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Perth, Scotland, United Kingdom
November 12, 2010
From journal Mellow Melbourne
January 13, 2006
The most famous and probably the most visited beach in the vicinity of Melbourne lies in the suburb St. Kilda on Port Philip bay. Due to its popularity it is sometimes called "the Bondi of Melbourne" referring to the famous beach resort near Sydney. It was developed mid 19th century to give the wealthy Melbournians the opportunity to flee the ever growing city and enjoy the cool sea breeze in their stately Victorian cottages. You can still see quite a few of them when you wander around.
Later, at the end of the 19th century, the decline of the town happened when Australia had its great depression due to the fact that the major source of income, the gold arteries, came into depletion. The beautiful houses went into decline, the few rich people not touched by the depression left the town, and the streets of St. Kilda became notorious due to the growing presence of brothels and gambling dens.
The beach is decent and the sea water is fine, but it's definitely not the best beach in the country, so I wouldn't linger here too long. There are a few interesting sights in the town like the old Luna Park, with an entrance through an open mouth, the Esplanade Hotel and the Pier. They are all located on or close by The Esplanade next to the beach.If you can, you should come here like we did the 2nd Sunday of February when the annual St. Kilda Festival is held. There was a market, a motor show, street stalls and live music. The atmosphere was like a real carnival. The weather was great that day so there was an incredible crowd filling the street of this beach resort.
It is a good side trip from the city, at a distance of a few miles. To reach St. Kilda from Melbourne it's best to take a tram from Bourke Street directly to the Esplanade. There are also a few city buses going this way. The drive there is mostly along Port Phillip bay and offers some nice views on the Melbourne skyline, like the one from the St. Kilda Yacht Club.
From journal Melbourne as an Introduction to Australia
July 5, 2002
The town has the casual feel of Coronado (the resort area across from San Diego), with plenty of cafes, bakeries, galleries and shops lining popular streets like Fitzroy and Acland. Your eye will notice the colorful face/facade of Luna Park, the "Coney Island" of Melbourne built in 1912 (there is also a similar Luna Park in Sydney). Right next door is the Palais Theatre, a landmark building of a more innocent time which still hosts concerts and shows. The St. Kilda Esplanade Market, held every Sunday, features over 200 artists displaying a wide selection of arts and crafts.
Take a walk along the beach and you will reach St. Kilda Pier, with its distinctive kiosk dating from 1857. The winds howl off the Port Phillip Bay as you stroll along the pier, populated with local fishermen. Take a walk to the end for great views encompassing the Melbourne skyline. There is a wildlife sanctuary for Little Penguins (well known to visitors at Phillip Island) at the end of the pier, but this area is cordoned off from visitors. Peer over the pier into the water and you may spot a starfish!
You can best reach St. Kilda by taking one of the popular trams from the CBD, and you can glide past some of the bucolic garden suburbs along the way.
From journal Bill in Australia - MELBOURNE
San Francisco, California
April 18, 2001
Brighton Beach is a bit more tranquil, and harder to get to. You have to take the train line to the Brighton station. One thing I noticed about this beach is that there are HEAPS of seashells everywhere. More families come here, and the brightly colored row of beach houses that you see on all the postcards are very cute.
From journal Melbourne, My Dream City