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(24 Posts)
vigglewiggle Thu 26-May-11 21:38:38

DH will be working in Melbourne in July/ August. I'm planning on tagging along with 2 DC (3&5). He will be working in the St Kilda area. Where would be a good place to live near to his work but also handy for me to get to shops, cafes etc and easy access to public transport?

Any other advice about a short stay in Melbourne also welcome smile.

vigglewiggle Thu 26-May-11 23:13:19

Anyone up yet?

sunnydelight Fri 27-May-11 00:54:36

I'm in Sydney so not really what you need, but when DH and I went to Melbourne a few months back and visited St. Kilda it seemed to be a really nice area now (used to be backpacker heaven but it has certainly gone upmarket in the past 20 years!). It had a really good vibe, lots of cafe and restaurants etc. so you could live there and give your DH an easy journey to work. We got a tram from the city centre which was really easy. Shame it will be too cold for the beach as the beach is nice.

lulalullabye Fri 27-May-11 06:08:49

WE know areally good holiday let in a place called Black Rock. We stayed there in March/April and it has everything you need. There is a train in nearby Sandringham but Dh could just get the bus straight to St Kilda along the beach road. Very near St Kilda.
Pm me if you want the details. It has 3 bedrooms and a garden with a great park on the other side of the street.

ninedragons Fri 27-May-11 06:23:46

St Kilda itself is lovely.

Melbourne is a leeeetttle bit, uh, bleak in midwinter, but St Kilda is a lovely place. Lots of cafes, interesting shops. You won't be squealing on the rollercoaster (Luna Park is there) or frolicking on the beach, but it's a great area. Very reminiscent of Brighton, says English DH.

ninedragons Fri 27-May-11 06:24:33

Transport is also good - there is a tram straight to the city, and you will always get a seat as it's the beginning of the route.

vigglewiggle Fri 27-May-11 07:49:12

Thanks everyone. I know, it's a shame about the weather, but I hope it will be a great adventure all the same!

Lula, I guess we will have to look at holiday lets for such a relatively short rental. Will PM you, thanks.

sunnydelight Fri 27-May-11 07:49:48

Oh that's funny ninedragons, we moved from Brighton so maybe that's why I really felt comfortable in St. Kilda!

vigglewiggle Fri 27-May-11 07:58:23

I've only been to Brighton once (Northern Lass) but really loved it, so that sounds promising!

cornflowers Fri 27-May-11 23:05:51

If you can afford it, Brighton is definitely the nicest suburb in that part of Melbourne. Also Black Rock & Sandringham, which are further along the bayside. Elwood (right next to St.Kilda) is also very pretty, but the houses tend to be smaller with much smaller gardens (lots of appartments etc). Armadale/Malvern (slightly further afield) are both very nice with plenty of lovely family homes, and have good tram links into St Kilda. In fact, public transport throughout central Melbourne is fab, so you're pretty spoilt for choice. St Kilda itself is great, but very lively & pretty noisy on the weekends, not really ideal for young DC (IMHO). smile

vigglewiggle Fri 27-May-11 23:24:11

Great info thanks. It's up to DH's company as to what they are prepared to pay for, but there's no harm suggesting wink.

lulalullabye Sat 28-May-11 04:47:41

There is also another place we stayed in Elwood which was also very plush and beautiful boutiquey style. It was with a compant called 'Boutique stays' and was in Elwood, on Milton street. It was lovely but not cheap, but DH's company paid for this one.

NunTheWiser Sat 28-May-11 04:58:54

Albert Park is fairly close by and nice.

vigglewiggle Sat 28-May-11 14:32:13

I've found some overlooking the St Kilda Botanical Gardens - is that good area?

cornflowers Sat 28-May-11 21:27:25

Yes, that sounds very nice; the Botanical gardens are actually at the edge of Elwood, and just a couple of minutes walk from Acland St (St Kilda's coolest St). About 10 mins walk from the beach. The botanical gardens also have a very nice little playground & pond with ducks etc so would be very handy for the dc. Also, plenty of great delis, supermarkets, cake shops etc on Acland St, practically on your doorstep smile

flagging Wed 22-Jun-11 14:26:33

Just back from St Kilda/Elwood - a bit late to the thread. Boutique Stays have loads of good apartments/houses.

