St Kilda’s Pier

A hidden gem in the heart of Melbourne, St Kilda’s Pier is lovely for an evening or night-time stroll. The pier is, in my opinion, one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets.

Why?

Because it is the home of a Little Penguin colony as well as the Rakali (water rats). To boot, entry is free of charge!

About 1,400 penguins live on the breakwater at any given time. The breakwater is located on the pier, if you continue to the left of the kiosk. The best time to view the penguins is 30 minutes after sunset, however, in saying this, we strolled down the pier around 10pm and we still saw plenty of penguins and one Rakali (who scared the heck out of us since we didn’t realise that there were water rats living in the rocks here).

When planning your visit, consider that you will see the greatest number of penguins between October and April, and if you visit between November and December you will also see some baby chicks. We went at the end of July, which was beneficial for us as there weren’t many other tourists to compete with and, as aforementioned, we still encountered much of the wildlife.

Most tourists will travel to nearby Phillip Island to see the Little Penguins for their nightly march back to their burrows. We did both encounters. Our experience was that both viewings were unique and we would recommend everyone do both if possible. Our favourite aspect of the St Kilda Pier experience was that we were able to get up close to the wildlife (yet keeping more than three metres away) – and it was free. To think that a colony of penguins chooses to live on an inner-city beach is truly mind-blowing; for such a shy species to willingly live so close to humans inspires me to consider that perhaps humans aren’t so bad after all. 

The Little Penguin colony located here is managed and cared for by Earthcare St Kilda. A volunteer penguin guide is present every night to ensure tourists don’t harm the penguins by abiding by the rules they have set up to protect the penguins. These are:

  • No handling or feeding of the penguins
  • No flash photography of the penguins
  • No torches to be shone on the penguins without a red filter over the front
  • No dogs past the entry gate into the penguin viewing area, trained assistance dogs excepted
  • No climbing or sitting on the rocks
  • No littering, please take your litter with you
  • Keep at least 3m away from penguins moving around the viewing area

While people are generally respectful and mindful of the penguins’ welfare, unfortunately a fence was erected over the breakwater in July 2017 to protect the colony due to some harmful behaviour.

Seeing the penguins up close was honestly a treat I will never forget and an experience I highly recommend! 

In lieu of the free encounter, I would advocate making a small donation to Earthcare St Kilda for their work at St Kilda Pier. There is a donation pole at the kiosk on the pier or you can alternatively donate here.

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Photo credit: Pictures taken by Synchronous Photography & Editing

Lazerpig, Melbourne

Lazerpig is located in Collingwood and in a great area to go bar-hopping if that’s your desire.

We went to Lazerpig for dinner in-between Parts I and II of the Cursed Child at the nearby Princes Theatre.

We nearly gave Lazerpig a miss due to some bad reviews online, however since Lazerpig was recommended by a friend, we decided to give it a risk. And we did not regret this decision.

We arrived just before 5pm, so their restaurant wasn’t actually open when we got there. However, we were able to order food, so we sat in the bar area to eat and drink.

Atmosphere

It wasn’t busy but it was only off-peak.

Music was at a good volume.

Beautiful, dim lighting. Really made the bar look alive.

5/5.

Drinks

I bought and drank the Rhubarb Pie Cocktail while I waited for my food. The drink comprised of sfumato rabarbaro, sazerac rye bourbon. jameson, tasmanian leatherwood honey, lemon, cassia bark, and came with a strawberry garnish. I was shocked at how similar it tasted like Rhubarb Pie. It was also warm, so made for a great drink on a cold winter evening.

I could really see that a lot of love had gone into making my cocktail. 5/5.

Food

My Ronny J pizza came quickly, coming only after about ten minutes. Some reviews we read said the food took up to an hour to come out, so perhaps we got lucky since we went to Lazerpig at an off-peak time.

I expected my pizza to be hot from the jalepenos but I could barely taste them (I mean you know it’s not hot if Luke can tolerate it because he’s weak af for hot foods). On the other hand, the honey gave a lovely undertone to my pizza that I really enjoyed… It was tasteful in such a way that the honey was subtle yet added a unique twist to the pizza.

Though unique, my pizza could have been a little more flavoursome. 4/5.

Ammenities

It was a bit of a maze to find the toilets but they were clean.

3/5.

Overall

I had a great experience at the Lazerpig. I loved their drinks, they definitely had some unique food, their music was good, and the design was great.

I’d love to return!

8.5/10.

Check out Days 3-5 of my itinerary here to view other things to do in and near Melbourne!

Bar-Hopping in Melbourne

Whether you’re unsure how to spend the night after seeing the Cursed Child or just looking for a great night out, I have some suggestions for you!

With the Princess Theatre conveniently a 30-min walk from Collingwood and Fitzroy, which is filled with a plethora of bars, hotels, and pubs, you are in the perfect place to have find yourself in a drunken stupor (unfortunately there’s no butter beer!).

I suggest starting at Bar Americano, proceeding to Eau De Vie, then walking over to Collingwood for drinks at Lazerpig, then down to Naked for Satan at Fitzroy and over to the Evelyn Hotel to finish. Walk down Brunswick St between Lazerpig and Naked for Satan and you may find a gem to add to your list!

While we didn’t go bar-hopping ourselves, we did have dinner at Lazerpig. Their food was great and their drinks even better! I tried the Rhubarb Pie cocktail and it actually tasted like Rhubarb Pie!

Check out Days 3-5 of my itinerary here to view other things to do in and near Melbourne!