They are absolutely right about Melbourne having 4 seasons in a day; it was raining & the sky was grey when I was having lunch at St. Kilda. I thought it might be a waste of time driving to Brighton Beach with the raining still pouring.
Driving to Brighton Beach took about 15mins & lo & behold the sun was out & skies were clear once again. I walked along the beach & saw these sandbags which were put in place last July 2021 to shore up the southern end of the beach as the rising tides & storm damage was causing a considerable amount of sand loss.
You will find these rainbows coloured & distinctive bathing boxes along Dendy Street Beach in Victoria Postal code 3186.
Built during the 19th century, these bath houses were in line with the Victorian times where modesty & seaside bathing held certain constraints.
Today, these 96 bathing boxes have taken on a different significance & have actually become iconic to Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne, Victoria & gained a cult following from locals & tourists alike.
The subject of many tourists & photographers, amateur & professional these instagrammable Brighton bathing boxes are picture perfect.
These brightly coloured bath houses have all retained the classic Victorian architectural features with timber framing, weatherboards & corrugated iron roofs.
Each box is individualistic & reflects the licensee’s artistic & colour preferences. What’s more, they sit on the most popular & wealthiest seaside segment of Melbourne City.
I must say that these cheerful bath houses does transform Brighton Beach instantly into a attractive & iconic beach scape that is recognised the world over. You can only consider buying one of them if you are a local & they don’t come with a title deed only a lease of perpetuity. They are therefore deemed a prized possession to be passed down through the family.
Before the Great Depression, there were between 100-200 such bathing boxes. These boxes do cost a hefty sum to purchase, selling more than $300,000 each. They come with a whole set of rules with regards to their usage in order to preserve their heritage. There is no running water & electricity & the owners cannot sleep in them, rent them out or use them for advertising purposes.
The 500m of golden sand, the panoramic view of Melbourne City 13km away & the wide expanse of Port Phillip Bay is in itself… priceless!
Construction is ongoing to improve the beach front with more parking spaces & amenities for visitors. Bayside City Council is considering to build a protective breakwater which the mayor Del Porto said would cost A$3million thereabouts.
As a stop-gap measure, sand would be imported from north Brighton Beach to ‘renourish’ the boxes but the southern end of the beach is still vulnerable to storm damage where it is known that the bath houses get washed away.
It is good to know that the Bayside City Council in collaboration with the Brighton Bathing Box Association & Brighton Foreshore Association are taking steps to refurbish, beautify & preserve this heritage precinct for posterity!
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Into Travelling, Photography & Music
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