Escape The City Heat With A Day Across The Bay
As our hot summer continues (and shows no immediate signs of abating) the beach is one of the best places to be. And just quietly, we think Portarlington has some of the best beaches in and around Melbourne.
Jumping aboard Port Phillip Ferries at Docklands, you can travel in air-conditioned comfort and take in city and coastal views as you make the hassle-free journey to Portarlington.
With a superb selection of beaches to choose from, all of which are consistently rated as some of the cleanest in Melbourne, deciding where to unroll your towel and prop your umbrella will be the hardest task of the day.
Those who simply want a clean, family-friendly beach can step straight off the ferry to the Portarlington main beach. This sheltered stretch of sand is a popular summer hang spot where you can relax as you take in sweeping views of the bay and Melbourne city skyline. The Portarlington Foreshore, with its towering Cypress Pines, provides a picturesque backdrop.
With shallow, calm water and plenty of sand, this really is the ideal family beach where the kids will be happily entertained for hours.
Those looking for something a little more private will love Point Richards West (off Ramblers Road). An easy 5 to 10-minute bike ride to the west of town, this laidback beach boasts stunning views of Port Phillip Bay and the You Yangs. Best of all, you’ll pretty much have the whole place to yourself. If you prefer to swim and lounge on the sand alone, this is the place for you.
The easiest way to access Point Richards West is by bike, you can bring your own, making use of the free bike racks on the Ferry, or you can hire a bike on arrival. For bike riding minus the huff and puff, we suggest hiring an e-bike with Bella E-Bike Hire. Booking ahead is strongly recommended. Alternatively, book a trip with Fergos Bongos and be transported around town at leisure.
Those feeling active can also choose to walk along the coast between the Pier and Point Richards West, which takes approximately 30 minutes.
Heading in an easterly direction from the Portarlington Pier, a couple of smaller beaches are also easily accessible. Simply follow The Esplanade as far as you fancy and you’ll be rewarded with a number of seemingly private, secluded beaches. You’ll feel like you’ve discovered your own secret piece of paradise.
After all this swimming and exploring, be sure to leave some time for fish and chips, followed by a scoop (or two) of ice cream before catching the afternoon ferry back to Docklands. Our top picks are The Boyz Portarlington Fish & Chips, Boatman’s Fish & Chips and The Pier View Lolly Shop.
As you cruise back to Docklands in comfort, maybe even having a little afternoon nap along the way, you’ll question why you’d ever drive to the beach again.