Just six kilometres from the CBD, St Kilda is Melbourne’s seaside playground. St. Kilda is part of the City of Port Phillip which includes the suburbs of Port Melbourne and South Melbourne.
St Kilda Beach lines the shores of Port Phillip Bay, a safe sandy beach with a long palm-lined boardwalk where you can enjoy a range of beach activities such as beach volleyball or beach cricket or just a leisurely stroll.
The Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation were the traditional owners of the land where St Kilda now sits and called the area Euroe Yroke. There is evidence of their ancient lifestyle throughout St Kilda. Visit where early tribal gatherings were held at the ‘Corroboree Tree’ a very old red gum tree at St Kilda Junction.
St Kilda was named by Superintendent La Trobe after a watching a boat named ‘Lady of St Kilda’ anchored off the beach in 1841. During the 1900s, St Kilda became a favoured suburb of Melbourne's elite, and many palatial mansions were constructed along its hills and waterfront. The foreshore became Melbourne’s amusement zone with the opening of Luna Park in 1912, at the time the newest and greatest amusement park in the world. Luna Park still operates today where you can enjoy rollercoaster rides and arcade games.
Following WWII, St Kilda became Melbourne's ‘red light’ district. During the 1960s, it became known for its bohemian style and attracted young artists and musicians taking advantage of cheap housing. The suburb still retains its alternative style today.
The main street in St Kilda is Fitzroy Street. It’s lined with outdoor pubs, cafes and restaurants serving a wide variety of cuisines showcasing Melbourne’s multicultural heritage.
The café society of Acland Street first bloomed with the influx of cosmopolitan European migrants in the 1950s. That heritage can still be seen in the European-style cake shops, cafes and designer shops that line the street.
The original St Kilda Sea Baths opened next to St Kilda Pier in 1931, and today you can swim in the refurbished salt water pools of this historic building.
Along Marine Parade is The St Kilda Marina, where many local residents keep their boats. You can join a fishing cruise or enjoy a fresh seafood meal at the restaurant.
St Kilda is also home to several renowned Melbourne theatres, such as the ornate Palais Theatre, Barkly Theatre and the National Theatre, home to the National Theatre Ballet School and The National Theatre Drama School. The 130 year-old Esplanade Hotel is one of Australia’s best live music venues to see local music bands. Don’t miss the local artists markets held along the Esplanade every Sunday.
St Kilda hosts many festivals and events throughout the year. The St Kilda Festival is one of Australia’s major music events attended by more than 400,000 people. St Kilda is also close to Albert Park Lake, site of the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix.
To reach St Kilda catch a tram from Melbourne along St Kilda Road.