“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get,” said Forrest Gump. The same can be said for the colorful beach boxes that line the beaches of Mornington. These iconic structures have become a symbol of the Mornington Peninsula, attracting tourists and locals alike with their vibrant colors and unique designs. But where did these beach boxes come from, and what is their history? In this article, we will explore the fascinating story of the beach boxes in Mornington, from their origins to their present-day significance.


Truly, these beach boxes are a sight to behold. Their bright colors and unique designs capture the attention of anyone who passes by.

The history of the iconic beach boxes

The iconic beach boxes in Mornington are an enduring symbol of the seaside town’s rich history and culture. These vibrant and colorful structures, which line the foreshore of the Mornington Peninsula, have been an integral part of the local community for over a century.

The first beach boxes were built in the early 1900s and were primarily used as changing rooms for beachgoers. In those days, going to the beach was a formal affair, and people would often dress up in their Sunday best to enjoy a day by the seaside. The beach boxes provided a private space for people to change into their swimsuits and store their belongings while they enjoyed the sun, surf, and sand.

Over time, the beach boxes evolved to become more than just a practical necessity. They became an important part of the local culture, with many families passing down their beach boxes from generation to generation. Each beach box was unique, with its own distinct personality and style. Some were brightly painted, while others were adorned with intricate murals and decorations.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the beach boxes experienced a surge in popularity, as more and more people flocked to the seaside for their holidays. The beach boxes became a symbol of the Australian way of life, representing the laid-back, carefree lifestyle that many people aspired to.

However, the beach boxes were not without their challenges. In the early days, they were often subject to vandalism and theft, and local councils struggled to maintain them. In the 1970s, there were even proposals to remove the beach boxes altogether, as they were seen as a blight on the landscape.

Thankfully, a group of dedicated locals banded together to save the beach boxes from destruction. They formed the Mornington Peninsula Beach Box Association, which worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the beach boxes’ cultural significance and advocate for their preservation.

The fate of beach boxes today

An interesting fact about beach boxes in Mornington is that they have become such a popular and sought-after feature that in 2018, one of them sold for a record-breaking price of $400,000. This particular beach box, located on Fisherman’s Beach, was sold to a buyer who reportedly beat out seven other interested parties in a highly competitive auction. The sale made headlines across the country, highlighting the enduring popularity and value of these iconic structures.

Today, the beach boxes are as popular as ever, with many families continuing to use them as a cherished part of their holiday traditions. They are also a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world who are eager to see these iconic structures for themselves.

The beach boxes have played an important role in the history of Mornington, serving as a symbol of the town’s unique character and culture. They are a testament to the enduring appeal of the seaside, and a reminder of the simple pleasures of life that we all cherish.

While war may seem unrelated to the beach boxes, it’s important to remember that conflicts around the world often lead to the destruction of cultural landmarks and historical artifacts. The preservation of the beach boxes is a testament to the power of community and the importance of valuing and protecting our shared cultural heritage. We must never forget the lessons of the past and work to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, such as spending a day at the beach in a colorful and iconic beach box.