Howdy all. Let me tell you about a day I spent in January, where abouts? In Brighton, that’s where. There’s a vlog I published a little while ago from this day, but I think I can cover more in writing and I think it’s worth a blog post of its own anyways!
Melbourne as a destination throws up many different and indeed varied offerings to the visitor from its CBD, to theatre, culture and of course, food food food! Outside the CBD there are many different suburbs with their own feel and personality, some that are gritty and some that are opulent. And Brighton fits into the second category.
According to Domain dot com, the median house price in Brighton is approaching $2 million AUD. It’s certainly a very upmarket suburb where the beachside houses are basically mansions in a prime location looking out of the beaches to Port Phillip Bay. The schools are very exclusive and many (what passes for) Aussie celebrities choose to live in Brighton. Shane Warne for example, not sure if he still lives in Brighton but he certainly did for many years.
My adventures in Brighton were pretty much limited to the beach area. Beach Road runs, strangely enough, along the beach all the way from Mordialloc to St Kilda, passing through Brighton and it’s on this road that you will see these large houses which today are worth far more than Brighton’s median price for sure.
Brighton is a largish area and there are three railway stations in Brighton – North Brighton, Middle Brighton and Brighton Beach. It’s easy enough to get to Brighton then, taking the Sandringham line around 25 to 30 minutes from the CBD depending on which station you’re alighting at. Brighton Beach would have worked for me, however I drove which worked even better! From Brighton Beach up to the Brighton Baths, the point I went to furthest from Brighton Beach station, it’s around 2.5 kilometres. There’s a trail alongside the beach and you can walk on Beach Road too – beware of the cyclists though!
So it’s not a huge are but it’s a really nice one, even if it was cloudy on the day I went. I actually started at the famous Brighton Beach Boxes, which are around 1km from the station, and in the middle of the three spots I visited. They are at the end of Dendy street, and there are apparently 82 of these little boxes sitting on the beach these days.
They are on the whole meticulously maintained by the owners, who keep them well painted so that the colours are bright. They date back to the 1800s and the purpose of the boxes was for people to change inside them. Now they are a pretty sight indeed! You can’t actually go inside them as they are all I believe privately owned, and they cost on average around $350,000AUD each, which for a small box that really just sits on the beach while people come and snap selfies in front of it, is pretty steep I reckon but that’s Brighton for you!
Personally my favourite was this one above – red, white and blue, in the pattern of the guernsey of the Western Bulldogs Football Club, my AFL team! The beach is pretty nice actually and in hot weather pretty busy. Not a bad place for a swim – even on the coolish day I was there people were swimming. Heck, even I went in later in a different spot.
It was lunch time and so I had lunch at the Brighton Baths. This building with an amazing Art Deco exterior holds baths in one section and a restaurant/bar in another. Read about my dining experience here – Tasting Melbourne – The Baths, Middle Brighton.
If you’re looking for a bathing experience, this might be for you! They own a section of the beach and indeed water with a sort of pier around it that patrons can swim in too. Middle Brighton Pier is next door and leads to many boats moored out there. I wanted to go for a walk, but the pier was closed for repairs. Further on you can walk up to north Brighton, a very nice seaside spot. You can walk for a number of kilometres all told up to St Kilda and beyond or south to Mordialloc. Or cycle if it takes your fancy.
Finally, I have discovered a scuba diving website that recommends spots to scuba and snorkel around Melbourne. It had NEVER occurred to me that I could snorkel in my own backyard, I thought it would be too cold and there wasn’t much of interest in Port Phillip Bay. But I was very wrong! Rickett’s Point, where I hope to try soon, is apparently a great spot and not far away from Brighton, but there was a place called Green Point which was recommended for an easy snorkel. So I decided to try it.
It was closer to the station, so I drove down there and parked. All parking near the beach is paid parking by the way. I didn’t bring a snorkel though, I didn’t intend on spending a lot of time in the water, so I just had my swimmers and my underwater camera. I found it cold at first, but once fully submerged it was really fine and I didn’t get cold after that.
I swam around a little, walked a little, I needed to keep standing to take a breath. The water was surprisingly clear and although I couldn’t see any marine life, the was marine vegetation. I did see a few star fish, no other kinds of fish sadly but in and out of the rocks it was pretty beautiful. It didn’t get very deep and maybe I should have gone further out, I don’t know. What I do know is that I put my foot down and from beneath the sand a stingaree, a relatively small stingray, zoomed off from underneath the sand and my foot. I was fortunate it didn’t sting me. The stings can apparently be quite nasty and I was a little freaked for 10 minutes or so and immediately returned to shore. Now in retrospect I am disappointed I didn’t film it.
I went back in after collecting myself, but didn’t get much more in the way of interesting footage. But the water was lovely really and I was happy with what I saw. I am going to do more Melbourne snorkels!
Brighton is a great place to spend a bit of time if you’re visiting Melbourne and it’s warm and you’re looking for a bit of time at the beach be it catching some rays, swimming or even snorkelling. You have the iconic beach houses and baths if you like them, and it’s a great walk along the shore as well. Thanks for popping by today, take care – and May the Journey Never End!