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So we moved onto our 3rd place to stay in Melbourne. This was a converted outhouse in someone’s gardens which was nice and had everything we needed. The area was very different to our last – being much more suburban with big houses on quiet streets.
The main house was a lovely building from around the 30s or 40s as were many on the street/in the area.
We were quite far back from the sea and the main shopping/eating streets but both were reachable in about 15 minutes from the nearby tram stop.
We’d briefly been to St Kilda already and had seen that it was quite funky and vibrant in a similar way to Fitzroy. Not quite as cool, but having the bonus of the beach gave it a different edge.
The old skool Luna Park with the freakish Mr Moon who’s face you walk through to get in was quite dead when we went but it was nice to see it had kept it’s older rides and wasn’t full of commercial hideousness. It was small but quite charming.
And so the OTHER Brighton Beach. Well actually, there are lots of Brighton Beaches – our home in the UK I would classify as no1! Then there is of course the one in Brooklyn and it seems in many New Zealand/Australian cities.
The one I’m talking about here is Melbourne’s Brighton Beach, just along the coast from St Kilda.
This is famous for their brightly coloured beach huts. As Mark said – Brighton council take note! Ours are colourful, but of course there are restrictions so they have to be painted the same bland colour from the back and sides and can only show a little personality on the front. I would bet that they are trying to have Hove lawns in keeping with the grand regency seafront properties but seeing as a fair bit of the seafront is ugly modern buildings – in particular the council offices – it doesn’t really figure.
Anyhow, back to Melbourne’s Brighton Beach. This is a very affluent area. There isn’t much along the seafront other than huge (and I mean huge) houses. It’s quite pretty with a sandy beach which has lots of broken shells so is a little sharp on the feet. It was sad to see there was so many little bits of plastic in amongst the shell. But I guess this is probably par for the course with this being essentially an urban beach.
One of the things that suprised me, was the black swans – I’ve never seen swans on the sea before. Seemed an unusual sight to us.
Having lived near the Thames, I’m kind of over white swans – black swans are new and interesting to me.
But the main draw of this beach was the beach huts which were fairly big and cut a colourful curve on the beach which had barely any buildings on it and certainly nothing commercial.
Another nice touch to the beach was a simple little thing that I just thought was quite typical of Melbourne.
Each of the benches as you followed the walkway had a little plaque with a little description, such as the ‘big ideas chair’, the ‘celebration chair’ and the ‘reflections chair’.
After the beach huts, the beach leads onto an area which has an old deco swimming and restaurant complex and they even have a Brighton pier – but being a pier in Australia, that pretty much just means a walkway where you can fish.
The main shopping/restaurant street, up by one of the train stations where we headed to go back, turned out to be a fair way from the seafront. Mind you, in our last few days of our stay Melbourne was having somewhat of a heat wave and everywhere seems a fair way when you’re walking in the mid 30s!!! This is an indicator of the heat we are likely to have as we go further north and I simply know that I really, really have to buy a hat. This may seem a simple task but you see I look quite stupid in most hats and already on this trip I have probably tried on about 20 hats only for Mark to either laugh or just pull a face of horror. The search is on…. (I can tell you’re excited!)