Come the first hints of warm weather and locals descend on St Kilda to enjoy the beach, hip restaurants or the outdoors at one of the local gardens.
The laughing face welcoming people to Luna Park is an icon of the area since opening in 1912 and Melbourne’s only amusement park, and world’s oldest amusement park of it’s kind, is still delighting kids. Ride the classic wooden roller coaster’s and Scenic Railway ride or get your thrills with the Coney Island Top Drop or the Pharaoh’s Curse!
St Kilda’s parks and gardens are one of the areas most underrated features. Established in the 1800’s, the St Kilda Botanic Gardens are a tranquil haven in what is otherwise a busy and energetic area. Wander the well-established Rose Garden, learn about local Indigenous plants and their uses or play a game of giant chess. A number of small critters call the St Kilda Botanic Garden home including Rainbow Lorikeet’s, Brushtail Possums, Grey Headed Flying Foxes and Tawney Frogmouth’s, so keep your eyes open or them!
For those feeling energetic, there are some beginner-friendly walking trails that show case the areas highlights, Aboriginal heritage or the Melbourne Solar System Trail, beginning with the ‘Sun’ at Elwood and weaving it’s way to ‘Pluto’ 5.9kilometres later at Sandridge beach.
Each Sunday, the St Kilda Esplanade Market is run alongside Luna Park. Browse the stalls full of one-of-a-kind art and jewellery to souvenirs and furniture, all supporting local indie artists.
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St Kilda by Day or Night
As the weather begins to warm locals will flock to the seaside at St Kilda.
Set up your towel on the beach and enjoy a day of bathing and sunbaking, or for those preferring something a little quieter spend time at the St Kilda Sea Baths – a 25 metre warmed seawater pool and hydrotherapy spa with views across the bay as you swim.
The nights are balmy so enjoy them by eating al fresco along the streets. Currently Mexican food is big with Bluecorn (203 Barkly St) and Radio Mexico (Carlisle Street) vying for top position. Away from the beach, Fitzrovia’s (Fitzroy Street) classy modern European menu is classic and fresh. Be sure to try the signature slow-roast pork belly that’s cooked to perfection.
On Sunday February 9, the St Kilda Festival will be hosted along the foreshore. The free community event, one of the largest of its kind in Australia, showcases top Australian music, as well as local performances, workshops and carnival amusements. In the week leading up to the event a number of smaller events highlighting Indigenous music, culture and arts are held.
From Melbourne, we ventured out to St. Kilda (a bayside suburb) for the morning before we flew back to Sydney. This came upon our curiosity to check out the beaches nearby the city. So we took a tram out, had lunch, and walked along the promenade. It was a great view of Melbourne and the design of the promenade was quite fun. It would have been a great place to bike if we had them.
We went in late summer, during the week and no one was laying out. I have definitely been to nicer beaches before (so I wonder if people do swim there), but we really enjoyed the walking along the park and out on the pier the most. That was the highlight...get a bike if you can find one!