage overlay to preserve their original features. Try out your photography skills to capture their much-loved quirkiness.
Brighton isn’t the only beach to visit when you’re Bayside. Nearby Half Moon Bay used to be a bit of a secret, but it’s out now. Located at Black Rock, this partially protected beach is popular with swimmers during summer. Walk along the jetty here and you’ll be able to see the remains of HMVS Cerebus, grounded here in 1926. The views back to the city skyline are spectacular, too.
Ricketts Point is popular with anyone who likes exploring the shoreline. It’s part of a marine park, and there are a number of rock pools where you can spot crabs, fish and other marine life.
If you’ve got your pooch with you, there’s a dog-friendly beach at Sandown Street. Fido can go off-leash, too, so there’ll be plenty of digging and rolling in the sand, splashing in the shallows and making other doggie mates.
Want to swim but would rather not hit the ocean? You’re covered too, at the Brighton Baths Health Club, where you’re protected by the sea baths and can warm up in the steam room afterwards. This is also the location of The Baths Middle Brighton, an excellent spot for lunch. There’s a casual cafe downstairs and a restaurant serving innovative modern Australian cuisine, alongside some magnificent vistas of Port Phillip Bay, one level up.
Those looking for a good walk or cycle won’t be disappointed. Coastal trails cover 17km of foreshore from the villages of Brighton to Beaumaris. Interpretive signs along the way are there to inform visitors of the Indigenous history of the area, important local events and the natural environment.
The sporting life is celebrated in the City of Bayside. The Sandringham Yacht Club is one of the best in Melbourne. There are lessons for those who’ve never taken to the water before — including kids — plus a year-round racing calendar and an excellent social club, restaurant and bar. For drier fun, pull out your clubs at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. Some of the greatest names in the sport have played here during the Australian Open, and although it’s a private members’ club, anyone who is a member of a golf club around the country can enquire about tee times for visitors.
Don’t forget to visit some of the major shopping precincts at Brighton, Beaumaris, Black Rock, Hampton and Sandringham. Each has its own unique atmosphere, and offers an eclectic mix of shops, cafes and restaurants.