St. Kilda, Melbourne
St. Kilda area was born as the beach resort of Melbourne about 100 years ago. Later during the 70s and the 80s it was an area dedicated mainly to drug and prostitution. Today it has been cleaned and it is a great spot for a walk even off season.
St. Kilda is out of the free tram zone.
If you want surf, head down to Mornington Peninsula and the open ocean. St Kilda beach is tranquil, with waters too shallow to even swim for the most part. Port Phillip Bay is a protected harbour, so there are almost no waves hitting the shore. It feels more like a scene from an Edwardian romance than the opening to Home & Away or Baywatch. It's great for kids and you can paddle a long way out.
For some of the best views of Melbourne in the city, come to St Kilda Pier. Closing off the best half of the beach, the pier stretches far into Port Phillip Bay, ending at the enigmatic Edwardian Pavilion. You can continue from there along the breakwater, which offers a rocky path and opportunities to spot birds and fishermen. The views, though, are the best - and catching Melbourne through the yacht masts in the marina has got to be one of Australia's most iconic sights.
St. Kilda has certainly changed, but it's still Melbourne's bohemian capital. There are no used needles polluting the beach any more, and there seems to be slightly less grim characters than were there in 1995. The Prince of Wales, once the haunt of murderers and those who liked the thrill of standing in their shadows, is now a quaint bistro off Fitzroy Street. Gentrification is happening, but it still holds an edge. When we went to find a playground for our son, in a park which was once off limits to anyone sane after dark, his fun was interrupted as two junkies came to find the stash they'd left there earlier. St. Kilda hasn't changed that much.
But don't let that put you off coming. St. Kilda is not dangerous. There's little chance of crime during the day. It's got a lot of character, some great places to drink and eat and of course the beach.
Southern Cross station on Spencer St. Compared to other beaches around Australia, it was not really for surfing, but still it was good for myself to get away from the city and relax, walk around, enjoy an ice-cream.
St Kilda houses most of the corporate houses, mine was here too. The bay at St Kilda is supposed to be beautiful, unfortunately my work schedule never allowed me to explore this area. It is dotted with many restaurants and cafes- these I visited and have included some of them in my tips. Complete with a tennis center and pretty promenades I truly enjoyed my stay here. The Botanical gardens were also in the vicinity, but needless to say I didn't make the trip to the gardens.
While staying with friends on a recent visit ,we decided to visit St.Kilda.. to have some local famous seafood and go for a walk along the pier.I felt like getting a rod and doing a bit of fishing for myself.The main thing was the Sunday Market that has many stalls and tables selling all sorts of arts and crafts...clothing and food.Some of the pastries are just wonderful....I really like markets as you never know what you are going to find...even if it just something good to eat ...you will find it here.The trams are a real treat to ride also..
St Kilda is an beach town with expensive properties, beautiful beaches, casual cafes, mostly Caucasians, and expensive art and crafts shops.
It is like in California with those long beaches walk and palm trees.
I love this place, will always come back here when I visit Melbourne.
St Kilda is the main beach playground closest to the city. You get some great views from the pier (the historic pier kiosk restaurant at the end of the pier sadly burnt down at the end of 2003 - but the rebuild has opened and is in the same style as the original but with a number of improvements).
There's also a protected colony of fairy penguins at the very end of the pier. You cannot access their nesting grounds, but of course penguins do not actually follow the fencing restrictions! :)
It's a very popular spot at weekends - people taking the air, fishing, young teenagers swimming.
Take in the seaside breeze in the outdoor cafes, get mesmerized by fire-eating street acrobats and jugglers, dip in the sea salt swimming pools, trace the outline of boats during sundown at Port Philip Bay, and enjoy the rides in the mini theme park.
You will not miss the smiling moon face greeting you at the entrance of Luna park (luna, lunar, moon, ok, I get it). Entrance is free so just wander around if you don't fancy the rides. Admire the handpainted chariots of the carousel which dates back to 1920s.
Spend your weekends at St. Kilda as this is when the locals peddle some souvenir items.
Nothing, arguably, epitomises St Kilda more than Luna Park. It was established in 1912 when St Kilda had become the city resort of Melbourne (and was trying to re-establish itself as a respectable area following its 'colonisation' at the end of the 19th century by prostitution, drugs and alcohol).
