What’s On

SEVEN ICONIC THINGS TO DO AT MELBOURNE’S FAVOURITE SEA­SIDE DES­TI­NA­TION. BY MARY O’BRIEN.

Where Melbourne - - Contents -

1 Spot a Pen­guin

Join the crowds and stroll down St Kilda Pier, past the his­toric St Kilda Kiosk, to see the sun slide into the sea at sun­set. Con­tinue fur­ther down the break­wa­ter to catch a glimpse of the lit­tle pen­guin colony (now num­ber­ing more than 1,000) right in the heart of the city. Sum­mer is the best time to spot the lit­tle guys as it’s breed­ing sea­son. Vol­un­teers ask you to turn off your flash and leave your selfie stick at home. The pier of­fers spec­tac­u­lar views of Melbourne city and Lit­tle Blue res­tau­rant is a good spot to en­joy it all.

St Kilda Es­planade. Photo: Chris Cas­sar Photography Pty Ltd. 2 Shop till you Drop

Ev­ery Sun­day the St Kilda Es­planade Mar­ket is thronged with peo­ple fos­sick­ing through the 140 art and craft stalls. The mar­ket, which has been go­ing since the 1970s, is full of in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters and their hand­made wares. Also keep an eye out for the monthly Veg Out farm­ers’ mar­ket for lo­cal pro­duce.

3 Ride a Rick­shaw

Just a short (#96, #16 or #12) tram ride from the city, St Kilda Beach has been draw­ing in the crowds since the 19th cen­tury. Not a place to rest on its lau­rels, the fore­shore is hav­ing a facelift. The iconic Stoke­house res­tau­rant on the beach­front re­opened in Novem­ber. Grab a fish ’n’ chips from Pa­per Fish or try the pop­u­lar restau­rants in­side. Next door the St Kilda Life Sav­ing Club has just re­opened while the fa­mous Palais The­atre is un­der wraps for a $20 mil­lion restora­tion (but still op­er­at­ing as a live mu­sic venue). The St Kilda Fore­shore Trail is a lovely 11-kilo­me­tre walk. Why not order a St Kilda Rick­shaw to pick you up at the end for an un­for­get­table lazy ride home?

4 Play Time

The young, and the not so young, will en­joy the rides of Luna Park while teens flock to the skate park near St Kilda Ma­rina. The ad­ven­tur­ous might like to get a bird’s eye view by jump­ing from a plane over St Kilda Beach with Sky­dive Aus­tralia. Join the lo­cals for a swim at St Kilda Sea Baths, a dip in the sea out­side, and then warm up in the spa.

5 Do a Cake Crawl

A cake crawl down Acland Street is a must—vis­i­tors ogle the win­dows of the cake shops that have been sweet­en­ing lives since the 1930s. Start your day with a de­li­cious brekkie at Il For­naio, try lunch at buzzy Fitzrovia over­look­ing the park and maybe a sun­set drink at Repub­lica on the beach­front. Join the bright young things at newish Matcha Mylk­bar, a ve­gan café known for its beet­root lat­tes. For din­ner, Good Food Guide stal­warts in­clude Cic­ci­olina, Café Di Sta­sio, Lau’s Fam­ily Kitchen, Circa, Araliya and Lux­em­bourg. Dono­vans is for cel­e­brat­ing within a splash of the sea while Clay­pots cooks up sea crit­ters to per­fec­tion.

6 Toast Your Friends

Won­der where the lo­cals go for a drink? Mis­ery Guts (it’s any­thing but) is a re­laxed wa­ter­ing hole in a his­toric build­ing on Grey Street. Run by Jules Pleadin, it has a great drinks list and snacky bites. Try the St. Ho­tel for a cool drink, Lona for pin­txos or The Snug Public House, a new Ir­ish pub. For gourmet cheese and wine, head to Milk the Cow fro­magerie.

7 Be Cre­ative

St Kilda has al­ways been a haven for artists and cre­ative types. On the quiet end of Acland Street, look at the beau­ti­ful his­toric man­sions, in­clud­ing Lin­den New Art, which has been a gallery for 30 years. There’s al­ways an in­ter­est­ing show on and it’s a good place to pick up rea­son­ably priced art. Pop into To­larnos Ho­tel to see the fa­mous mu­rals by le­gendary Mirka Mora. For edgy street art, ex­plore the laneways off Acland Street.

St Kilda Pier. Photo: Mary O’brien.

Left: Dessert from Stoke­house. Photo: © emi­ly­weav­ing.com

Luna Park. Photo: Roshan Sukhla. Sky­dive Aus­tralia.

In­te­rior of the St. Ho­tel, St Kilda. Photo: Josie Withers Photography/visit Victoria.

St Kilda sun­set. Photo: Roshan Sukhla.

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