Mornington Peninsula: Portsea Back Beach
Get There: Park in the carpark at the end of London Bridge Road in Portsea and walk down to the sand.
At the end of the Mornington Peninsula lies the ultimate fairytale seascape: Portsea Back Beach. Wind your way down a wooden staircase set in the dunes to discover a craggy coast beset with bizarre cliff formations and a giant turquoise pool perfect for snorkelling. The beach is also home to a hollowed-out seastack – London Bridge, which is riddled with nooks and crannies to explore. There’s nothing nicer than sitting amongst the starfish in its main chamber and watching the tide suck in and out over the reef platforms.
If fingering sea anemones isn’t really your thing, Portsea Back Beach also boasts consistent surf all year round, and is very rarely crowded, possibly because it’s just up from where Australian PM Harold Holt vanished while going for a dip in in 1967.
As London Bridge Road is so far away from the Peninsula’s residential areas, you can usually snooze in the carpark overnight without being hassled. If you do, the beach is completely hidden from the carpark and everywhere else, so is a brilliant place to have a campfire and toast some marshmallows when the sun goes down. Just don’t kick sand over the coals when you’re done lest they’re still hot the next day and some unsuspecting toddler burns their little hoofs.