Home » The best beaches for...
Bells Beach, located near Torquay, is Victoria's most famous surf beach and plays host to international surfers as they compete annually at the Rip Curl Pro. Noted for its large ocean swells, it's not for the faint-hearted and is more suited to experienced surfers. For beginners, one of the best beaches to learn surfing at is nearby Ocean Grove. The fairly flat beach with gentle surf is ideal for mastering this iconic water sport.
Phillip Island is also an acclaimed area to surf, with beaches at Woolamai, Smiths, Summerland and Cat Bay declared as part of Australia's National Surfing Reserves which recognise iconic sites of cultural and historic significance in Australian surfing.
Windsurfers from Australia and even overseas come to Shallow Inlet at Sandy Point for high-speed record-breaking sailing. The flat water and strong winds create perfect conditions for this sport.
Port Albert is one of Victoria's few remaining operational coastal fishing villages and it's no wonder that it is so popular with anglers. A variety of fish can be caught, including large snapper and whiting. Cast a line from the wharf or for those that want to get right out onto the water, Port Albert has a concrete boat launching ramp.
...diving and snorkelling
Victoria has a wealth of scuba diving experiences thanks its many marine parks and sanctuaries where divers and snorkellers can explore the underwater world. One of the most interesting and accessible of those is Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, located just off the coast of Beaumaris. There's sandstone platforms, rocky reefs, stony coral, sponge gardens and a plethora of marine life.
It's maximum adrenalin and fun when you experience the ultimate thrill of freefall with a skydiving jump. And one of the best places to try this out is at St Kilda where you'll enjoy views of Melbourne and its bayside beaches like never before.
While most of Victoria's beaches are ideal for kids and the young at heart to create sculptures out of sand, there is one beach which is sure to inspire the creative sand builder. Visit the Frankston waterfront precinct where Sand Sculpting Australia host an annual themed exhibition of hand-crafted life-like sand masterpieces between Christmas and Easter.
There are more than 20 species of whales that either live in or migrate through Victorian waters. One of the best places to see them from the land is Logans Beach at Warrnambool where viewing platforms are provided that overlook the ocean. Between June and October, visitors can observe southern right whales as they migrate to the area's calm waters to give birth to young. If you're wanting to view whales at sea, head to Portland where several tour operators offer whale watching cruises or flights over the ocean.
Australia's largest fur seal breeding colony is located at Seal Rocks, off the western tip of Phillip Island. Visit the Nobbies Centre where you can observe the seals using binoculars provided or learn about them through interactive displays. Alternatively, take a seal watching cruise with Wildlife Coast Cruises where you can get to within metres of these creatures.
Intelligent, curious and playful, dolphins are one of the most fascinating of all marine creatures. Head to the pristine waters at the southern end of Port Phillip around Queenscliff, Portsea and Sorrento, and either catch a glimpse of them from the shore, hop aboard a sightseeing cruise to get a closer look, or join a dolphin swim tour where you can snorkel alongside the bay's resident dolphins.
Imagine horseback riding along a spectacular ocean beach. The southern end of the Mornington Peninsula is one of the best places for this exhilarating experience with several trail ride operators offering guided rides along Gunnamatta Beach near Cape Schanck and Rye Ocean Beach.
Some beaches in Victoria, particularly those in town centres, have restrictions when it comes to your pet dog. Dogs may be either prohibited totally, only allowed if they are kept on a leash, or permitted off-leash only during certain months. At Mornington, you and your dog can run around freely throughout the year at Royal Beach or the more secluded Fosters Beach.