There are around 1,860 beach boxes along the coastline of Victoria, with the first put up in 1862, less than 60 years after Europeans settled in Australia.
On the Mornington Peninsula, the most famous beach boxes are found at Mount Martha in the beautiful Jullul Bay however, there are nearly 1,000 dotted along the coastline here from Rosebud to Mount Eliza.
In this post, I share as much information as I could research about the beach boxes of Mornington Peninsula as well as sharing the beautiful (even if I do say so myself!) photos I took on our trip to the area.
Mornington Peninsula Beach Boxes
Where to Find Beach Boxes on the Mornington Peninsula
There are nearly 1,000 beach boxes along the coastline of the Mornington Peninsula at the following locations:
- Mount Eliza (114)
- Mornington (156)
- Mount Martha (252)
- Dromana (242)
- Rosebud (260)
- Rye (115)
- Sorrento (11)
- Portsea (82)
Beach boxes became hugely popular as Europeans settled in the country, bringing seaside traditions from the south coast of England.
All the beach boxes are owned by private licensees, with some fetching huge prices, such as this one on Mount Martha Beach which sold for $650,000 – more than a house in areas such as Packenham, Cragieburn or Werribee and at a cost of $26,000 a square metre!
What Are Beach Boxes For?
Beach huts are used to keep people comfortable out of the intense Australian sun (and Victorian wind!) on our coastlines. They are convenient to store beach accessories to save lots of trips to and from the car.
In the definition laid out by the local council, beach boxes are to be used for:
- Storage of beach accessories
- Storage of boating equipment
- Convenience and comfort associated with beach use
Despite them being designed for comfort, it is prohibited to have any toilet or kitchen facilities in a beach hut, which is made clear in the terms and conditions of ownership. They also cannot be connected to power, telephone lines or solar panels – so they are fairly basic.
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How Much Do Beach Boxes Cost?
Beach boxes can sell for huge amounts, with $500,000 not uncommon and the record over $600,000.
Often passed down from generation to generation or sold privately, they rarely hit the market, but when they do records tumble.
A Grandfather of 10 splashed out $337,000 for the red and white striped bathing box 76B on Brighton Beach.
Boatshed 8 on Point King Beach in Portsea (which is at the end of the road called Millionaires’ Walk) was listed for between $450,000 and $490,000.
But the record goes to Beach Box No.23 on Shelly Beach in Portsea, which in 2015 sold for a bankruptcy-inducing $615,000!
Are Beach Boxes a Good Investment?
If you can get your hands on one, then yes, it would seem they are.
Whilst they can’t be hired out, the price growth seems to be inflation over time, largely due to the fact that no more are being built, so they are relatively scarce.
Can You Hire a Beach Box for the Day?
No, beach boxes cannot be hired out. They are designed for personal use, not commercial, so hiring one out could see the license removed. Beach hut owners pay an annual license, as they own the building but not the land, and if the council remove their license they are within their rights to put the building on sale.
Can You Sleep Overnight in a Beach Box?
No, you cannot.
According to the ‘Boatshed and Bathing Boxes Policy’ on the Mornington Peninsula Shire website a boatshed or bathing box may not be used for accommodation or habitation purposes (which includes overnight accommodation).