Sandringham, the beachside suburb of Melbourne, though a very popular location for beachgoers, still maintains a serene village atmosphere. In its early days, Sandringham was part of the Moorabbin parish and land speculator Josiah Holloway was the major land holder after the land sales of 1851. When lots were resold in 1852, the estate was named Gypsy Village. Gypsy Village became known as Sandringham in 1888, the name – inspired by Prince of Wales’ Sandringham House in England.
St Kilda & Brighton Railway Company constructed a railway line from St Kilda to Bay Street which was opened for traffic on 21st December 1861. A tramway to convey goods between the pier and the railway station ran through the tunnel.The tunnel still remains as a memorial, though it is blocked with a wall of bricks. Up until 1886, the railway line only went as far as Brighton so Sandringham was sparsely populated. This changed dramatically with the opening of the scrubby express, the railway line terminating at Picnic Point. The new shuttle service opened in 1887 and within three months was carrying 133,000 passengers. The Sandringham Railway station became the busiest of the beachside stations and the bayside area one of the most popular holiday destinations in Victoria.
Sandringham, Beaumaris, Black Rock and Hampton were part of the shire of Moorabbin Road District in 1862 and Shire of Moorabbin in 1871. In 1917 Borough of Sandringham was formed which became a city in 1923.
Sandringham beach is an outstanding stretch of sand along the 17km Bayside seafront. It is a straight, 2.5 km long beach and the beach road runs parallel to it. There are parking facilities close to the beach. The reef is of varying width. The Southern part of the beach is narrow and difficult to access but the northern part is wider, easily accessible and patrolled by the lifesaving club. There is a track that passes through the natural vegetation of the shoreline reserve for walkers and cyclists.
In 1911, Sandringham Yachting and Angling Club was founded which in 1912 was renamed Sandringham Yacht Club. It is located near the Sandringham public jetty. British World War I submarine J7 which was gifted to Australia in 1919, had its hulk scuttled in 1926 and sits at the bottom of the mini harbour of the Sandringham yacht club.
In 1879 work started on designing the formal lawns and gardens along the beach shore. This work included tree tea planting, public conveniences, a band rotunda and a kiosk. Built in 1926, Sandringham beach rotunda can accommodate 26 musicians on the upper level. Gardens were created and palm trees were planted beside the rotunda. Throughout the late 1920’s and 30’s brass bands used to play regularly on Sunday afternoons drawing large crowds. The Cenotaph war memorial was built in 1927 and was used for ANZAC day services.
Bayside Art Trail
Bayside art trail covers 17 kilometres along the coast from Brighton to Beaumaris featuring signboards, celebrating the paintings of Bayside Coast by Australian artists. Art trail includes work by famous Heidelberg School founders Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin, completed during summer camps between 1886 and 1907.