There are a few different locations to see bathing boxes near Melbourne, the most famous is Brighton Beach. 

For anyone who has seen pictures of colourful wooden cabanas lined up along the beaches near Melbourne – these are known as bathing boxes or beach boxes. 

They can be viewed on beaches near Melbourne’s bayside suburbs and along the Mornington Peninsula.

The most popular location is Brighton Beach due to the large number of bathing boxes there and its proximity to the city.

You can view the colourful, iconic structures on our Phillip Island Day Tour or Mornington Peninsula Day Tour

What are Bathing Boxes?

Bathing boxes were used for modest bathing in the 1800’s. At the time changing at the beach was not acceptable. The solution was to have a private bathing box in which to get changed.

Where can I see bathing boxes near Melbourne?

Brighton Beach 

Melbourne’s Brighton Beach has the largest concentration of bathing boxes in the area. There are almost 90 boxes lined up along the one beach. You can visit Brighton Beach on our Phillip Island tour to marvel at the long row of colourful beach boxes. It is a great spot for photos and it has an interesting history.

The bathing boxes are painted in many different colours and different designs. In summertime it is common to see the beach and the beach boxes in use. Mostly the boxes are used to store chairs, beach umbrellas and fishing equipment. 

How to visit Brighton Beach 

You can visit Brighton Beach on our Phillip Island day tour from Melbourne. It is our first stop on the tour, just a short drive from the city centre. It is a great place to take photos and scroll along the sand to admire the many different designs.  

Brighton Beach is not the only stop on our Phillip Island tour. Here are some of the other highlights:

  • Take a guided tour of the award-winning Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
  • Meet and feed a wide range of Australian animals including koalas, wombats, dingoes, and more
  • Tour Point Grant for views of the Nobbies and Seal Rocks
  • Visit the Penguin Parade to witness thousands of Little Penguins returning from the ocean to their burrows in the dunes

Mornington Peninsula

In addition to seeing bathing boxes at Brighton Beach, you can view them along the Mornington Peninsula as well. They were originally built here for the same purpose – they were essentially the change rooms at the beach. 

These days the boxes along the Mornington Peninsula are individually owned by local Melbourne residents and mainly used for storing beach gear. On a hot summer’s day, you’ll find the owners enjoying the bayside beaches with all of their towels, beach chairs and umbrellas etc, all stored right there.

How to visit the Mornington Peninsula

You can view bathing boxes on our Mornington Peninsula Tour. In towns such as Dromana you can see the colourful beach huts lined up alongside the bay. It is great for photos and for discovering the history of the area, as well as the summer pastimes today. 

Here’s an overview of our Ultimate Mornington Peninsula Tour – in addition to viewing the bathing boxes in the area:

  • Explore the coastal towns of Portsea and Sorrento, home to Melbourne’s rich and famous
  • Take a one-way gondola ride on the Arthur’s Seat Eagle
  • Chocolate tasting at Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie
  • Optional strawberry picking – Nov to March only

History of bathing boxes in Melbourne

The Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung peoples were the Indigenous Australians who inhabited the Yarra River catchment and land surrounding eastern Port Phillip Bay and Western Port. 

We recognise their continuing connection to the land and waters, and thank them for protecting this coastline and its ecosystems since time immemorial. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

These clans of the Kulin Nation have a relationship with the land that extends back tens of thousands of years to when their creator spirit ‘Bunjil’ formed their people, the land and all living things.

In the 1830s groups of pastoral pioneers arrived and settled in the area. A few decades later the Gold Rush brought many more settlers from all over the world. From around the 1860’s bathing boxes were built on the waters edge at locations around Port Phillip Bay.  

How much do bathing boxes cost in Melbourne? 

Owning a bathing box in the Melbourne area – either at Brighton Beach or the Mornington Peninsula – is considered a sign of wealth. It is exclusive beach property and there are limited numbers. This has made prices increase over the years. 

Many bathing boxes have been owned by families and passed through the generations for many years. The Brighton Beach Boxes can only be owned by local ratepayers and have reached record prices of over $300,000 per box. 

Other coastal attractions near Melbourne

In addition to the colourful bathing boxes, there are many other beach attractions near Melbourne. If you enjoy viewing the coast and want to see what Melbourne has to offer on a day tour, consider these great locations.

12 Apostles

The 12 Apostles are limestone rock formations situated along the Great Ocean Road. The views from the Lookout platform show the limestone stacks, towering cliffs and the wild Southern Ocean. It is an iconic location that can be visited on our Great Ocean Road Tour. 

Little Penguins

The world’s smallest penguins are an amazing sight. The nightly Penguin Parade at Phillip Island is the best place to view these incredible birds up close. You can watch the Little Penguins waddle across the beach through the sand dunes on our Phillip Island Day Tour from Melbourne. 

Coastal Hikes

If you like to get off the beaten track and explore nature, Wilsons Promontory is a great place to do it. The coastal national park has pristine beaches and many walking tracks. Walk through forests to spectacular coastal viewpoints on our Wilsons Promontory National Park day tour.

Surf Beaches 

Close by Melbourne are some world famous beaches along Surf Coast. This area is famous for its surf culture and many great surf breaks. To view the famous waves and visit the beaches of the Surf Coast, join us on a Great Ocean Road day tour from Melbourne.


Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator