You hop off the tram at The Esplanade and get an instant hit of salty sea air. The wind breezes through your hair as you wander towards the lively hub of cafés, bars, and restaurants. Snatches of laughter chase you towards the golden sand and crystal water. Welcome to St Kilda Beach, one of Melbourne's most iconic spots and a must-visit destination for travellers seeking sun, sand, and endless fun!
Located just 15 minutes south of the city by tram, this vibrant beachside suburb offers a plethora of activities and attractions that will capture the heart of any beach lover. In this complete guide to St Kilda Beach in Victoria, we'll take you on a journey through its main highlights, provide insights into the best things to do, and offer tips for making the most of your visit. So grab your sun hat, put on your sunscreen, and let's dive into the world of St Kilda Beach!
Discovering St Kilda Beach: A Beach Lover's Paradise
When you step foot onto St Kilda Beach, you’ll instantly be greeted by pristine white sands, sparkling blue waters, and a lively atmosphere that perfectly combines relaxation and excitement. This coastal gem has been captivating locals and tourists alike for years, with its vibrant energy and stunning natural beauty. Whether you're looking to soak up the sun, take a refreshing dip in the sea, or simply go for a leisurely stroll along the shore, St Kilda Beach has it all.
Top Activities and Attractions
St Kilda Beach is not just about sunbathing and swimming; it offers a multitude of activities and attractions that are sure to keep you entertained throughout your visit.
- The Boardwalk: One of the main highlights is the famous St Kilda boardwalk and jetty, where you can take a leisurely walk, enjoy panoramic views of the beach, and even try your hand at fishing. The Boardwalk is also a hotspot for photography enthusiasts, particularly when the sun sets over the dazzling water. Be sure to bring plenty of room on your camera roll to capture this stunning St Kilda Beach gem.
- Luna Park: For thrill-seekers and family adventurers, a visit to Luna Park is a must. This iconic amusement park, located right next to the beach, guarantees endless fun with its nostalgic rides and carnival games. Enter through the renowned open mouth and immerse yourself and your little ones in rides, games, and delicious food.
- The Palais Theatre: If you're a fan of live performances, the Palais Theatre is the place to be. This grand old theatre hosts a range of concerts, plays, and comedy shows throughout the year, ensuring there's always something exciting happening. Check out the website for information on upcoming events and shows.
- Little Penguins at the Pier: Discover the enchanting colony of Little Penguins at the St Kilda Breakwater, which provides the perfect habitat for these adorable creatures. Experience a magical moment as dusk approaches and witness the heartwarming sight of the penguin colony making their way ashore, right before your eyes. To catch the best view, stroll along the promenade on the St Kilda Breakwater, allowing yourself to be captivated by their playful presence.
- St Kilda Esplanade Market: Discover the St Kilda Esplanade Market, an iconic destination in the heart of the beachside oasis. This renowned market showcases high-quality Australian art and crafts, providing a haven for art enthusiasts and discerning shoppers who need a little retail break from swimming and sunbaking on the beach. Visit on Sundays from 10am to explore a delightful collection of unique creations.
A Haven for Water Sports Enthusiasts
If you're a water sports enthusiast, St Kilda Beach is the perfect playground for you. With its consistent winds and calm waters, it's no wonder that this beach is a hub for activities like windsurfing, kitesurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to try something new, there are plenty of rental shops and schools in the area that can help you get started. Check out some of the best St Kilda Beach water sports on offer this season.
Sip and Savour St Kilda Beach's Dining Scene
St Kilda Beach is renowned for its vibrant food scene, offering an array of top-notch cafes, restaurants, and bars that will delight even the most discerning palate. Whether you're craving a leisurely brunch, an exquisite dining experience, or a cosy spot to enjoy a refreshing drink, St Kilda Beach has it all. Here are some of our favourite St Kilda dining hotspots that are sure to tantalise your taste buds:
- Republica: Located right on the beachfront, Republica is a popular choice for both locals and visitors – and for good reason! With its relaxed atmosphere and stunning ocean views, this beachside oasis offers a diverse menu featuring mouthwatering dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Indulge in their delicious seafood platter or savour their famous wood-fired pizzas while sipping on a refreshing cocktail.
