If you are looking for some quiet moments on one of the Melbourne’s beautiful beaches head straight to Brighton. It is 11 kms from the CBD and is one of the most exclusive suburbs named after Brighton, England. It has a very beautiful beach and 82 colourful unique, historical Bathing Boxes.
The story goes that in 1840, Henry Dendy purchased 5120 acres of Port Phililip at 1 Pound per acre, to develop housing along the sea. However, as this area was really short on drinking water his plans failed miserably and he died a pauper. His agent, Binns Were, who purchased this land from him, was lucky.
After the depression, this are became the third most populated town in Port Phillip. It attracted a lot of wealthy residents who wanted to build beautiful homes along the sea. After the area was connected by train to Melbourne the area really boomed and like they say, the rest is history.
The now famous Bathing Boxes on the beach were first put up here in 1862 along the edge of water as in those days mixed bathing was strictly prohibited. Separate sections of the beach were earmarked for men and women.
It is not clear if there were 100 or 200 such boxes were put up to enable women to enter them straight from water but 82 of them survived in their present site. These are now the only ones surviving caged water baths in Australia and are owned by Melbourne’s who’s who.
Brighton is serviced by a diverse selection of shopping precincts and attractions. The most famous spot here is the bicycle and pedestrian path running along the foreshore line with palm trees, gardens and lawns called the Dendy’ Street Beach.
We were lucky when we visited this beach one late afternoon, with a clear day with perfect temperature and a low tide. We witnessed a lot of activity on the beach including a photo shoot and it was the perfect time to enjoy this beautiful beach.