From Luna Parks too Little Penguins St Kilda offers a gorgeous day out. A mere 15 minutes drive from the city centre of Melbourne sits the lovely seaside town of St Kilda. St Kilda is a special little town. It’s home to Little Penguins, which yes this breed of penguin is actually called the ‘Little Penguin’. The colony that nest on St Kilda currently sits at 1700. As well as an abundance of wildlife this seaside town is home to Melbourne’s Luna Park and the Brighton Bathing Boxes. Spending a day in St Kilda is a great amount of time to explore what this town has to offer. In this post, I’ll be letting loose on what we got up into in St Kilda and the best way to spend a day in this town.
A Day in St Kilda – Morning
Brighton Bathing Boxes
Ever wondered where you can find the vibrant beach boxes found in every backpacker’s photo album? These familiar bathing boxes are located on Brighton Beach. A little quieter than the fun-loving Brighton in the UK, this golden beach sits just minutes down the road from St Kilda. The journey from St Kilda to Brighton Beach will take around 5 minutes by car. Depending on which way from the city you are travelling to St Kilda from you may well drive past it, which is what we did.
Pull up in the car park – which is pay and display, I’m sure if you hunt a little further you may be able to snag some free parking. As you wander onto the beach you won’t be able to miss the beach boxes to your right. Sitting almost flush with one another these bathing boxes boast an array of colours and will instantly make you smile! These little huts are painted with various different designs including country flags and camper vans – my favourite one!
Before you arrive it’s always good to note that this place will be packed with tourists, which does ruin the vibes slightly. You’ll be one of many trying to create a fun photograph outside these little huts. I enjoyed visiting these boxes and I was glad we got to smile in front of a few so we can cherish the memory but I can’t help wondering what the owners feel like? Do they get annoyed that people are smiling and posing outside their little boxes of escape? There was one family who had their hut open, sunbathing in hammocks outside who didn’t seem fazed by the tourists, but I can’t help but wonder their real thoughts.
So what’s the story with the Brighton Bathing Boxes?
These boxes have been around since the 1800s and pay a huge part in protecting the foreshore on Brighton Beach. In the past, they’ve escaped cyclones and protected the shore from damage. The boxes used to be used for ladies to get changed in for a day in the beach! Nowadays people may use these boxes as a little retreat from the world, relaxation or storage. One local had his box open and the decor inside was just beautiful. He appeared to have created somewhat of a Nordic sanctuary. A bright space painted with white walls, gorgeous sofas, finished with minimalism in mind. I could just imagine my days sat in a deck chair, book in one hand with the doors flung open welcoming in the fresh sea air. A girl can dream, can’t she?
After taking a few shots, grab an ice cream from the ice cream truck in the carpark and take a stroll along the beach. You can use the sidewalk or walk on the beach but I will warn you Brighton Beach is full of broken shells so watch your step! You may also spot some fresh mussels if you’re lucky – all we copped were empty shells. As you continue to walk along the beach you can see the city of Melbourne come into view which is a wonderful sight. It reinforces just how close to the coast Melbourne really is.
You can learn more about the history of the Brighton Beach Boxes here!
Explore the Beach in St Kilda
As you arrive in St Kilda I’d recommend parking by the Luna Park. We paid $12 for the day opposed to $5 per hour that some areas charge. Spend the rest of the morning wandering around St Kilda. This small town has so much to offer in terms of a gorgeous beach, beachside restaurants, bars and a gorgeous pier. Fish and Chips is a must when visiting St Kilda and there are a few to choose from. Paper Fish sits on the beachfront and has delicious Fish and Chips for lunch! Head there and either sit in watching the waves as they come in and out of the shore or why not grab a take out and find a spot on the sand! Although I must warn you, you may attract a flock of seagulls so as nice as that idea sounds, maybe sit inside the restaurant!
The beach runs for miles which creates a lovely walk but we spent a few hours chatting in the sunshine with a beer in our hands, but each to their own!
Spend a Day in St Kilda – The Afternoon
An Afternoon at the Fun Fair!
St Kilda is home to the Luna Park of Melbourne. Can you think of a more fun way to spend the afternoon? Nope me neither, I love rides, even small ones but my travel friends did not! Dave and my mum were both with me during our day in St Kilda and fun fairs just aren’t their thing! So I already knew that the odds were against me! And it turns out that even though I wanted to explore inside the Luna Park – it was closed! It was actually opening that evening! So we indeed just went up to the park for a little look rather than a play on the rides.
