Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes

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Our pre-Australia research was practically nil, which left our investigation of things to do and see for when we arrived. I did retain, however, one scrap of information from an email my aunt had sent me about visiting the Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes. The details were fuzzy, but I had a mental image in my head of the string of brightly painted beach boxes and put seeing them on our list of Things To Do while in Melbourne. A quick internet search provided the specifics we needed and we planned to make a short day trip out of it while we were staying in Seaford.

Vibrantly painted Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes.

The vibrantly painted beach boxes in Brighton are iconic.

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes History & Facts

Beach boxes and boatsheds are popular throughout the Mornington Peninsula, but the Dendy Street Beach Bathing Boxes are more unique. Rather than being scattered about, they are situated in a line, are uniform in size (approximately 6.5 x 6.5 x 8 feet) and materials used (wooden structures with tin roofs), and the colors are regulated by Bayside City Council and the Brighton Bathing Box Association.

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes are uniform in size and materials used and are situated in a single line.

The bathing boxes were situated in a single line in 1934.

Some are newly constructed, while others date back more than 100 years. No water or electricity are connected to the small square boxes, which were originally used as ladies’ changing rooms. Now they are used by owners to store beach-going equipment and as a place to rest in the shade.

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes: A view from behind the boxes

A view from the behind the boxes.

The boxes can only be owned by residents of Brighton. When they were first made for sale, they sold for about $12,000. However, the price has skyrocketed and, in 2011, a single beach box fetched $260,000. Even though they cost more than most houses, residing in a beach box or subletting it is strictly prohibited.

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes look even brighter under a dark, cloudy sky

The Dendy Street Beach bathing boxes look even brighter under a dark clouds.

Getting to the Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes

Since we planned on spending most of the day in the Bayside area, rather than heading directly for the Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes, we rode the train south to the last stop, Sandringham, and walked the coastal path north 3.7 km to Dendy Street Beach. We strolled on sandy upper trails of the foreshore reserve, which provided fantastic bay views, and sidewalks along the beach’s edge.

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Views from the coastal path on the way to see the Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes.

Views of the bay from the coastal path.

When we arrived at Green Point, we were stunned by the clear shot of Melbourne’s skyline. We rounded the corner for our first far-away glimpse of the Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes, which were a rainbow of color along the beach. Continuing our trek along the shore, it wasn’t long before we arrived at Dendy Street Beach.

The Melbourne skyline from Green Point.

The Melbourne skyline from Green Point.

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes as seen from afar.

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes as seen from afar.

While there is a significant historical and cultural value in the Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes, we were most captivated by how they looked. With the sun low in the sky and quick moving clouds directly overhead, the vividly colorful boxes looked even brighter. As a whole, they are quite a sight, but we both picked our favorite beach box; Kris liked the Australian flag box, while I favored the box with a colorful crab painted on the doors.

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes: A popular box is painted like the Australian flag.

This box, painted like an Australian flag, is Kris’s favorite.

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes: Playfully painted featuring a crab

The playfully painted beach box is Sarah’s favorite.

Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes

We want to know: Have you seen the bathing boxes in Brighton? Which Brighton Beach Bathing Box do you like best? Leave your comment below!

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8 thoughts on “Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes

  1. Deanna

    This blog is fantastic. Love the pictures – the colors of the bathing boxes are awe inspiring. I like the flag and crab as well, but think the wave is my favorite. What a sight that must have been.

  2. Anonymous

    So glad you found the bathing boxes……love your pics of them!!!!! I like the one with the kangaroo on it, even though it’s painted in John Deere colors!!!! Phil was wondering if the hugh price of the bathing boxes goes to some sort of charitable organization as he thinks it would not cost more than a couple of hundred dollars in materials to build one……whaddaya think? Or are they simply status symbols for the wealthy?

    • I like the ‘Roo, too! I think owning a beach box is a status symbol. Brighton is one of (if not THE) wealthiest areas of Melbourne. I wonder how often they are actually used in the summer ~

  3. Craig Prichard

    Ohh… I like the blue wave box in Japanese wood cut style. What delightful beach decor…but those prices be crazy!

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