The Esplanade is the only road in Metropolitan Melbourne that runs so close to the beach and sea. There are many multi-million dollars houses and villas along the Esplanade, directly fronting the sea.
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A very long coastline hugs Altona. There is a very long drive from the western end at Maidstone St to the Altona Coastal Park at the eastern end. This is a very scenic drive and you can see the curve of the shoreline, the Pier, Melbourne CBD and mountain ranges in the distance, changing marine landscapes varying from sandy beach to rocky outcrops as well as many aquatic birds such as swans, ducks, gulls, pigeons ebbing up and down in the seas.
The coast is lined with the majestic-looking Norfolk Island Pines which are historically significant for their associations with the former Shires of Werribee and Altona and aesthetically significant as an important element of the cultural landscape character of the Altona foreshore precinct.
Recreational activities on Altona Beach include walking, cycling, fishing, swimming, kitesurfing, windsurfing, jet skiing and snorkeling. The Western Suburbs Triahlon Club hold triathlon Races that comprise a swim around the Altona Pier followed by a multi-loop bike ride and finishing with a run along the Esplanade.
Altona Sea is a favourite haunt for kitesurfers with their bright and colourful kites dotting the sky on a windy day.
Photo by Elizabeth Donoghue
There are plenty of picnic benches and chairs along the foreshore, allowing families to spend some great time together, lovers to share some intimate moments, joggers to take a rest or simply for people to watch the waves lapping against the shores, to enjoy the sunrise or sunset or to idle time away.
Altona Beach is recently undergoing beach improvement works in which a 40 metre wide beach will be constructed from Romawi Street to Bayview Street, placing approximately 75,000 m³ of sand on the beach. The project will restore the width of the beach, minimise sand drift, improve the stormwater drains and water quality, enhance the recreational experience for visitors and make beach maintenance easier.
The Hobsons Bay City Council has recognized the importance and development potential of Altona Beach, Pier Street and the surrounding areas and has put together a detailed developmental blueprint titled the Altona Beach Activity Centre Urban Design Framework.