The Elwood foreshore with its bridges, walking paths, bike paths, coastal vegetation, BBQ areas, lifesaving club, sailing and angling clubs, sea scouts and restaurant and kiosks is a great place to take the family.
The sandy bay beach is suitable for swimming, sailing and boating. Extensive foreshore reserves have barbecue, picnic and play facilities. There is a walking and cycling path and boat ramps nearby.
Elwood Beach (and the backing foreshore reserve) is a popular area used for a range of activities. Besides the Elwood Life Saving Club is the site of the Elwood Bowling Club and Sea Scouts and Elwood Sailing Club. Extensive car parking and a park, picnic area and oval back the beach. Wind surfing is very popular off Point Ormond.
A seawall and promenade run the length of the low beach. A launching ramp for the sailing club and a disabled access ramp cross the beach just north of the club house.
The beach itself is 1300 m long, extending from the Head Street diversion drain up to a groyne on Point Ormond.
Swimming - The safest location is on the shallow sections of the inner bar, away from the rip channels and in front of the lifesaving club, where boats are prohibited.
Elwood beach has a General Beach Hazard Rating of 3/10 (Least hazardous).
At the north west end of the beach at Point Ormond the beach stops at a groyne (rock wall). There is a carpark, toilets and a playground here. The beach widens out after 100m in front of the Point Ormond café which has outdoor seating and beach showers are located nearby. There is a grassy strip between the bike and walking paths here. Part way along the beach is a grotty drain and then you reach the launching ramp. The sand is quite coarse here. In this part of the beach there is the Elwood Sailing Club building and Elwood Angling Club.
A little to the south, the Elwood Life Saving Club is located where there are public toilets. In front of the Elwood Life Saving Club the beach is nice and wide and sandy. This is the best area to swim. Sails on the Bay restaurant is next to the Elwood Life Saving Club and the immediate area has a carpark, grassy area, unshaded tables, BBQ, water tap, beach showers, public bike air pump station and playground.
On the side streets there is free 2P parking and there is ticketed parking next to the beach from 8am to 11pm.
A concrete walking path and a separate bike path run beside the beach the whole length.
When you get to the concrete pier opposite Head Street, which is the southern end of the beach, there are some interpretive signs which form part of the Bayside Coastal Art Trail including a photo of what the Elwood Life Saving Club building used to look like.
The first life saving club in Victoria was established at Elwood in 1911, on the old rifle range near Point Ormond. The club's founding members pushed for a change in state legislation to allow "open sea" and "mixed sea" bathing during daylight hours. Until these changes were made, bathing in the sea could only be done inside the many enclosed "bathing houses" which dotted the shoreline of the northern reaches of Port Phillip Bay. Today, only the Middle Brighton sea baths remain.
The little section of beach south of the pier where the beach peters out is grotty and full of garbage.
Access for Dogs:
Elwood beach has two zones with different restrictions.
Between the rock groyne south of Point Ormond and the beach access ramp 35 metres south-east of Normandy Road dogs are permitted only between 5.30 am - 9.30 am during 1 November - 31 March. Between 1 April and 31 October, dogs are permitted at all times.
For the remainder of the beach (to the south) dogs are prohibited during 1 November - 31 March and are permitted during 1 April and 31 October.