Walk Category: Short
Getting There: Car, Light rail & Tram
Walk Area: Melbourne - Inner
Distance from Melbourne GPO: 5.5 km
Mobile Phone Coverage: Yes
Walk Details Collated: 2009
Walk Details Provided By: Bushwalking Victoria
Take a walk beside the sea, play or laze on the beach, swim, gaze at the yachts, revel in the sea air, stroll along the piers and then grab a coffee on the historic St Kilda Pier or in one of the many cosmopolitan cafés.
Track surfaces: Sealed track surface, flat walk and no hills except for a ramp to reach the Esplanade at Step 10.
Best Season: Spring and Autumn are best as the route is exposed to the elements and provides little shade. Sun protection and/or wet weather gear are necessary. While Summer is a good option for swimming it can be very hot so take hats and skin protection. olunteer life guards patrol some beaches at weekends and public holidays in the summer months. Remember to swim between the flags.
1. From the light rail terminus walk towards Station Pier, cross the road, and turn left at the sign Bay Trail: St Kilda Pier 4.4km. This part of the trail is shared with bicycles so be alert. At the end of the fenced area on your right turn along the board walk to a small pier from which you enjoy your first views across Port Phillip Bay to your destination, the St Kilda Pier. You also have a close view of the Tasmanian ferry Spirit of Tasmania when it is in dock.
2. Return to the track and turn right past the Centenary Pillar, reading about the ambitious dreams of our forebears and noting that the beach area here is sheltered from the westerly wind. From this point the walking track is separated from the bicycle track and leads you to a rotunda which has seats inside and outside. Next you pass a statue of Wilbrahim Liardet, a pioneer of Port Melbourne, and then another relic of the past - an old stone drinking fountain (no longer in use).
3. Past the Port Melbourne Yacht Club is another short boardwalk leading to Lagoon Pier which is worth visiting for the views of the foreshore. Return to the track and turn right towards the Port Melbourne Life Saving Club where you will find public facilities.
4. You will pass another water fountain before reaching the South Melbourne Life Saving Club.
5. You may see a game of volleyball on one of the courts marked by white posts on the beach in front of the Plum Garland Memorial Playground. This is a well-equipped, safe, fenced and shady play area for children. Opposite the playground, in Victoria Avenue is the terminus of Tram 1, a 7-day service, which is an alternative start or finish for the walk.
6. Walk past the Albert Park Yachting and Angling Club, the café (maybe stop for a coffee) and walk along the Kerferd Road Pier and look back to the foreshore as well as checking the catch of any fishermen. Return to the track.
7. At the Albert Park Public Change Rooms you can change into beachwear for beach activities if you wish. Refreshments are available from the café while further along on the beach is a wooden shelter with bench seats on all four sides so it protects from winds from any direction.
8. Past a grassy area with a water fountain, the sandy beach beside the path is now covered with many banksias and other local plants as a result of an intensive local habitat planting programme. These bushes can provide beach shade and protection from the wind and on a windy day you may watch the kiteboarders. Please note that swimming is not permitted here.
9. Cross Pier Road at the traffic lights and enter Catani Gardens, a grassy park with shady trees, picnic area, barbecue, public toilets and a children's playground (under reconstruction, July 2009). The central path leads right through a rotunda before you take the right fork, keeping the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron on your left. This path joins Pier Road (shared with bicycles and vehicles) where you turn left to the start of St Kilda Pier.
10. Walking along the St Kilda Pier is a must to see the reconstructed historic kiosk and to view the breakwater where a colony of Little Penguins lives. When you leave the pier walk straight ahead across a grassed area with a central statue of Captain Cook and the St Kilda Sea Baths on your right. Cross Jacka Boulevard using the overpass (no steps) which leads to The Esplanade and Tram Stop number 13 for routes 16 and 96 back to the City.
Variation: Turn right from St Kilda Pier and explore St Kilda.
To view more on the map, zoom in or out, click the symbols and the walk route. To open a full screen version of the map, right-click and open in another tab or window. The map and walk details can also be downloaded5.15 MB.
Melway map: 57 A3 start, 57 K10 finish.
Car Parking: Free in side streets for limited times but necessary to check parking restriction signs as limits vary in different streets.
To the start: Light rail route 109, direction Port Melbourne, from Collins Street or from Southern Cross Station (Spencer Street), 7 day service.
From the end: From The Esplanade take either tram 16, direction Melbourne University, to Flinders Street Station or tram 96, direction East Brunswick, to Southern Cross Station.
Dogs: Permitted on leash.
Facilities: Seats; toilets and water fountains are found along the way; picnic tables, shelters and barbecues are at Catani Gardens; cafes and kiosks are along the route and at the end of the walk in Acland Street.