Most people don’t associate Melbourne with the beach. Culture, coffee, fashion, art — yes. Golden tans and bikinis? No.
The north–south cultural divide in Melbourne is strong — so strong, in fact, that many Melburnians who live north of the Yarra River very rarely clamp eyes on the sea.
But Melbourne is a beach city; Port Melbourne and St Kilda lie just 20–30 minutes south of the CBD by tram or bicycle. And while these may not match up to Sydney’s Bondi, or the glorious beaches of the Great Ocean Road, they are beautiful in their own right.
As the weather cools, you can still take advantage of Melbourne’s beaches by cycling the great bike paths that follow the coastline. You can find maps of these paths, and others, at bikemap.net and Bike Paths and Rail Trails.