The St. Kilda Revival
St Kilda is a picturesque bay-side suburb just six kilometres from the heart of Melbourne. Once considered the ‘bad-boy’ suburb full of druggies and prostitutes, it is now having a revival of its 1920’s popularity when it was considered one of Melbourne’s most fashionable suburbs.
Now St Kilda is clean, quirky and THE place to base yourself if you are holidaying in Melbourne. It is one of the main tourist destinations; trendy and cosmopolitan, renowned for its beaches, music venues, restaurants and café lifestyle. You can rent yourself a waterside serviced apartment here and settle in to explore the neighbourhood and beyond.
Things to See in St Kilda
Upper Esplanade: features the Royal Yacht Squadron and the newly restored St Kilda Baths in the foreground. There are fantastic views of the Bay and the landmark Esplanade Hotel features music gigs and a craft market is held on the Upper Esplanade every Sunday.
Lower Esplanade: Directly opposite the beach is the home of some of Melbourne’s best recognised and loved landmarks including Luna Park fun fair and the Palais Theatre.
Luna Park: historic fun fair, the laughing face façade and roller coaster have both been classified by the National Trust.
St Kilda Botanic Gardens: one of St Kilda’s best kept secrets, the botanic gardens (also known as Blessington Gardens), provide a delightful sanctuary and the spectacular rose gardens are among the best in Melbourne.
Robe Street: a fashionable street with some lovely Edwardian houses.
Recreation and Leisure
Most of the recreation here can be found at the bay. The foreshore features safe-swimming sandy beaches and the parklands feature tracks for cycling, walking, jogging and roller-blading. On the water activities include kite-surfing, windsurfing, jet-skiing, water-skiing, sailing and fishing. You can either join in, or relax on the sand and watch.
St Kilda Pier is a local icon providing great panoramic bay views. Sadly, the historic kiosk restaurant at the end of the pier burnt down in 2003 but has been rebuilt in the same style with a number of improvements.
For a real treat, and for some, the main attraction is a protected colony of fairy penguins at the very end of the pier. You cannot access the nesting grounds, but of course penguins do not actually follow the fencing restrictions.
A holiday based in St Kilda also provides the opportunity of gaining an insight into the Australian culture, watching the locals at play on the weekends at this popular location. Imagine a day relaxing bay-side, then returning to your holiday accommodation to relax some more.
Melbourne – and St Kilda – is renowned for its changeable weather, often having four seasons in one day. The temperature can range from cool to hot. So bring layers of clothing that can be worn or removed as required. But if you find your holiday wardrobe is unprepared for the conditions, don’t despair; it could be just the excuse you need to interact with Melbourne’s fashion industry.
Melbourne is said to be the fashion capital of Australia with every known international designer having a boutique here. Here it is not just about high fashion, it is like the food – local and fresh – full of young, independent designers and jewellers, down laneways and in shopping malls, just waiting for you to discover them.
With the city just six kilometres away and serviced by convenient public transport, the lively theatre scene, may just lure you out from your holiday retreat in St Kilda. There are dozens of productions staged in Melbourne each week from the musical blockbusters at the restored Princess and Her Majesty’s theatres to quality local and experimental productions at the Arts Centre and the Malthouse.
Dining and Nightlife
Restaurants, pubs, clubs, bars and cafes are always buzzing in Melbourne, down laneways and overlooking the waterfront, the options are endless and St Kilda has one of the most popular dining precincts. Your nose and eyes will let you know, this is a truly multicultural city that takes its culinary offerings seriously.
Just a short stroll from your holiday rental accommodation will find an array of dining establishments catering for all tastes and budgets. The most well-known eatery streets are Fitzroy Street, Acland Street and the Esplanade with views for free.
St Kilda Accommodation
There is a range of hotels and motels as well as self-contained holiday apartments, villas and homes. All are easily accessible to the beach, city and transport.
Getting Around and Away
Melbourne is serviced by an International airport (Tullamarine) and two domestic airports (Avalon and Essendon). Melbourne is just a one hour flight or 10 hour drive from Sydney.
You can catch a vehicle/passenger ferry to Tasmania or the India/Pacific train heading across the country to Perth.
Attractions out of the city e.g. Great Ocean Road, Dandenong Ranges and regional centres can be visited by a variety of tours or by hiring a car for short or long term.
St Kilda has convenient and regular connections to all points in the city by tram, bus and ferry.