Brighton is one of Melbourne’s most exclusive suburbs, located south of the city between Elwood and Hampton and fronting Port Phillip with its stretches of beautiful sandy beaches.
Brighton is well serviced with a diverse selection of separate shopping precincts. The major centre of Brighton is situated along Church Street and offers supermarkets, a cinema at the Dendy Plaza Shopping Centre and a selection of high-end fashion and beauty establishments. Bay Street in North Brighton is a historic shopping strip where cafes and restaurants blend in with fashion and gift shops. Near the Gardenvale station is Martin Street where there’s a mix of gourmet food outlets and contemporary retailers. And finally, the coastal thoroughfare of The Esplanade is dotted with a selection of hotels and a small commercial hub opposite the Middle Brighton Baths.
With almost 6 kilometres of coastline within Brighton’s suburban boundary, there is a diverse range of attractions and activities for all. A pedestrian and bicycle path runs along much of the foreshore, lined with palm trees, gardens and open lawns. The Middle Brighton Pier leads to a large marina facility and adjacent to that are the Middle Brighton Baths. These historic sea baths have been enjoyed by visitors since 1881 and the complex includes a cafe, restaurant, gymnasium and function facilities. Designated areas of Brighton’s beaches are used by windsurfers and water skiers.
The most famous spot on Brighton’s coastline is the Dendy Street Beach. The colourful bathing boxes which line this stretch of coast are a well-known Melbourne icon and reflect a bygone era where swimmers and visitors to the beach had private changing and storage facilities. Good views of the bathing boxes and Melbourne’s skyline can be enjoyed from the gardens at Green Point. The 82 Brighton bathing boxes are unique because of their uniform scale and proportion, building materials, sentry order alignment and a Planning Scheme Heritage Overlay on a beach owned by Bayside City Council. As simple structures, all retain classic Victorian architectural features with timber framing, weatherboards and corrugated iron roofs. They remain as they did over one hundred years ago, as licensed bathing boxes. No service amenities such as electricity or water are connected.
Visitors can appreciate Brighton’s beautiful gardens and historic architecture at a number of locations in the suburb. The Brighton Town Hall Precinct, on Carpenter Street, includes the impressive facade of the town hall building, surrounding lawns and rose garden. The local council offices, a library and theatre are located on the site. The Billilla Historic Homestead in Halifax Street features beautiful gardens which are open to the public. Kamesburgh is a grand Italianate mansion on North Road, set within formal English gardens and water features. Elsternwick Park, which borders the neighbouring suburb of Elwood, consists of a series of lakes surrounded by gardens, playgrounds and sporting ovals.
Content: Travel Victoria