But when you visit St Kill be sure to check the opening times and spend a little bit of time returning to your childhood at the fun fair, even if all you purchase is candy floss! You can find the opening hours to the Luna Park at this website. It’s wise to note that the Luna Park is only open on a weekend, school holidays and public holiday They do not open during term time (April 2019).
The entrance to the Luna Park is impressive, if you’ve ever been to one in Sydney then you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s basically crafted like a face, and the one in St Kilda is scary as! The entrance in Sydney is all happy and inviting, albeit a little freaky, but the Luna Park in St Kilda is next level.
Coffee on the Pier
Since my dreams of returning to my childhood were crushed we decided to take a stroll along the pier. The pier at St Kilda is beautiful creating a lovely walk from the shore to the edge of the harbour. The views of the city are stunning from the end of so make sure you bring a camera. Watching the boats bob up and down from the Coffee Shop on the pier was pure relaxation.
Little Blue sits at the end of the pier, you won’t miss it as the building is wonderful. Enjoy a coffee or lunch in the cafe or restaurant. Open Monday to Friday until late with live music on show some evenings. You’ll find it becomes busier towards sunset as that’s when the Little Penguins come out to play and a lot of people make their way to the pier.
I felt so relaxed during our short visit to St Kilda because it was slow. We took a lot of walks and just enjoyed a day engulfed by nature and the ocean. As travellers, sometimes we are so busy trying to find the best places to explore we forget to take a moment and enjoy the moment.
Sunset in St Kilda
Before I do start chatting about the Little Penguins in St Kilda I want to talk about sunset in general, which is amazing (amazing sung at the top of my voice in an opera voice). As we flocked to the pier to watch the sun setting over St Kilda and the rest of Melbourne we had no idea we were in for the most beautiful sunset. Chasing sunsets is something I love to do and this one did not disappoint.
Find a spot on the pier and watch the sun close in over the beach. On a clear day, the sky boasts beautiful colours of orange and pink glistening on the ocean. What makes sunset extra special in St Kilda is the calling of the Little Penguins coming to nest. The sound they make is a bit like a high picked squeal but it really adds to the atmosphere of the sunset by the ocean which you just can’t beat.
Little Penguins in St Kilda
Undoubtedly one of the most popular things to do in St Kilda is to visit the Little Penguins. The colony in St Kilda had reached 1700 in April 2019. St Kilda and their research team do a lot of work in terms of conservation and protection of the Little Penguins. You’ll see at the very end of the Pier a section which is completely closed off to the public as a protected area for the Penguins and this is where most of them nest at night.
Little Penguins will head out to sea in the morning and then come back and nest on shore at sunset. In St Kilda the penguin’s nest along the pier within the rocks that line the shore. Every night at sunset you can guarantee hundreds of Penguins will leave the ocean and come home to rest. The area is patrolled by ‘Penguin Patrol’ volunteers protecting the safety of the penguins in their natural habitat.
If you do decide to visit these creatures then please make sure you follow the rules of no flash photography as this damages the eyes of the Penguins. This has become a very popular tourist thing to do in Melbourne as they aren’t many places you can see Little Penguins in their natural habitats so expect quite a few people. Arrive at sunset or just after sunset as this is when the Penguins will come in. You’ll hear them calling before you’ll see them so make you’re listening out.
Don’t Forget to Share
Though our trip to St Kilda was short it was indeed very sweet. This day out was full of relaxation and just taking it easy. This is definitely not an exhaustive list of things you can get up too in St Kilda. It’s merely a guide to some of the things you can enjoy! Strolls on the beach and watching sunsets makes for a great day out in my world of travel. But if adventure activities are more up your street then I’m sure you can find some!
I hope you enjoyed this quick guide to St Kilda in Melbourne. This was by far my favourite part of Melbourne. I loved how close to this city it was and the sunset was incredible! I would wholeheartedly visit St Kilda again just for the sunset.
If you did enjoy this post then don’t forget to share it so your friends can have a look and enjoy it too! You may also like my guide on 24 Hours in Melbourne. The Great Ocean Road Highlights and my Full 2 Day Itinerary to the Great Ocean Road!
Happy and Healthy Travels as always,
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