Moving to Melbourne but not sure of where to settle? This is my account of living in St. Kilda, the famous seaside suburb.
After a relaxing week staying in the Docklands area of Melbourne, we were excited to see what the renowned beach suburb of St. Kilda had to offer.
The honest first impression for me? What a fantastic place! Such a cool vibe, friendly people, coffee shops and restaurants galore.
The beach itself may not be the nicest you will ever see. No white sand or crystal clear water but the area was great for sunbathing and hanging out with friends. There are no waves here, so no surfing. The ocean was consistently calm due to the large bay in which Melbourne resides. The bay, however, is perfect for kitesurfing if you ever fancy giving that a go.
Personally, I stuck to knocking a football around on the sand and trying my hand at skateboarding again. The promenade that runs along the seafront is perfect to skate. It also leads to a decent sized park at the East end of the stretch. Even if you can’t rekindle the old kickflip technique its fun to go and watch the more experienced guys do their thing.
St. Kilda beach is also host to some of the best sunsets in Australia. Perfect to take a couple of cold beers and watch the light fade.
Where we stayed
After a short stay in Base backpackers hostel, we decided that this would be the perfect place to settle. We could find work easily yet enjoy ourselves while trying to save up for the big East Coast adventure. We found a share house, offering a room for $340 a week for the two of us. In an ideal location on, wait for it, “Gurner Street”. The location meant we were a short walk to the beach and Acland Street (home to the main bars and restaurants). We were even closer to Fitzroy Street where we spent a lot of our time after becoming St. Kilda residents.
My favourite hangout
For me, Fitzroy Street was a real highlight of living in the area.
Right on the corner of Fitzroy and Grey Street is a bar called Freddie Wimpoles which became my personal favourite place to grab a drink.
Freddie’s provide a variety of craft beers on tap which change regularly. The venue offers great deals for happy hour, as well as a pool table and outdoor seating area.
Fitzroy Street is also stacked with restaurants and coffee shops (including Fitzrovia) that make some of the best coffee you will ever taste. Unfortunately, all of these delights do not come cheap so if like us you are trying to save, it’s best to try and limit yourself to a couple of beers after work, rather than multiple midweek benders.
Underneath the trendy bars and buzzing restaurants, there are some issues in St. Kilda that did take us a little by surprise. There’s a big problem with a drug called “Ice” which we later watched a documentary on by Reggie Yates. It has created a real problem with homeless people in the area and also prostitution. The drug has extreme effects on the brain after long-term use so can leave some users in strange states of mind. This can be intimidating at times whilst walking around the streets. However, work is being done by the local government to help people and improve the situation.
Public transport in St. Kilda is excellent. The tram system is great for getting around in Melbourne, so getting to and from the city centre is no problem at all, as long as you keep your Myki card loaded. If you find work further afield this should not be an issue.
Also, day trips to more glossy beaches such as Brighton are no trouble at all. It’s easy to use the bus systems or even rent a push bike and follow the coastline.
If you are planning on moving to Melbourne, and don’t want to be stuck in the city centre, I highly recommend St. Kilda. It has more than enough to keep you entertained. The beach, plenty of bars and ample work opportunities. “Why wouldn’t ya”?