Altona Beach

Compromise is a beautiful thing. Today, Ken and I came together and found some middle ground on how to spend our Saturday, which also happened to be Grand Final day in Australia.

Grand final day down under is similar to Superbowl Sunday in the states, only slightly more intense. Pretty much everything shuts down, and all eyes are on the TV for the footy. Tickets for the game go for over well $800 a piece, and the stadium is packed with more than 90,000 people.

So, back to our compromise, it went like this: I will leave you (Ken) alone for the duration of this footy thing IF you get up early on Saturday morning, and we do something outside before the game. He agreed, reluctantly, but he agreed.

We got up early around 8 AM and got out the door around 9:00. The plan was for a nice relaxing beach morning/early afternoon. We had a quick stop over at K-Mart to pick up some beach essentials and then we were on our way.

Stories N Suitcases - Altona BeachAltona is about a half hour drive from our house in St. Albans. When we got there, much to my excitement, there was hardly anyone on the beach, likely due to the footy. We walked out to a spot about 20 feet from the water and put up our new beach umbrella, (a Casper-like complexion requirement), and beach blanket. I slathered myself with SPF, and we waded out into the water. Note, our fun new umbrella. 🙂

Stories N Suitcases - Altona BeachKen said the water was freezing which made me giggle a little. I’m used to the year long frigidness of Lake Michigan, so the water today felt pretty nice. I like this beach, in addition to the fact that you can have your own little space all to yourself, the low tide makes the beach stretch forever. Little patches of sand form far out into the shallow water with pools of sea water molding around them. We were more than 50 feet out from the beach, and the water was still just above our ankles.

Stories N Suitcases - Altona BeachWe saw some seashells and tiny little fish but, for the most part, the water was empty of sealife and crystal clear. I dipped in the water when we got to a deeper spot, about waist high. Ken declined to swim and instead held all my stuff while I frolicked around like an eight-year-old in the water.

Stories N Suitcases - Altona BeachPart of having a girlfriend from another country is being a bit of a tour guide in your own home. Ken is great at this, he takes me places he’s been to 20 times before and never rushes me or makes me feel like he’s bored, although I’m sure sometimes he is.

Altona beach is nothing special for Ken, in fact he made a joke that his friends would tease him about bringing me to this particular beach. However, I see things from a different perspective. Back home in Chicago, you have to claw for a towel space worth of sand at North Ave beach, so to me, Altona is glorious and I felt lucky to be there.

Stories N Suitcases - Altona BeachJust as we were heading back to our spot on the beach, Ken asked, “Is that our umbrella?”

It was.

Our newly purchased beach umbrella was stolen by the wind and blowing across the beach, headed out to sea. Ken went after it with a passion and was able to rescue the giant, floating umbrella before it was too late. Lesson learned. Bury your umbrella better.

Next time we head to a beach, we’ll come better prepared. We will probably ditch the umbrella altogether in favor of a tent, which many smart Aussies had today.’s a great set-up. You get the fun of the beach without the damage of the sun. Plus your food and drinks stay cool, and you don’t have to go running down the beach when a gust of wind rips your umbrella out of the sand.

Stories N Suitcases Travel Blog - Altona BeachAlthough Altona beach may not be one of the “top” beaches in Victoria, I enjoyed the low-key family atmosphere, the wide open spaces. I expect to spend many days enjoying this unique spot.


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