Ready, set, go: St Kilda, Melbourne’s most famous strip of beach, is packed with enough attractions to tire out even the most sugar-fuelled youngsters. The ironic thing is that the beach itself (totally fine, but not a scratch on Victoria’s best) plays pretty backdrop to the other stuff on offer, rather than being the main attraction.
Take punky-haired green palm trees; pastel-coloured art deco facades; the iconic, open-mouthed face waiting to swallow you up into the delights of Luna Park; and the quaint 19th-century swimming baths; then throw in the colourful mix of characters that call this place home, and you’ve got the very picture of a jam-packed family fun day, St Kilda style. Start by working up an appetite as you stroll, cycle or rollerblade along the palm tree-dotted promenade, soaking up the rays and the views of Port Phillip Bay. Grab a bite to eat at one of the cafes right on the foreshore, or take a step back and explore bustling Acland Street and Fitzroy Street.
Don’t wolf too much food down though, because no visit to St Kilda (well, with kids in tow anyway) is complete without the requisite rollercoaster ride, fairy floss and other assorted theme park adventures on offer at Luna Park. Round out the day with a swim at the beach, or take it indoors at the beautiful St Kilda sea baths, which contain gently heated seawater from Port Phillip Bay. Pop into the aromatherapy steam room first for an extra dose of relaxation.
If you’re feeling more energetic, you can take up one of the many water sports on offer – stand up paddling, kayaking, even kite boarding. Enjoy the sunset from the end of the iconic St Kilda Pier before retiring with one happily knackered, rosy cheeked family.