If you are in St Kilda do go to the Aquatic Centre in nearby Albert Park - just fab for kids.

vigglewiggle Mon 27-Jun-11 12:15:42

That is great timing flagging! I have just come back to the thread because, having pulled the plug on the trip, DH's company has now decided it is all on again!

I will suggest they have a look at Boutique Stays and I think I will suggest the St Kilda/ Elwood areas.

Any other suggestions about what to do there gratefully received!

vigglewiggle Mon 27-Jun-11 14:50:58

His company have come up with a property just off Carlisle Street in St Kilda, East side of St Kilda Road. It looks really nice. Is that area ok? It just seems quite reasonable compared to others i've looked at and i'm wondering what the catch is grin!

flagging Tue 28-Jun-11 16:15:35

I think that is a reasonable area. My impression of St Kilda was that it was quite big and urban. Very lively, full of cafes etc. Places like nearby Elwood, Brighton and Hampton as more laid back, familyish maybe even though they are just down the road.

To do with DCs? This is what I did during the day when DH was at work:

Aquatic Centre Albert Park (great toddler pools, slides etc)
The Zoo - very nice size and well laid out
Botanic Gardens
Eureka skydeck (88 floors up on Southbank kids loved it),
River trip (catch on Southbank in CBD).
Melbourne Aquarium.
Also go to Trampoline the ice cream store on South Bank (just along from Eureka) - no day was complete without a visit. Great foodcourt next door.

Things I meant to do:
The Arts Centre near Fed Square has an Art Play programme of kids events on different days of the week. They looked great.
Monkey Mania - Docklands soft play

Do get a car. It is easy to drive there and will open up the whole place for you. But parking in the CBD is extortionate. Best to get a tram in and pick up the free bus or tram that tours the city and down to docklands. Get by Fed Square.

Places to go at the weekend:
Luna Park (St Kilda only weekends) - though limited rides for a 3 year old
Healesville Animal Sanctuary - about an hour, fab place but wrap up
Phillip Island (cute little penguins, really worth it)
Puffing Billy at Belgrave
Crown Plaza - very lively at weekend evenings, light show, restaurants, shops etc etc
Ice skating at Docklands

Make sure you go to Tourist Info at Federation Square as it has loads of brochures which include 20% off this and 10% off that. There is one called Melbourne with Kids.

vigglewiggle Tue 28-Jun-11 17:41:44

Thanks - that's fantastic! I will print that off to take with me - not sure if we'll have an internet connection.

They've found us slightly better accommodation just off Fitzroy Street on the corner of Albert Park. It looks like a better area?

flagging Tue 28-Jun-11 18:00:22

Albert Park is the best area of Melbourne so looks good. Very green and near CBD.

I'd definitely push for a place with wifi.

Also - two other tips
1) TV is dire. I had an ipad which I loaded with films and TV programmes and then bought connectors to plug into TV. Sure you can do the same with a laptop. Much needed!
2) get your mobile phone unlocked and then buy a pre paid SIM at a 7 Eleven over there. I chose Lebara mobile as they are cheapest for foreign calls.

vigglewiggle Tue 28-Jun-11 18:23:48

Brilliant. Thanks so much for your help!

It is advertised as "Executive Accommodation" so I can't believe it doesn't have Wifi. But it doesn't list it on the details, so we have enquired. DH is leaving on Tuesday - so we don't have much time to shop around!

He's suggested getting an ipad for the trip, so I will take him up on it!

flagging Wed 29-Jun-11 13:20:26

Great, have a good time.
PS The ipad will be invaluable.

flagging Wed 29-Jun-11 13:25:59

Oh, one other tip about the discount vouchers. Different brochures have different discounts (one will have 5% and then another 15%) and many only cover for one/two people. So take a carrier bag and get a few of each type. I remember the Kids in Melbourne had 25% of Puffing Billy (the steam train) and this saved us about £20. We found discounts for absolutely everything except the Penguins at Phillip Island .

Also you will see lots of tours including Phillip Island. I'm sure they are good but don't waste your money on a tour. Drive down (about an hour) and book the private seating in advance. It will cost you a 1/4 of the price and is just the same.

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