Destinations Melbourne & Victoria

A Photo Story: My Favorite Place in Melbourne

August 12, 2015

For most of the four months I spent in Melbourne, I lived in an incredible little apartment in the heart of St. Kilda. It had plenty of problems: a washing machine and dryer that just barely functioned most of the time, hot water that lasted only as long as a song or two in the shower, a complete lack of a bathroom door (hey, at least there was a curtain!) and some general dirtiness that, as hard we tried, we eventually accepted as impossible to get rid of. The studio was small but outfitted with two bunk beds, which allowed for a rotating cast of four of us to live there in any given week.

I know, I know: it doesn’t sound so incredible, this place. What made our little studio such a dream apartment wasn’t its size or aesthetics — it was the location.

We couldn’t have lived more in the heart of St. Kilda. The apartment was bounded by Fitzroy and Acland Streets, the neighborhood’s most popular strips for bars, restaurants and shops. We had a major tram stop directly across from our apartment and the iconic Luna Park and Palais Theatre were hardly a minute’s walk away. Best of all, St. Kilda Beach was basically our front yard. We even had a small balcony overlooking the water. I swear, I didn’t once wake up in that apartment without taking a minute to appreciate the always changing gradient of the bay.

For me, living across from the St. Kilda Foreshore was everything. This is where I passed days off with friends, where I watched sunsets and carved out my regular running route. This was where I always felt most at home. It is, hands down, my favorite place in Melbourne.

DSC_0154

DSC_0456

DSC_0461

DSC_0467

DSC_0468

I made a habit of running along the St. Kilda Foreshore past Point Ormond and into Elwood early on in my Melbourne days. Walking and biking paths follow the water nearly the entire way from St. Kilda to Brighton Beach, detouring from the bay for only a short stretch near the skate park. Unfortunately, it was only in my last month that I realized just how close Brighton Beach really was, just a few minutes farther than I usually ran. The world-famous beach, it turns out, is only six kilometers from Luna Park.

While I wish I’d visited Brighton Beach more regularly during my time in Melbourne, I was happy to make it part of my last couple of weeks in the city. When I returned for a short visit last month, there was nothing I wanted to do more than to walk there from St. Kilda with my camera. Save for a couple of summer pics at the end of this post, these photos are all from a walk I took on a particularly gorgeous winter afternoon.

DSC_0472

DSC_0479

DSC_0481

It’s no joke that Melbourne often seems to have four seasons in a day. The upside to all the chill and rain? When the weather’s good in Melbourne, it’s really good. In Melbourne, you can’t take beautiful weather for granted. On a nice day, the city practically buzzes with bliss. Everyone’s out and about, and the St. Kilda Foreshore is no exception.

DSC_0485

DSC_0489

DSC_0493

DSC_0499

DSC_0510

If you’re a pet-starved traveler like me, the walking paths are also the best place to stalk look for cute pups.

Seriously. They’re everywhere here!

DSC_0521

DSC_0529

DSC_0566

When I wasn’t dog-dreaming, I often spent my runs checking out the houses. The waterfront around Brighton Beach is home to some of Melbourne’s wealthiest families, and the houses, of course, are beautiful. Sure, most of them are a little out of my budget these days, but who knows? Maybe one day…

DSC_0589

DSC_0590

DSC_0593

DSC_0610

DSC_0614

DSC_0631

Melbourne’s Brighton Beach ranks among the city’s most popular tourist attractions thanks to its famous bathing boxes, which first became part of the city’s recreational landscape way back in the 1860s. Today, the bathing boxes link Melbourne to its Victorian heritage while showcasing bright colors and even quirky art. Only local taxpayers can own the bathing boxes. They have no running water or electricity, can’t be lived in as permanent accommodation and aren’t allowed to be rented or sublet. These days, owning one of these little pieces of history will set you back $250,000 or more.

DSC_0649

DSC_0658

DSC_0668

DSC_0686

After a long stroll along the water, making it to Brighton Beach to wander around the bathing boxes feels like such a treat. I love the fun, pop-culture art some of the little boxes sport, but it’s the classic nautical themes that are my favorites.

DSC_0485

DSC_0704

DSC_0716

DSC_0694

DSC_0714

DSC_0515

When I’m back in Melbourne later this year, running between St. Kilda and Brighton Beach will be one of the first things I do. What’s your favorite place in Melbourne?

You Might Also Like

11 Comments

  • Reply Jennifer Stevens | Adventurous Appetite August 13, 2015 at 6:23 am

    I loved Melbourne so much! Hard to pick a favorite place. I think my favorite thing, however, was the brunch and cafe culture! So yummy πŸ™‚

    http://www.adventurousappetite.com
    Jennifer Stevens | Adventurous Appetite recently posted…United Airlines: The Future of In-Flight Entertainment?My Profile

    • Reply Katie August 14, 2015 at 6:48 am

      Melbourne is such an easy city to love! The brunch and cafe culture really is incredible there — I splurged on brunch so much living in Melbourne, and I don’t regret it at all πŸ™‚

  • Reply yvonnelaura August 13, 2015 at 6:40 am

    Can imagine why this is your favorite place! Would love to visit Brighton beach myself:-)

    • Reply Katie August 14, 2015 at 6:53 am

      It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in Melbourne! Brighton itself is pretty cute too.

  • Reply Chintan August 13, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Great information, i was always thinking that Sydney is everything in Australia, but need to give another thought. And another fact is that box is costing $250,000 or more, this is super expensive. If you have to prefer between Melbourne and other cities in Australia, what will you chose and why?
    Chintan recently posted…3 Essential Travel Packing Charts for Travelers and HolidaymakersMy Profile

    • Reply Katie August 14, 2015 at 6:54 am

      So far, Melbourne’s actually the only major city I’ve visited in Australia. I’m excited to explore more (Sydney, Perth and Hobart especially) but I think that Melbourne’s set the bar pretty high πŸ˜‰ And you’re so right — it’s pretty wild that the bathing boxes cost so much and that you’re not even allowed to live in them. Still, it makes for a lovely beach!

  • Reply Naomi September 4, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Oh wow, Melbourne looks gorgeous! You just made me super excited to visit. Like, REALLY excited!
    Naomi recently posted…How to book an affordable flightMy Profile

    • Reply Katie September 5, 2015 at 1:31 am

      It is gorgeous! And Melbourne has so, so much to explore. Definitely a must-visit city for any city-lover πŸ™‚

  • Reply Ella December 5, 2015 at 6:16 am

    I’m not quite sure what my favourite thing about Melbourne is… I just know that I really love this city and want to sat here as long as possible! haha I love the vibe of Melbourne… very relaxed, cultural, happening and just a really beautiful city πŸ™‚
    Ella recently posted…When Plans Change… Again & Again! (Part 1)My Profile

    • Reply Katie December 6, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      It’s so hard to choose! I’ll be showing my sister around Melbourne soon and I hardly know where to start when we visit — I’ve always said the best part is the feeling of being there, not any specific attraction! Totally agree with you, Ella πŸ™‚

      • Reply Ella December 8, 2015 at 2:33 am

        “I’ve always said the best part is the feeling of being there, not any specific attraction!” So true!! I just love being here… it really is a great city and it’s hard to put your finger on why exactly. No wonder it’s considered the most liveable city! πŸ™‚ haha
        Ella recently posted…When Plans Change… Again & Again! (Part 2)My Profile

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge