The Brighton Beach Boxes in Brighton, VIC are one of those places that you’ve just seen around. They’re on postcards and in tourism advertisements, they’re contained within in-flight magazines and splashed across billboards. They’re far from an unknown location, but with the colour and the quaint beach vibe that they give off, I just wanted to check them out.
The History Of The Brighton Beach Boxes
All up, there are around 80 Brighton Beach Boxes, and they’re a cool little piece of history in Melbourne. The Brighton Beach Boxes were built in the 1860s and are actually one of the oldest structures in Melbourne. Originally they were intended as changing spots for swimmers to protect their modesty but now they’re used for beach storage and hanging out by the sea. The Brighton Beach Boxes are privately owned, but you can’t live in them, and none of them has electricity or running water. The craziest thing about them for me is that, because there’s only a small number of them and they’re so iconic, they sell for as much as a small house or apartment in a regional area. In the early 1990s one of the Brighton Beach Boxes would set you back about $12,000, but the one below sold in 2018 for $337,000.
Wandering The Brighton Beach Boxes
So, Dean and I decided to head down to Brighton one day for a bit of a walk. We’d actually done an extended version of the same walk last summer, which took all day and left us both fairly heat stressed and out of it. Considering my current condition (nearing my third trimester) we thought we’d cut the walk to a gentle stroll and take in the Brighton Beach Boxes at the same time as we’d missed them on our last visit.
In the end, we approached the Brighton Beach Boxes from the beach, wandering up along the sand and over a little hill where they were laid out below us. It’s a pretty cool sight, slightly ruined by the fact that the entire beach, and all the boxes, were teaming with people. Usually we go out of our way to get to places really early in the morning, but as this was a bit of a relaxed and last-minute trip we hadn’t thought much about it. Mistake! Immediately I felt a bit like a lemming wandering about with my camera, but I was determined to get at least a few good photos of the Brighton Beach Boxes before we left.
So, there were a lot of people at the Brighton Beach Boxes on the day we were there, but luckily I’m something of an amateur expert at making it look like I’m the only one at a certain location. With a bit of creative cropping and some very fast timing from both myself and Dean on the shutter, I managed to get some great shots of the Brighton Beach Boxes that capture their colour, beauty and iconic Australiana without a lot of random extras.
I was also really happy because I managed to get a couple of decent photos of myself for once instead of just Dean. Since I fell pregnant, I’ve been working really hard to get in the frame more, and actually have a record of this super amazing thing that’s happening in my body. Like, I’m growing a human being! Dean has been super helpful in pushing me to overcome some of my insecurities about my new rounder body, and he’s also a great photographer (thanks, I like to think to years of training by me).
Now, would I go back to the Brighton Beach Boxes? Definitely, but I don’t think I’d ever go there again at the time we visited. Next time I’d take the car instead of the train and drive down very early in the morning to capture the Brighton Beach Boxes against the first light of morning. I’m sure I won’t be alone then either, but I have a feeling less of the masses are inclined to get up at dawn just to take pictures of some little wooden beach huts!