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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
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.
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.