These Trails are Made for Walking
While the sun is still reluctant to make an exit early into April, there is plenty of time to explore St Kilda on foot. Walking or cycling around the precinct is the cheapest way to see the sights and you might learn something new while getting in some exercise as well. Here are some top trails to get walking on in St Kilda.
Going it solo with a map of the foreshore is the simplest way to experience the precinct by foot. We recommend you start your trip at O’Donnell Gardens and Luna Park and make your way to must-see attractions the Catani Arch, St Kilda Sea Baths, the St Kilda Pier and the Captain Cook Statue. For ideas on possible pit stops, take a look at the Acland Village Walking Tour, incorporating all the St Kilda favourites plus some hidden gems along the way. This method is the ideal way to show off St Kilda to friends and family while learning some new things about its history.
Guided group tours
The City of Port Phillip run a number of guided group tours throughout the year, providing expert knowledge of the region with the added benefit of making some new friends. Previously, tours have taken groups down Fitzroy Street to hear about its history in the arts, and from theatre to theatre transporting them back to the 1930s. Later this year the council will host a Queer History tour in St Kilda beginning at the Esplanade, and an historic pub tour covering venues with history dating as far back as the Gold Rush era. A variety of walks depart each month so keep your eye out of an upcoming tour that might suit you here.
The classic Foreshore trail stretches over 11 kilometres from Port Melbourne all the way to Elwood, passing all the bay’s highlights. Naturally, the St Kilda sights feature heavily along the way with hikers passing Catani Gardens, the breakwater and the St Kilda Pier before continuing down the Esplanade to Acland Street – the perfect place for a refuel. The scenic beach trail is perfect for a bike ride, but for a shorter stroll before lunch, you can of course choose to walk only the St Kilda portion of the trail. For the Foreshore trail map and top tips, view the guide.
Solar System trail
The Solar System trail follows a similar route to the Foreshore trail, but with a cosmic twist, making it one of the most unique walks in Melbourne. In 2008, a group of artists and scientists constructed a trail along the foreshore from St Kilda to Port Melbourne, replicating the solar system on a scale of one to one billion. Each ‘planet’ is marked with a replica sculpture, all accurately sized to scale as well! Make your way from the Sun near the lighthouse at Marina Reserve, all the way to Pluto in Port Melbourne. The walk will take about 90 minutes, or the kids might prefer a shorter bike ride. For more information, take a look at the guide.
Getting on your bike
A quick note for those looking to take on the trails on two wheels – Melbourne Bike Share is the best way to do it. Bikes are available at stations at Luna Park and Cleve Gardens in St Kilda, but if you’re planning on in the surrounding suburbs, check the Melbourne Bike Share website for station locations.
With such a unique style, its little wonder why St Kilda produces such popular, scenic and information-packed walks. Strap on the walking boots or get on your bike, grab some friends or get ready to make some new ones, and start on the bayside trail!