I have been to Melbourne many times over the years, but I had never been down to Brighton to see the iconic beach boxes. I had a couple of hours to spare on a recent trip so decided it was time to go and have a look.
My preparation before arriving in Melbourne consisted of a quick look at the Public Transport Victoria website. I have used this many times before to plan out a trip in Melbourne using public transport. It has a journey planner, so it’s really easy to stick in where you are travelling from and to, and it will give you all the available options and how long each will take. I stuck Brighton Beach into the “To” field, and discovered there was a train straight there, so kept in my mind I needed to get on the Sandringham train. It would take about 30 minutes on the train.
Once in Melbourne, we made our way to Flinders Street Station (but could have gone to any of the CBD stations) and waited for the next Sandringham train. While waiting, the notification board above our head scrolled through all the stations the train would stop at. I always take note of the station before the one I need so that I am prepared to get off. There were three Brighton stations – North Brighton, Middle Brighton and Brighton Beach. Clearly I needed to get off at Brighton Beach, because, well, that one was the beach!
We get off the train and immediately smell the sea air. We follow the rest of the crowds towards the water. As we cross the road and come to the top of the stairs leading down to the sand we stop dead! There are no beach boxes to be seen in either direction as the beach curves off to the left and the right. Oh boy! This is what happens when I just assume I know where I am going and don’t do any research.
I noticed that most of the crowd turned towards the right, so we also headed in that direction to the end of the beach. We walked up over a headland, and we were about to descend down into the next bay. There in the distance, past another headland, were the beach boxes! We now knew we were going in the right direction.
It took us about twenty-five minutes to walk along the beachfront to reach the beach boxes. The day we were there it was sunny but also very windy. There were only a few people on the beach, but it so no crowds. A lot of people were doing what we were doing, walking along photographing the beach boxes.
The boxes are so bright and colourful and taking this excursion is a great way to spend an hour or two.
What We Should Have Done
As it was time to leave, I finally did what I should have done in the first place. I used Google Maps to find the nearest train station. Middle Beach station was about a 15 minute walk from the northern end of the beach boxes – much closer than the Brighton Beach station. It’s not a straight walk, and if visiting you will need to have some sort of directions. Either use Google Maps, or get directions before you catch the train.
Catching Public Transport in Melbourne
I couldn’t write this without a quick mention of Melbourne’s slightly quirky public transport system. You must buy a myki card to be able to travel on the trains, trams and buses. There is no way to pay cash for a single trip. I bought my myki card at the airport at the Skybus ticket office. They offer a $15 (adult) tourist myki card that is pre-loaded with $9 worth of credit and also includes some tourist maps and discount vouchers. You can find out more about myki here.