Tag Archives: Melbourne

Penguins at Dusk on St. Kilda Pier Breakwater

This walk takes you from the end of the number one tram line at South Melbourne beach along to St. Kilda Pier and the breakwater where the Penguins return at dusk.   The number of penguins will vary depending on the time of year, which in winter can be from 5.00pm to about 10.00 pm at the height of summer.  There are a number of transport and add on options included in this post.

The breakwater is a bit of a surprise to visitors with a location so close to the city for viewing penguins.  It is a good alternative to making the trek down to Phillip Island where you will find the world famous Penguin Parade and the largest of penguin colonies in Australia.  Penguins return to shore after feeding in the Great Southern Ocean.  If on an organised tour to the island [half or full day] or self-guided the travel time will be 90 minutes each way minimum.

At both locations the larger number of penguins return in late spring and summer.  Parents return to feed chicks in the nests in the burrows at dusk when less predators are about.  You will often hear the noise of the chicks coming from the nests in the rocks or under the board walk [Mum  – I am hungry].

St Kilda Penguin Series_#07

The St. Kilda location is a little unique and surprise being located in an urban environment.   When as a tourist, you are time poor having only allowed a couple of days to see the many things that Melbourne has to offer, it is a bonus to your stay.

Take the number one tram to South Melbourne beach, where the tram terminates at stop 32 Beaconsfield Parade / Victoria Ave.  For those interested, alighting earlier at stop 27 at corner of Park and Montague Streets provides a detour walk St. Vincent Place to view early Victorian architecture and grand homes of the late nineteenth century.

Resuming the tram trip if you have taken the detour continue to end and get off at the South Melbourne Beach stop.  Cross the road at this T intersection, turn left to walk along the beach footpath towards St Kilda and the marina.  The closest path to the beach is pedestrian only and runs along the edge of the sea wall.

[Click on the images below to enlarge]

Walk to the pier and at the end you find located a kiosk and bar, Little Blue.  It is a great spot to take in the view of the city across the Marina and watch locals and tourists participating in the water sport activities on offer  be it yachting, stand up paddling, wind surfing and kiting.  Having walked along the foreshore you will have  passed the hire companies or schools based nearby in caravans or offices.  Many people don’t realise the vastness of the Port Philip Bay on which Melbourne is located.  The Great Southern Ocean is about 58 kms south on the bay and  through the heads.

To the left of the kiosk on the marina is a jetty, where people start to gather sitting with their feet over the edge.  From experience position yourself at the far end next to the steps that access the jetty.   You should be able to see any penguins that come in from the water, but be sure to turn around and look at the rocks behind and under the steps.  As it gets darker you’ll find up on the breakwater some, will come in from the seaward side, keep an eye out for other people gathering. Remember the parents are coming back to the nest to feed their young and will consider you a predator, be  quiet and you’ll be rewarded.

Don’t expect large numbers but with patience will get you one on one moment with the fairy penguins, this encounter is a privilege and I am always in awe of the location and urban environment.  There are usually a couple of volunteer guides who will answer any questions you have and are there to look after the welfare of the penguins so please follow their requests if made.

As mentioned viewing time will depend on the time of the year and in summer gets really late as dusk is not until well after 9.00pm.

As an indicator the writer did this walk in spring, late October and the penguins were out and about at about 7.45pm.

St Kilda Penguin Series_0
St Kilda Penguin Series_#11

Returning home to Southbank after the viewing, catch tram 3a and 16 from nearby Fitzroy Street to Grant Street, which runs along St Kilda Road to other destinations, Arts Precinct, Federation Square and Flinders Street Railway Station.  Also connecting with trams to other locations.

Directions to tram stop – from the end of pier, continue straight ahead up on to the bridge to cross  the road and access the esplanade and walk left 200 metres.

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St Kilda Penguin Series_#03

What’s underneath the Onion Skin – add on and other things nearby:

St. Vincent Place -Victorian Grand homes and Architecture from the late nineteenth Century.

Luna Park – historic amusement park with old world and new rides

Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research – located in nearby Elsternwick.

Craft Market St Kilda Esplanade [Sundays] – great for local artisans products, crafts and good tourist souvenirs

St. Kilda Sea Baths – Oceanside featuring an indoor salt-water pool and day spa,

St. Kilda Beach foreshore – water sports, kite surfing

Food: Acland Street with a great eclectic mix of foods, particularly good are the Jewish and east European cake shops.

Suburb/ Neighborhood:  St. Kilda and nearby Elwood, Elsternwick

St Kilda Penguin Series_#12
St Kilda Marina from Little Blue on St Kilda Pier

How to get there: Melway reference – Map 57 H10

By Car:  park along St. Kilda foreshore and remember to feed the meters, the park inspectors are vigilant.

By Tram: 1 to South Melbourne Beach to do this walk. Direct to almost the end of the pier 3a and 16 along St Kilda Road, or 96 from Bourke Street and 112 from Collins Street or South Melbourne Market [rear].

Arrive by water: Connecting ferries: One operates just between Williamstown and St Kilda pier and the other also adds Docklands as an extra location.

 

Behind the Waterwall, the NGV – National Gallery of Victoria

You will be surprised what you find just behind the glass – below is is a recent piece by artist Artist – Ichwan Noo which was on display.

