our top 6 family friendly swimming beaches | Geelong, Surf Coast & surrounds

Gentle waters are what we seek as parents for safe swimming fun during the warm summer months with our little ones. Geelong, Surf Coast & surrounds is filled with perfect family friendly swimming beaches. See our short list of some fini. the label family friendly swimming beach favourites! Pack your fini. hat & let's get splashing.

+ Barwon Heads River

Top of our list. Always.

Where the Barwon River meets the sea. Offering safe family swimming, this shallow sandy foreshore is our ultimate family swimming location.

One side of the river you will find a fun filled playground nestled along the sand’s edge, and on the other side of the river you will find a timber boardwalk providing a fixed area of shade when you want to save yourself from bringing along a beach umbrella.

Pop your fashionable fini. boho hat on you & your little one and twin while you swim. Be sure to listen out for the bell of The Icycle Bicycle visiting with frozen treats.

Feeling hungry after all of that swimming? Visit one of our favourite places to eat, The White House, where the outdoor area offers a fun filled space to keep the children entertained.

+ Portarlington Beach

Seashell shores. Flat waters.

A long stretch of flat water, with a view across to the You Yangs. This is where families set in for the day. A beach adorned with colourful umbrellas and music filling the air, feeling like you have stepped foot onto a European beach.

Public toilets nearby with a large grassed area known for its hosting of the summer carnival.

A wonderful playground at the top of the foreshore with an amazing view across the waters, and did I mention a lolly/ice-cream shop, The Treat Shack, on the main street, as well as Daniel’s Donuts shop. Plus the newly renovated Portarlington Grand Hotel with a beer garden for adult downtime. Renowned bakery.. we don’t know where to stop with raving about this one.

You can also access this historical fishing village via passenger ferry with Port Phillip Ferries from Melbourne’s Docklands! Arriving directly onto the pier.

Our tip : don’t forget to turn your fini. sailor swim hat into a shell collecting bucket at the end of your day and bring home some fun filled family memories.

+ Aireys Inlet

“Have you ever, ever felt like this? Have strange things happened, are you going around the twist!?”

Made famous by the 1990’s ABC children’s television series, Round The Twist, the Aireys Inlet Lighthouse can be found footsteps away from the Inlet Beach. This location is an ideal swimming spot for families with small children.

An adjacent picnic area on the grassy embankment is the perfect spot to keep your fini. hat in action while you watch the children kick a ball around and wear themselves out in hope of falling asleep in the car on the way home. Or pack a scooter, skateboard, bike and take advantage of the small outdoor skatepark at the inlet entrance.

But if they don’t fall asleep immediately, be sure to stop in at the Aireys Pub for a delicious pub meal, where the children can enjoy using up a little more energy running around outside and climbing over the old fishing boat positioned right in front of the alfresco tables.

+ Indented Head

Sea treasures adorn this magical location. Footsteps away from parking, accessing this swimming location is a breeze. For those that like to dabble with snorkelling, the shipwreck awaits you.

Pelican’s enjoying the sun, starfish enjoying the water, all while your little ones frolic on the sand, splashing on the calm water’s edge.

This flat-water swimming destination is a magical spot to pop your bucket hat on, place your beach chair in the water, and keep your toes cool.

A general store can be found in this modest location offering treats to keep you fulfilled.

After your fun filled day, why not drive a little up the road where you will find the understated St Leonards Hotel with an expansive outdoor area overlooking the waters, or try driving the opposite direction up the road where you will find the Portarlington Golf Club with its children play area.

If they are happy, we are happy!

+ Santa Casa Beach, Queenscliff

Known for having some of the cleanest water in the entire Port Phillip Bay, Santa Casa Beach is relatively calm with small waves.

A part of a 3km long series of 3 beaches, this gem is a curving, south east facing section backed by foreshore reserves.

It is very easy here to have much of the beach to yourself, as you sit and watch the ships pass by.

Turn off the main road at Cottage By The Sea, where you will find easy parking access.

After your beach dwelling visit, pop in to the main town, grab some fish n chips, and take them to the foreshore gardens filled with big old pine trees where the open space screams for ball sport fun, or for you to roll out your project ten picnic mat, pop on your fini. straw hat & just relax with a newspaper (if the kids allow it!)

+ Anglesea

Where the river makes its way out to the ocean is the place that you will find families with young ones splashing around. The shallow, protected waters are safe for children and surrounded by picturesque sand dunes, golden limestone cliffs and natures heathlands. The main swimming beach boasts shallow waves for the more adventurous children.

Park your car at the carpark next to the Inverlochy Playground, have a bbq, watch your little ones climb the playground, walk along a short path that will take you to splash in the waters, and enjoy the wonders that this amazing beach town has to offer.

Paddleboats, outdoor trampolines, ice-cream shop, cafes, boutique shopping, riverfront market, what more could you ask for!? A fini. hat! Don’t forget to protect yourself from that harsh Australian sun.


Where will you be going to splash around when you fold up your fini. straw hat & pack it into your beach bag this summer?  

Be sure to tag us on Instagram wearing your fini. hat in the sunshine! It warms our heart!


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