Tuesday 1 March 2016

Brighton Beach- the most colourful place in Melbourne

This amazing beach side suburb is just 11 km south-east of Melbourne’s central business district, or roughly a half-hour drive from the city. It was a real pleasure driving along the coastline from the equally pretty St Kilda Esplanade Market to this most photographed beach in Victoria.

Warm sunshine with soft breeze kissing your cheeks gently on a beautiful great weather day (if you are lucky), before a backdrop of vibrant arc of colours - what’s more can you ask for? 

You can take a train from Flinders Street Station at the Melbourne’s CBD; and within a mere 20 minutes train ride, you will reach the Brighton Beach Railway. This iconic beach and its famous bathing boxes are located just a 500-metre stroll away from the station.

Below are some interesting facts about Brighton Beach’s bathing boxes:

1.         The bathing boxes were built for modesty purposes

There are a total of 82 of these whimsical rainbow-colour huts stretching out along the coast of Brighton Beach at the moment (and the number will be increased soon for sure in near future). 

One of the most frequently asked questions, perhaps, is this; what is the true purpose of these bathing boxes?

According to internet sources, the bathing boxes were built over a century ago in response to the very Victorian ideas that women should only change in and out of swimming costumes in a well-protected and fully-covered private area. These small little huts with timber framing, weatherboards and corrugated iron roofs hence serve their respective purpose of providing excellent shelter to the classy ladies who wanted to enjoy the sunshine in public, but at the same time, preserve their modesty. 

2.         The bathing boxes can only be owned by a Bayside resident

You might wonder if you can own of one of these pretty little bathing boxes.

The answer is “No”, unless of course, you are a resident of Bayside.

Currently, the bathing boxes can only be purchased by the Bayside residents who pay the local council rates. And just when you are contemplating of owning a house in Bayside to start with, be warned: Bayside is one of the wealthiest suburbs in the state of Victoria and the houses are extravagantly expensive!

3.         A bathing box could cost up to A$200,000 per box

As of 2008, these little boxes with no bathroom and no amenities were selling for around A$200,000 per box. Definitely a big “ouch” to those who haven’t even accumulated enough monies to even get a basic residence in this expensive city of Melbourne.

Despite the ridiculously high purchase price, the licensees are not allowed to rent or sublet their beach boxes, nor sleep in or use this valuable asset of theirs as accommodation.

4.         The owner cannot advertise on the bathing boxes

These little beach huts are apparently highly regulated, hence the uniformity in size, build and architectural design.

Despite the freedom to paint the sheds in accordance with the owners’ respective aesthetic taste, the bathing box must not be used as a form of advertising. Hence, we will probably never get the chance to see a big yellow “M” hut beside a bright red distinctive Coca-Cola sign and a black Nike swoosh’s box curving along this beautiful beach.

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