St. Kilda is famous for its arts and crafts market, held along the beachside Esplanade each Sunday. The market has been going since 1970 ands is something of an institution, with around 200 stalls offering original art, jewellery, glass, pottery, wood and more. Often, the artists will be creating as you browse their finished work, and there is a wonderful easygoing atmosphere to the place. A visit here is a must - treat yourself to a unique reminder of your trip.
I think if I lived in St. Kilda, I'd spend my cold-weather days here. The Sea Baths seemed to have so much on offer, probably a far cry to what was there in the 1850s. A large heated indoor sea-water swimming pool, hydrotherapy spa, steam room, a gym overlooking Port Phillip Bay, and some tempting tucker on offer at the cafes as well! You can get a day-pass ticket and enjoy, but I had too much to see, and not enough time, so....next time maybe :-)
On the beach by the pier you will see what appears to be the remnants of a shipwreck stranded upon the sands. This is actually a sculpture, the Lady of St. Kilda (named for the yacht that gave the area its name).
At the moment, the sculpture of wood and steel is only a temporary feature, some of the artwork created for Melbournes 2006 Commonwealth Games celebrations, but apparently has proved popular, so maybe will get to stay indefinitely. It's certainly striking and eyecatching. I loved it!
I'm not a lover of fairgrounds and amusement parks, but couldn't resist a quick look around historic Luna Park. Opened in 1912, the park contains all the traditional favourites - a ferris wheel, ghost train, carousel and a wooden rollercoaster as well as more recent stomach churning rides. Entry to the park is free, and you buy a ticket which entitles you to unlimited rides for the day. Visit the website below for up to date opening times and ticket prices.
Built during the 1850's the St. Kilda pier is a fairly busy place - people walking along it, roller skating on it, fishing from it, boats coming and going. A walk along the pier rewards you with a great view of Melbournes city skyline in the distance.
I so wish I had known about the colony of Little Penguins that have made the breakwater their home, but regretably this was something I learned after my visit.
The Kiosk at the end of the pier is fairly new and houses a popular cafe and an observation deck. The original 1904 structure burned down a few years ago, so what you see now is a faithful recreation of the earlier hut.
If you enjoy biking, running or rollerblading...this is a great spot.
There's a biking trail 100K, which travels along the beach of the entire Port Phillips Bay.
They have separate paths for biking/rollerblading and pedestrians so it makes it easy to get around. St Kilda is the most congested area of the trail, but you can get off the path...and onto the Esplanade Road. It's the busiest biking road in all of Australia, so the drivers know to get off the road..
Rental Info: If you take the 79 tram down to St Kilda...there are bikes for rent. St Kilda Cycles, 11 Carlisle St (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm; tel 03/9534 3074; full day $20USD), or the stand next to the cycle path near St Kilda Pier, which rents out bicycles on weekends, and daily during the summer holidays.
Even though I'd never been to St Kilda before & I "had" heard of the Acland Street Cake Shops. Now you've read that I set out for them on the first day here in St Kilda, but was not successful, but the next day when Mel & I found the other end of Acland Street we discovered the Acland Street Cake Shops & believe me that you are spoilt for choice. There are a whole batch of them.
I'm not sure how we selected the Monarch Cake Shop. I think it was because Mel recognised something in the window that she knew from her mum (mom for your Americans) or grandmother & I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Will have to drop her an email.
The Cakes looked good & tasted just as good as they looked. The coffee was pretty reasonable so all in all our selection wasn't too bad. The owner was in there. We could see him in the photos around the walls we various well known (dare I say some were even famous) identities & sporting teams/personalities. If you want to catch a glimpse of him then have a look at my second photo.
Having tasted the delights of the Acland Street Cake Shops I can now say with complete assurance that no trip to St Kilda is complete without sampling their delights!
As soon as my girls discovered that Luna Park was within a couple of minutes walk of our hotel they, of course, wanted to visit it straight away, after they had a swim in the pool that is!
Well Daddy had to catch a tram up into the city to pick up our AFL Grand Final tickets that we had already paid for so we didn't get to Luna Park till after dinner that night.
The girls had to pick their rides as we didn't want to spend too much money on what was already going to be a very expensive weekend. Luckily Daddy got to go on both the rides with them. The three of us still can't make up our minds if we liked the Ghost Train or the Roller Coast (they call it the Scenic Railway there). Now they are hassling us to go to Luna Park in Sydney which is bigger again.
If you come to Melbourne with kids you have to come & play at Luna Park, St Kilda. Even if you don't have kids come & play!
There couldn't be fewer streets in the world that contain both diverse culinary and architectural style in such a short distance. In about seven short blocks - one half of it's length retail and the other half mostly residential Acland Street has it all. Take a wander into the recent, but colourful history of inner urban Australia with a "multi" cultural blend.
"The Melbourne ikon", who said Melbourne hasn't got any ikonic features to it. Must have been somebody from Sydney again! None of that nonesense tale of two cities rivalry sh_t, but have to say that Melbourne's Luna Park is the original one, well at least a 1912 replica of the Paris original. Luna Park in bayside St Kilda is one of the oldest existing amusement parks in the world. The famous face of "Mr Moon" is however the third installment, but was in recent years remodeled from the original design. The second one was interesting, he did have a bit of a face image problem for some time. If your there and you should make it to St Kilda take a look at Luna Park. Ride the Scenic Railway (rollercoaster) it's still a bit of a thrill, and more real than any computer game. The fully restored Carousel, built in Baltimore in the 1900s is stunning for it's fine craftsmanship.