It's built by the same company that built the first Luna Park on Coney Island, and even today the air is punctutaed by the screams of those daring to have a go on the historic, heritage listed roller coaster.
As with the Luna Park in Sydney, its future is in some doubt - its sitting on some of the most valuable real-estate in Melbourne. Recent purchaser has indicated rennovation but it also includes the area surrounding the park (including the Palais Theatre and, perhaps most appealing the car park. The car park is a strange hybrid - important but at the same time sited opposite the beach - ripe for development!).
In the interim, head for the rides. They're old and somewhat dated, so not as sophisticated as the theme parks, but its on the beachfront in the middle of the city - what more could you and an emptying of your wallet want?
It ain't a cheap day out, that's for sure: as of March 2011, entrance is free but single tickets are A$4.50 (under 3 year's old), A$7.50 (4-12) and A$9.50 (14+): unlimited rides are A$14.95 / A$31.95 /A$41.95 (same age groups). Family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) ...A$125.00 !!
Friday: 7pm - 11 pm/ Saturday 11am - 11pm/ Sunday 11am - 6pm
Public Holidays: Monday -Thursday 11am-6pm/ Friday 11am -11pm/ weekends as above
OK, so the city beaches of Melbourne may not be much compared to Sydney, sited as Melbourne is in the (huge) bay. But they're still beaches and as such an ideal playground for Melburnians. The waters are calm, the bathing safe and plenty of water sports take place - especially wind-surfing.
St Kilda is the closest beach to the city and the most famed hangout for families as well as tattooed trendies.
Albert Park, Middle Park beaches run directly to the north towards Port Melbourne: Elwood and Brighton Beach to the south. All are within easy reach of the CBD.
The Number 16 tram passing Flinders Street station will get you to St Kilda as well as, at weekends, the number 3.
St Kilda is a lovely suburb of Melbourne by the seaside. If you are looking for a change, you can take a tram from city and discover here more. St Kilda Pier is a good spot for city and bay views. You can take a walk on the shoreline, do some shopping or enjoy some great food. St Kilda is worth spending at least a few hours or even a whole day.
St Kilda Pier has been the centre of recreational activity in St Kilda since the 1850s. Both the old shed at the pier entrance and the pavilion at the end are part of Victoria's heritage. They do a great coffee here.
Folks say it: Every visitor should at least drop by St.Kilda while in Melbourne...which is blissfully strange considering that I only made it here almost 10 years after my first visit to Melbourne. Why St.Kilda eluded me? Goodness knows.
St Kilda has seen a strong revival in recent years after welling in a period of seediness following a 60s golden era when it was the IN seaside resort to take the sea air.
On weekends, Melburnians flock here to walk, cycle and skate along the palm-lined foreshore or to lounge in an outdoor café or cocktail bar – and take in the panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay.
Away from the foreshore, you’ll find much of St Kilda’s activity concentrated in Fitzroy and Acland streets. Fitzroy Street is renowned for its cool cafes, restaurants and bars, with tables spilling onto the footpath, and is one of Melbourne’s most attractive eating and drinking streets. Nearby Acland Street is vibrant and bustling, with an eclectic mix of restaurants, wine bars and continental cake shops. You must drop in for a slice of cake, my colleagues insisted and soak up the chi chi cafe culture. Truly a place to be seen!
There are a few icons to look out for in St.Kilda. Luna Park, remains wildly popular, despite the onslaught of time. Kids were squealing their lungs out on the rides when I was there. And next to it, you'll find another landmark, a 20s-era white-washed of a building, the majestic Palais Theatre. And along Acland Street, remember to look up and sought out some hippy characters fiddling on the roof.
And should you be in St.Kilda on a weekend, don't miss the Arts and Crafts Market along the beach front. You can find plenty of quirky souvenirs here, found nowhere else. I came upon a stall selling candlesticks made from little teapots, stacked upon each other, each with different designs.
And of course, I shouldn't neglect the beach, which is what draws folks here in the 1st place. And if you made it here, drop by the historic St.Kilda Pier Kiosk, rebuilt in 2003 after a fire. Pull some time out of your bag, grab a hot cup of coffee at the Little Blue Cafe and just stun yourself silly with the awesome view.