St Kilda has long been Melbourne’s aquatic and beachside playground, teeming with bathers and visitors to Luna Park and the cavernous Palais Theatre. Now it is a cosmopolitan centre where restaurants, cafes, boutiques and a thriving nightlife rub shoulders with the traditional entertainment park and bayside focus.
The core thoroughfares of the Esplanade and Acland Street take on a life of their own on Sundays when arts and crafts stalls open outside the existing array of book stores and cafes. Be sure to sample the continental cake shops of Acland Street - to die for!
On the foreshore, there's St Kilda Pier, St Kilda Sea Baths and of course the sandy beach with calm water, ideal for all the family. Luna Park offers fun for all the family, while the Palais Theatre presents all types of entertainment.
St Kilda has several parks and gardens, most notably St Kilda Botanical Garden. It includes mature trees, floral displays, a giant chessboard, duck pond, children's playground, gazebos, children's playground, glasshouse and the Eco Centre, showcasing sustainable living. It is a popular spot for picnics or just hanging out.
Just to the north of St Kilda lies Albert Park, home to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix. For most of the year, there is little evidence of motor racing, and you can enjoy a stroll around the lake.
St Kilda, of course, is only a fast tram-ride away from the heart of Melbourne and all the magical sights, sounds and tastes of the garden city.
In neighbouring Elsternwick stands one of the great mansions of Melbourne, Rippon Lea, a large Romanesque home set in magnificent gardens of international significance. Walk through the grand Victorian fernery and the 19th century conservatory, marvel at the heritage orchard, relax beside the lake or climb the tower.
St Kilda Festival (February), Australian Formula One Grand Prix (March), St Kilda Film Festival (May)
Things to do:
Acland Street - cake shops... Yum!
Walk along the foreshore - St Kilda Pier, St Kilda Sea Baths, the beach, Luna Park and Palais Theatre
Sunday art and craft market - Esplanade and Acland Street
St Kilda Botanical Garden - popular spot for picnics
In the area:
Albert Park - home to the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, stroll around the lake
Rippon Lea - Romanesque mansion set in magnificent pleasure gardens