Recently on Facebook I posted a list of Victoria’s 100 Things to Do Before You Die – and realised that I had lots of place to catch up on! So, in a quest to tick off one of Melbourne’s most iconic locations, we visited the Brighton Bathing Boxes located at Dendy Street Beach.
These 82 beach boxes are small wooden huts painted in a exuberant rainbow of colours and designs and provide a gorgeous backdrop to the glistening curve of Middle Brighton’s beach. On a sunny day there’s no nicer place to be in Melbourne.
The bathing boxes were built over a century ago in response to Victorian-era sensibilities about getting undressed in public for seaside bathing. All the boxes retain classic Victorian architectural features such as timber framing, weatherboards and a corrugated iron roof.
The bathing boxes are notorious for being prime real estate, worth more than whole houses (though note only Bayside rate payers can own them). That’s because they’re heritage listed and you can’t build any more along that stretch of sand. Plus they’re so pretty!
We loved the Brighton Bathing Boxes for their small shaded decks (which are unofficially open for public use) for sitting, lounging and playing and the many opportunities for hide-and-seek.
There is of course the beach, which is still, shallow and provides shimmering views of the city and the Western side of Port Phillip Bay.
After a visit to Dendy Street Beach it’s a short drive or walk/ride along the foreshore path to the Middle Brighton Municipal Baths and Middle Brighton Pier.
This historic Art Deco building houses the entrance to the sea baths (and gym, sauna and exercise rooms), a beach kiosk, cafe/bar and restaurant called The Baths. We had lunch at the cafe/bar which has an unenviable view of the sea baths and beyond from its wooden deck.
The menu is large and fairly standard cafe fare. The kids menu is particularly generous, as $12 gets you a huge serve of pizza, fish and chips or spaghetti napoli and a choice of a small dessert. Beware the prices of the smoothies, which are $12!
Brighton Beach’s foreshore and the Brighton Bathing Boxes are one of those iconic must-do locations for locals and visitors to Melbourne – just pick a sunny day and pack your selfie-stick!
- beach parking $5 per hour at Middle Brighton Beach and $4 per hour at The Baths at Middle Brighton;
- pack your hat, sunscreen, towel and sandals. That sand gets really hot underfoot!
- Other than the shade provided by the small decks of the beach boxes there’s no shade at the beach;
- take a stroll along historic Middle Brighton Pier and admire the marina; and
- The Baths has pram access, high chairs and kids menu.