- Fitzrovia: Tucked away in the charming backstreets of St Kilda, Fitzrovia is a must-visit for brunch enthusiasts. This cosy cafe prides itself on its farm-to-table philosophy, serving up dishes made from seasonal, locally sourced produce. Indulge in their famous ricotta hotcakes topped with fresh berries and maple syrup, or try their savoury smoked salmon and avocado on toast. Pair your meal with a perfectly brewed cup of coffee for the ultimate brunch experience.
- 29th Apartment: For a unique dining experience, head to 29th Apartment, a quirky bar and restaurant that transports you to a living room straight out of the 1970s. With its retro decor and laid-back ambiance, this hidden gem offers a menu filled with comfort food classics like loaded nachos, gourmet burgers, and mouthwatering pizzas. Grab a cocktail from their extensive drink menu and enjoy the nostalgic vibes as you unwind and soak in the lively atmosphere.
- Milk the Cow: Cheese lovers rejoice! Milk the Cow is a cheese and wine bar that will take your taste buds on a journey of pure indulgence. With an extensive selection of artisan cheeses from around the world, paired with carefully curated wine and craft beer, this cosy establishment is a haven for foodies who appreciate the finer things in life. Dive into a cheese platter featuring a variety of flavours and textures, and let the knowledgeable staff guide you through the perfect wine pairing.
St Kilda Accommodations: Stay Close to the Coast
If you're planning on spending more than a day exploring St Kilda Beach, why not extend your stay and immerse yourself in the coastal vibe? Crowne Plaza Melbourne, conveniently located in the heart of the city, offers easy access to St Kilda Beach via the no. 96 tram, which stops right outside the hotel and within the free tram zone. With our comfortable rooms, riverfront views, and top-notch amenities, Crowne Plaza Melbourne is the perfect base for your seaside adventure.
Alongside the short yet scenic 20-minute tram ride to St Kilda, there are plenty of other Melbourne waterside hotspots within close proximity to our hotel.
What’s On: The St Kilda Festival
St Kilda Beach is a hub of activity all year round, with a calendar packed full of exciting events. From music festivals and outdoor cinema screenings to sporting events and cultural celebrations, there's always something happening by the sea. Be sure to check the local event listings to see what's on during your visit, and join in the fun with the vibrant St Kilda community.
One of the beach’s main highlights is the annual St Kilda Festival, a glorious weekend filled with the best Australian music acts. The 2023 lineup consisted of huge names like Alice Ivy, Confidence Man, Genesis Owusu, and JK-47, with 2024’s list set to be just as impressive.
The St Kilda Festival also shines a bright spotlight on First Nations music, with incredible First Peoples’ acts and artists, as well as the ever-impressive Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony.
Check back on the festival’s website to stay up to date on 2024 dates and ticket releases.
Safety Tips and Beach Guidelines at St Kilda
While St Kilda Beach is a fantastic place to relax and have fun, it's important to prioritise safety. Here’s a quick rundown on beach-friendly musts to keep you and the family safe and happy this beach season:
- Remember to swim between the flags, as lifeguards are on duty to ensure your safety.
- Be aware of any potential hazards in the water, such as rip currents or submerged objects.
- Always apply sunscreen, stay hydrated, and follow any guidelines or regulations put in place by the local authorities.
- Follow all regulations surrounding the Little Penguins, including no flash photography and no feeding the penguins.
Local Insights: The Best Time to Visit St Kilda Beach
St Kilda Beach can be enjoyed throughout the year, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences. If you're looking for warm weather and lively crowds, the summer months of December to February are ideal.
However, if you prefer a quieter experience and cooler temperatures, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring (September to November) or autumn (March to May). No matter when you visit, St Kilda Beach's beauty and charm will leave a lasting impression.
Stay Close to the Seaside Action
If you're ready to experience the best of St Kilda Beach, why not book a stay at Crowne Plaza Melbourne? With its prime location and easy access to St Kilda Beach via the no. 96 tram right at your doorstep, you can enjoy the convenience and comfort of staying close to the seaside action. Relax in beds so comfy, indulge in delicious dining options, and make the most of your coastal getaway.
We can't wait to welcome you to Crowne Plaza Melbourne and help you create unforgettable memories at St Kilda Beach. Book your stay today and get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant energy and natural beauty of this coastal gem!
Looking for even more fabulous Melbourne beachside action? Check out our top 7 Melbourne beaches to add to your travel list.