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HOT: Half Moon Bay, Black Rock

When people ask for tips on the best family-friendly beaches in Melbourne, Half Moon Bay always gets a mention.

Half Moon Bay

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The poetically named Half Moon Bay is a calm, gentle and shallow beach on Port Phillip Bay near Black Rock. As the name suggests, the little inlet is deeply curved into a half moon crescent shape and the surrounding Red Bluff cliffs make it a particularly sheltered beach for little kids.

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay is small and very much a ‘local’s’ beach. There’s a couple of colourful beach huts, a surf life-saving club (with public toilets) and the Black Rock Yachting Club, plus the restaurant Cerberus Beach House with gorgeous views of the bay, particularly at sunset.

Half Moon Bay

The downstairs beach kiosk of Cerberus Beach House is also a hangout and the owners know regulars by name.

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

We try their fish and chips, frequently named as one of Melbourne’s 10 top best fish and chips.


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Half Moon Bay

The fish is fresh, the batter is crunchy and the chips are plentiful. The seagulls look on hungrily!

Half Moon Bay

Then it’s down to the beach for some sand play and a paddle. Half Moon Bay is also home to the shipwreck of HMVS Cerberus which acts as a breakwater and older kids can swim out further out. Just note that the Cerberus is a heritage protected zone and for safety swimmers should stay outside of the protected zone. There’s also a small jetty where the locals go to fish and jetski.

Click here for more of Melbourne’s best beaches for kids

Click here for Melbourne’s best beachside eats

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  • Suitable for kids;
  • Half Moon Bay is also home to HMVS Cerberus, the last surviving monitor warship. Cerberus is a heritage protected zone and for safety swimmers should stay outside of the protected zone;
  • Little shade;
  • Paid parking at top of cliffs and at beach level. Stair access from top of cliffs. Parking was $5.30 an hour or $16.80 per day;
  • Enjoy fish and chips with a view at beach kiosk of Cerberus Beach House;
  • Upstairs of Cerberus Beach House is award-winning licensed restaurant with views.

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About Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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