[ADVERT]Summer is over for another year. No more trips to the beach for a while. If you're a beach lover who gets the blues when the weather turns chilly in Melbourne I'm here to tell you it doesn't have to be this way.
You can have a fantastic time at the beach in the colder weather. There are many enjoyable things to do even when swimming is out. There are also advantages to beach going at this time of year.
Firstly there are no crowds. All the summer holiday makers are back at work and school and probably spending their weekends indoors or at the nearest shopping centre or movie theatre. You can often be lucky enough to have the beach all to yourself.
Wild Winter Beaches
Secondly the beach can be wonderful in the colder months. It's exhilarating to go for a walk with the wild winds battering you about. The clouds are often very dramatic over the ocean at this time of year and the waves are crashing in ferociously. These conditions ignite your senses and heighten your mood.
Now that you're motivated for a winter beach adventure with the kids or that special someone, what are some other activities to enjoy at the beach during the winter months, and where are the best beaches to indulge in these pursuits?
My favourite winter beach activities include fossicking around amongst the rocks. You can find shells and sea creatures left behind when the tide goes out. This can be an educational trip for kids. Remember to keep a close eye on children climbing on rocks and teach them about the dangers that can lurk in rock pools such as blue ringed octopi.
Exploring the Rocks at Sorrento
Some great beaches for exploring rocks and rock pools include Sorrento Back Beach on the Mornington Peninsula, and The Colonnades, Forrest Caves and Sunderland Bay on Phillip Island.
Another fun activity that is also great exercise is climbing up sand dunes. The views from the top are often incredible so don't forget to bring a camera with you. The kids will love rolling and running down the face of the dune, and they will probably want to do it over and over.
The front beach at Cape Woolamai has a lovely tall and steep sand dune that is quite easy to access. You can reach it by walking about 750 metres across the cape from Woolamai Surf Beach car park, along a fenced off sandy path.
Don't forget for the kids there is always sand castle building and sand sculpting. Bring a bucket and spade along. As long as they have warm jumpers or coats kids will survive going barefoot and walking on cold sand is a really invigorating experience for everyone.
Any of the bay beaches are great for sand construction as the water is calm. I would recommend Mordialloc or Carrum Beach as the sand is beautifully soft and fine. Some other bay beaches have course sand, filled with fine broken shells.
Kid Safe Carrum Beach
For couples' outings, there is something very romantic about a windswept day snuggling up on a blanket watching the waves on your own deserted stretch of sand. Ideal spots for this include anywhere that has surf and a sheltered area to keep out of the wind. Forrest Caves on Phillip Island and Portsea and Sorrento Back Beach on the Peninsula are ideal as they have cliffs or dunes to shelter below.
Watching the Waves Crashing
The beach in winter is great for striking images if you're keen on photography. Dramatic skies and wild seas are ideal for capturing that windswept look. A tripod is recommended for keeping your images sharp, especially if the conditions are windy, or for long exposures for creative water effects.
Sorrento Back Beach is a photographer's dream due to the interesting rock and cliff formations. The Colonnades on Phillip Island have amazing coloured and shaped cliffs that make for interesting compositions.
Storm Brewing over The Colonnades
Other cool ideas for beach fun in colder months include, kite flying, fishing, beach volleyball, chasey or cricket. These can be enjoyed at any beaches.
I'm sure you can think of other activities suitable for the beach during the colder months. So it's over to you now to share your favourite winter weather beach and what makes it great.
Ocean Grove beach, Geelong is a nice place to walk, even on a cold and windy day. It has a bit of shelter as it is in a cove between two headlands. You may need to rug up though and walking along the beach is sure to warm you up.