Victoria's great ocean beaches can be easily found just a short distance from central Melbourne. These fascinating places make for the perfect opportunity to indulge in two of my favourite pastimes.
• sea glass collecting
It is such an exhilarating experience to walk along a deserted beach with the wind in your hair and all your senses on full alert. Winter is my choice of seasons to do just this as the rugged coastline is usually deserted and I can really appreciate the wild and untamed landscape.
These beaches are perfect places to capture some amazing photography as well.
The Victorian west and east coast beaches overlook Bass Straight and the seas are notoriously rough due to the weather conditions, hence the ongoing erosion of the cliff faces and sandy beaches.
The open ocean coastline of Victoria serves up a diverse range of beaches. Some for swimming, some for surfing and some for just plain old wandering, head down, mind sorting out the problems of the world or scouring the shoreline for that unique treasure.
To introduce you to the fantastic Victorian rugged coastline, I have selected a few of my favourite back beaches, some I have spent long hours exploring and I highly recommend that you take the time to do so as well.
As a very young child I was introduced to the amazing, wild and thrilling aspects of the back Melbourne's beaches. Many a happy hour was spent sifting through the sands, clambering over the coastal rock ledges, exploring rock pools and fossicking for bits and pieces.
Early years were spent collecting pretty shells and as I grew older I realised that there was so much more to collect that the sea threw up onto the shoreline. Beachcombing became my favourite past time.
On these back Melbourne beaches I have collected ...
My very first memories of days spent at the ocean back beach, were of warm sunny times exploring the rock pools at Sorrento.
You will find an amazing stretch of ocean beach. Just a short stroll down from the car park, leads you to soft, sandy stretches along the foreshore, tantalising rock pools to explore and expanses of seaweed hugging rock ledges.
When the tide is out these rock pools and ledges are a swimmer's and beachcomber's delight. There are deep blue pools brimming with incredible marine life.
Some of these pools are large enough to snorkel in...what a great way to learn about some of the ocean's treasures, a real up close and personal experience.
Sorrento's swimming hole just to the right of the carpark, has a rock platform where you are able to dive from into the clean, crystal clear waters of Bass Strait. This is refreshed daily with the new tide arrival.
A safe family beach that can be enjoyed by all age groups. There are BBQ and Picnic facilities available and a kiosk for that hot cuppa and bucket of piping hot, salty chips on a cold and blustery winter's day.
This is a popular beach for excellent swimmers and surfers, however the waters are very dangerous so please, if you do want to swim here take notice of the flags when the beach is being patrolled and never swim alone.
The rock arch London Bridge has been formed by the erosion of wind and waves. It can be found by walking along the Farnsworth Track which hugs the cliff line to the west of the beach or you can reach it by car on the back beach road ... just watch for the sign on your right.
The walk offers you an amazing view eastwards to Cape Shank, Arthurs Seat and westward towards Barwon heads and the Otway Ranges.
These open stretches of sandy beaches, an occasional rocky outcrop and saltbrush wind-swept dunes are perfect for long and delightfully soul mending walks, with or without the kids.
Here you can sing to your hearts content, or shout your cares away, or with head down and absorbed in the art of the beachcomber, wile away many an hour or two or more.
If you enjoy surfing, then this stretch of foreshore on the back beaches of Mornington make for great waters. Just watch the rips.
The beaches are vacuumed daily by nature and sometimes she offers up a few of her well chosen treasures to share.
The beaches are patrolled weekends and public holidays, swimming and surfing here is really for the very experienced as the waters are very dangerous. This stretch of coastline also is a fantastic area to surf fish.
These beaches also provide an excellent chance to explore the underwater coastline. Scuba diving is a popular past time for some although please do so with company as the rock ledges and open ocean seas make the area quite formidable.
On the eastern section of Phillip Island the Western Port Bay waters mingle with those from the Bass Strait bringing with them some fascinating sea treasures.
On the back western beaches the coastline is rugged and the swimming is dangerous so be cautions if you are intending to do so. Perfect beaches to beachcombe and take photos though looking out onto the open ocean seas of Bass Strait. You might even catch a glimpse of one of the big ocean liners that sometimes find their way into Western Port Bay.
Another excellent way to discover the ocean beaches of this amazing natural wonderland is to take full advantage of my travel partner, Viator, who offer an amazing tours into this region.
Click the image below for a selection of tours onto Phillip Island.
Snorkelling around these rocky areas can bring a very pleasant surprise ... huge crayfish, yummy! Swimming at this beach is quite dangerous so only swim in areas that are patrolled, usually on a weekend and public holidays.
For some amazing photography you can't go past this beach, nature at its best, Point Lonsdale is a great family getaway diversion.
Further along this amazing ocean coastline you will find amazing, rugged beaches. Some of these are accessible whilst others can be admired from on top of the cliff tops.
Here is a map that shows you where these selected beaches are.
Just click onto the map for a larger image and follow the directions as to how to get there.
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