VW CARS COMPRESSED INTO PERFECT SPHERES AND CUBES

Artist: Ichwan NoorArtist: Ichwan Noor

NATIONAL GALLERY of VICTORIA,  INTERNATIONAL

Since 1861, the National Gallery of Victoria has been displaying art works for the enjoyment of the community. In the mid-1990s, the gallery acknowledged that its St Kilda Road building could no longer successfully meet the demands of its growing collection and extensive exhibitions schedule. 

The Collection is split between The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square, home of Australian art, and NGV International at St Kilda Road, the redeveloped building dedicated to the gallery’s magnificent international artworks.

Visitors have two wonderful NGV buildings dedicated to bringing art and people together.

If you have limited time, a suggestion is to choose one gallery and focus on that collection.  But if nothing else walk into the building to look at the architecture.  One must is to walk to the back of  the building to look at the Great Hall, either lay on the carpet or stools and see if you can spot the Australian animals.  In particular look for a turtle,  wombat and rainbow serpent.

 

NGV Exit Sign – 20 August 2016

MELBOURNE THEATRE COMPANY [MTC]

Melbourne Theatre CompanyMelbourne Theatre Company

Founded in 1953, Melbourne Theatre Company is the oldest professional theatre company in Australia. It is a semi-autonomous department of the University of Melbourne. Producing up to twelve plays in a subscription season, a full education program and a studio program, it is not only Victoria’s major theatre company and one of the major performing arts companies in Australia, but one of the largest theatre companies in the English-speaking world.

In January 2009, the MTC Theatre, the Company’s new performance home, opened on Southbank Boulevard in the heart of Melbourne’s cultural precinct, allowing much of our season to be performed on the new 500-seat stage of the Sumner Theatre. There is also the 150-seat Lawler Studio, which will allow the Company to develop edgier works and new writers. With the Company continuing to stage works at the Arts Centre’s Playhouse (850 seats) and Fairfax Studio (350 seats), we have, for the first time in many years, access to the widest range of venue sizes to suit any play we might wish to produce.

The Company in 2009 has also moved its Headquarters from Ferrars Street, Southbank, where it has been since the 1970s, to new renovated offices and workshops in Sturt Street.

Despite all these exciting developments, the Company’s mission has not changed since the first season more than fifty years ago:

To produce classic and contemporary Australian and international theatre with style, passion and world class artistic excellence in order to entertain, challenge and enrich audiences in Melbourne, Victoria and Australia.

Connect with a Sausage, Melbourne Wi-Fi Hot Spots

The latest place I have discovered for a Wi-Fi connection was from the café chairs and tables outside the delicatessen hall at Queen Victoria Market.  Located on the Cnr. of Elizabeth Street and Thierry Streets outside  the side entrance to the Delicatessen Hall.

The access Wi-Fi I tapped into was from McDonalds on the opposite corner, with no need to be inside to the store,  I accessed the connection from across the  road.

This is a great place to have lunch and we purposely went to have one of the continental sausages from  ‘Bratwurst Shop &  Co.’   I had a spicy bratwurst for approximately $7.20 topped with Sauerkraut, cheese and my choice of mustard.  Let the queue above at the counter speak for itself.   If a sausage does not take you fancy there is a feast of Delicatessen stallholders plying there produce for you to try just inside the hall.

There is another Wi-Fi spot at Queen Victoria Market, Cnr. Queen and Victoria Streets,  within the Food Court area.

We walked from the market down Swanston Street though the city to Federation Square for a coffee, Cnr. Flinders & Swanston Streets.  Located there is another place to catch up on your email, upload your latest blog or travel pictures, sitting on the steps basking in the sun.  If you are lucky you’ll catch one of the international or local buskers entertaining, or you can call into the Melbourne Visitor and Information Centre located below.

If the weather is no so warm try the Great Space Cafe at 45 Collins Street, underneath the Sofitel in the food court area.  Popular with the corporate community this ‘Paris End’ of Collins Street location gets busy during the lunchtime period.

Wi-Fi Hot Spots can be found in several places around the city you’ll find a more comprehensive list thanks to ‘Only Melbourne’ here.  Most sites are free wireless internet connections, or free with the purchase of a coffee…

What’s underneath the Onion Skin:

Other things to do nearby – it’s a Market,  shop till you drop  and the Melbourne City Baths in Swanston Street

Close by to: Melbourne Central and CBD, juts walk further up Elizabeth Street

Suburb/Neighbourhood: NORTH MELBOURNE [45 minutes walk from Southbank Homestay]

Food: Bratwurst & Co.

How to get there: Melways reference  – Map 2B C12

By Car: Stacks of parking at the rear of the market

By Tram: 19, 57 & 59 from anywhere in Elizabeth Street

By City Explorer Bus: –  – Free tourist shuttle, get off at stop 8 for the  Queen Victoria Market .  Walk through the market to the opposite side and main entrance on Elizabeth Street.

MELBOURNE in APRIL – at the SPIEGEL TENT

The Famous Spiegel Season , 12 February – 24 April, 2011

The Famous Spiegel Tent, which for much of the past decade has been a much-loved feature of the Arts Centre forecourt, returns to Melbourne with an exciting new program of cutting-edge cabaret, music, comedy and circus programmed by the Arts Centre. Check out the program here.

Offering a range of ticketed shows, the Famous Spiegel tent season will run for 11 weeks from 12 February and will also introduce visitors to a series of themed outdoor spaces designed to provide a relaxed social atmosphere in the shadow of the iconic aspire.

Whether you are attending one of the season events or just strolling past, take a moment to have a drink the bar located in the vintage tram next to the tent on the forecourt and chill out watching the promenade along St Kilda Road.