Postcode: 3182 – St Kilda, The Seaside Playground

Postcode: 3182 – St Kilda, The Seaside Playground

The seaside playground of St Kilda lies just six kilometres from the city centre, making it Melbourne’s most accessible seaside escape. Seagulls and skaters can be heard by the beach, while the smell of sea air gives way to sweet treats along Acland Street, renowned for its cakes. Home to Melbourne’s much loved theme park, Luna Park, it is a destination for families as much as night-life revellers with its bars, clubs and live music venues.

On the second Sunday of February, St Kilda plays host to Australia’s biggest free summer celebration, the St Kilda Festival. Every year, the streets are closed to traffic and over 400,000 attendees turn out to watch some of the best Australian music acts perform, and enjoy the festival atmosphere.

There is much on offer in St Kilda all year round, however. Here is a snapshot:

Nightlife and music

The Prince Bandroom

Home of the popular Australian music TV show, RocKwiz, St Kilda is known for its live music scene. Its venues attract local and international musicians and DJs all year round and The Prince Bandroom is a prime destination to catch a gig. Many of the best bands and DJs schedule a show at The Prince, and they have done for more than 60 years. 29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, +61 3 9536 1168

Palais Theatre

Australia’s largest theatre, The Palais is considered one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the country. It plays host to a range of performances, including live music, ballet, comedy and film screenings. Lower Esplanade, St Kilda, +61 3 9525 3240

The Esplanade Hotel

A St Kilda landmark, the ‘Espy’, as it is affectionately known, has a long-standing tradition of hosting live music. It is a cultural icon of the Australian music scene and continues to host over 50 bands and DJs in an average week. 11 The Esplanade, St Kilda, +61 3 9534 0211

Captain Baxter

Perched above the St Kilda Sea Baths, Captain Baxter is a cocktail and lounge bar with ocean views. Live DJs perform throughout the weekend the outdoor deck overlooking the beach is the perfect place to while away a balmy summer evening. 10/18 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda, +61 3 8534 8999

Night owls can continue to chase the tunes at Barney Allen’s (a local institution), RobartaClub London and Veludo Bar.

Just for fun

St Kilda beach and foreshore

Roller-blading, skating and cycling are popular pastimes on St Kilda’s foreshore, while kite surfing and stand up paddle boarding are top options on the water. It is also a prime location to fly a kite, charter a fishing boat, sky dive onto the beach, enjoy a game of beach volleyball or cricket, enjoy an ocean swim or lie on the beach and read a book.

Luna Park

Luna Park has been entertaining families for over a century and continues to provide hours of fun with a mix of heritage and modern rides. Located just a short distance from the beach, the Park overlooks Port Phillip Bay, and sea views can be enjoyed from the Scenic Railway Roller Coaster – the oldest of its kind in the world. 18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda, +61 3 9525 5033

St Kilda Rickshaws

This fun way to get around was started up by a trio of friendly Americans with a three-wheeled bike. Visitors can take a trip anywhere around the area, whether to get from A to B or to simply lap up the sights. +61 421 737 196

Arts and Culture 

Jewish Museum

The award winning Jewish Museum of Australia is the only Jewish community museum in Australia. It tells the story of Australian Jews and their contribution to Australian life over the last 200 years, and traces the waves of migration. 26 Alma Road, St Kilda, +61 3 8534 3600

Linden New Art 

This public gallery specialises in new contemporary art. The gallery is housed in a Victorian mansion, and its annual exhibition program features artists from across Australia and overseas. 26 Acland Street, St Kilda, +61 3 9534 0099

The Alex Theatre

On the site of what was once the old George Cinemas, The Alex Theatre is Melbourne’s newest live theatre and cinema venue. A versatile arts hub, visitors can enjoy a live show or movie screening. 1/135 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, +61 3 8534 9300

Coffee and brunch

The Banff 

During World War II, The Banff was the galley of an American army barracks. Now an Italian eatery, the owner has a simple philosophy towards his food: provide more for less. 145 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, +61 3 9525 3899

Fitzrovia

Here, visitors can enjoy luxe comfort food, inspired by provincial Italian and British cuisine. Its menu offers big flavours with rough edges, top quality coffee and cakes. 2/155 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, +61 3 9537 0001

Monarch Cakes

Sweet tooths are spoilt for choice on St Kilda’s Acland Street, where displays of mouthwatering cakes and pastries make it hard to walk on by. One such cake shop, Monarch Cakes has been baking from the same recipes for over 80 years – many of which originated from its original shop in Poland. 103 Acland Street, St Kilda, +61 3 9534 2972

For more sweet treats, Cacao is an innovative chocolatier and Baker D. Chirico is famed for its artisan breads and pastries.

Dining out 

Lau’s Family Kitchen

Tucked away off Fitzroy Street, Lau’s Family Kitchen is loved locally for its friendly service and authentic Cantonese food. As the name suggests, it is a family affair and its reputation means that bookings are necessary. 4 Acland Street, St Kilda, +61 3 8598 9880

Circa, The Prince

Located above The Prince Bandroom, Circa serves serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and an enviable wine list. The menu is seasonal and ingredients are sourced from Victorian and Australian growers, farmers, foragers and fishermen where possible. Visitors can make a night of it by booking one of the 40 boutique hotel rooms on site. 2 Acland Street, St Kilda, +61 3 9536 1122

Donovans

A Melbourne institution, known for its quality food and bay views, Donovans sits in what was once the site of three bathing houses built in 1920, on St Kilda’s foreshore. Floor to ceiling windows open onto the beach and the interior is designed to emulate the comfort of a home. 40 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda, +61 3 9534 8221

The Saint Hotel has recently revamped its menu with Thai inspired cuisine and on Acland Street, Lona offers Barcelona-inspired pintxos and a 50-bottle wine list.

'Postcode 3182' with thanks to our friends at Visit Victoria