The relatively unknown enclave with some of our best beach views

DOM SEAHOLME Online Picture Michael Rayner . The Esplanade Seaholme DOM SEAHOLME Online Picture Michael Rayner . Jogger and city views from The Esplanade Seaholme DOM SEAHOLME Online Picture Michael Rayner . Dog friendly beach Seaholme DOM SEAHOLME Online Picture Michael Rayner . Jogger and city views from The Esplanade Seaholme

DOM SEAHOLME Online Picture Michael Rayner . Seaholme Railway Station DOM SEAHOLME Online Picture Michael Rayner . Jogger and city views from The Esplanade Seaholme

The beachside suburbs of Melbourne’s west have long been disregarded, only coming up on the radar when crazy stuff happens, like this cocaine disguised as coffee bust last month, and then there was the famous Snorlax appearance of August 2016 which brought insane crowds to Altona town’s pier.

But our western beachside burbs have a lot more to offer than drug busts and Snorlax. Altona’s got an awesome dog beach – where owners wade in waist-deep water with their pooches. Its human beach is often less packed than closer-to-Melbourne, and therefore much busier, Williamstown’s. And Altona’s even got cafes to satisfy the rest of Melbourne’s hipsters.

I’m not sure whether it’s the underlying hum of the industry surrounding it (seriously, stand still and listen), but Melbourne’s western beaches are buzzing. In some ways they’re even better than their southern counterparts: the views of the city are quite extraordinary, and established trees shade grassy bits making them a little easier to picnic around. It’s more “park and get to the beach” and less the “park and battle seaside vegetation and cliffs” of Melbourne’s other bayside.

But there’s one little spot out west that, still today, few have heard of. Seaholme. This little enclave has its own gorgeous circa 1920 train station, beachfront, plethora of seafaring activities, and even a primary school. But it’s almost invisible when it comes to its big neighbours: Altona and Williamstown. According to the 2016 census, little Seaholme is home to just under 2000 people.

Still, Seaholme’s foreshore is full of action. Hobsons Bay Council suggests fishing, walking, picnicking, jet skiing, cycling, running and boating – and that’s just in Seaholme. It’s home to old school clubs, too: there’s the bowls club, the cricket club, the darts team, Hobsons Bay Sport and Game Fishing Club, the Seaholme Boat Owners Association (and more…). At least, if you didn’t know anyone before you moved here, you could join a club and meet plenty of locals after.

If you can get in, that is. Only 11 sales occurred in the past six months, according to Domain Group data, and house prices are up 40 per cent to a median of $1,215,000. It’s not far off better-known Williamstown’s $1.47 million median. It’s way more expensive than Altona, which is still growing in price. Almost 100 sales in the past six months have put Altona’s median house price up 12 per cent to $865,500.

There are a few seaside abodes in Seaholme on the market now. Grab yourself a pretty “serenely quiet” Cal bung at 6 Wattle Grove or a retro delight at 46 Station Street. There are a few things you’ll have to give up if you move here, though. The corner shop is one. The few old shopfronts on High Street have been mostly converted into homes. Altona Sports Club is as close as a restaurant as you’ll get: check out the views from the bistro while enjoying a $20 chook parma.

The biggest issue is how to get here. Obviously the train station is an asset, and visitors from Melbourne may well hop off here to find a spot of beach, rather than going to Altona.

It’s a breeze to get to by bike along the Bay Trail West, just get yourself to the West Gate Bridge first. If you’re on the southside, try the punt from West Gate Landing in Port Melbourne. From the West Gate, you can get all the way to Altona (via Seaholme) on designated bike/walking paths. They take you through some of the natural assets of the area that you just don’t get to experience properly by car, like Altona Coastal Park and Jawbone Conservation Reserve.

Five things you didn’t know about Seaholme:The Coastal Trail/Bay West Trail will take you through it: it’s a 23 kilometre trail beginning at the Melbourne side of the West Gate Bridge in Newport, and ending up in Altona Meadows.It’s bordered by Cherry Lake on Millers Road in Altona, which has a 3.5 kilometre walking/cycling trail around it.Cherry Creek divides the suburb in two.Locals can help out the endangered Altona skipper butterfly by planting chaffy saw-edge/gahnia.Seaholme is home to four reserves: beachside WD Cresser Reserve, HC Kim Reserve, PA Burns Reserve and Fell Reserve.

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