Cycle Melbourne, Sightseeing Ride, St Kilda Pier to Brighton Loop
This ride starts and finishes in the seaside suburb of St Kilda. The choice of when you try this ride depends on how much you enjoy mixing with a crowd. During the week, this can be a very pleasant ride through one of Melbourne’s most popular seaside suburbs. If you’d prefer more hustle and bustle, ride on the weekend, particularly in the summer when thousands of people converge on this area to enjoy the beach and everything else that makes St Kilda … well, St Kilda.
The ride starts at the St Kilda Pier. There have been several timber piers here since the 1850s, but today it is a concrete structure built in the 1970s. The kiosk at the end of the pier is a landmark. Built in 1904, it was destroyed by fire in 2003 then reconstructed based on the original drawings. On a sunny day, or even in the wildest weather, a stroll out to the kiosk and the breakwater beyond is a must.
This relatively small suburb, famous for its magnificent avenues of plane trees and distinctive canal, is St Kilda’s quieter cousin. Elwood is an enclave of quirky cafés and interesting seaside architecture; so don’t hesitate to stray into this suburb on your way through. Particularly when it is hot, enjoy the shady avenues as a reprieve from the hot and crowded beaches. Elster Creek, or Elwood canal as it’s known, has been improved over recent years and if there’s water in the canal, you may see eels and an assortment of fish in the still water. When the water is very still expect some genuine canal smells too.
After riding beside the canal you join the bike path along Nepean Highway. This is not the most picturesque, but definitely the best way to move along the highway from the safety of the shared pathway. At 6.7km you may be waiting a while for a green light to cross this busy intersection. Looking over your shoulder is a statue of Sir Thomas Bent, Victoria’s Premier from 1904 to 1909. His biography by Margaret Glass (1993) ‘Bent by name, Bent by nature’ gives interesting insights into the man who gave his name to the suburb of Bentleigh and was instrumental in establishing an electric tram service between St Kilda and Brighton. At 9.1km you turn onto Dendy Road and immediately the traffic reduces significantly as you pass Dendy Park. You head towards the beach in bicycle lanes on wide streets.
There’s an opportunity at 11.1km to veer right onto Church Street, which is perhaps Brighton’s best known shopping and café strip. After completing the ride, head out to the end of the pier and enjoy the view back to the city and along the coast from the comfort of the St Kilda Pier Kiosk.
Parking is available around the start at St Kilda pier, but all metered. Alternatively, start in Elwood or Brighton where free parking can be found. The ride uses part of the Bay Trail, so you can ride in from further north or south.
Food and Drink
In St Kilda and Elwood, there are many great places to eat and drink, some by the path. Church Street, Brighton also offers choices. Don’t forget the ride finishes at the historic kiosk on St Kilda pier.
19.92 km / 12.378 mi
184 m / 604 ft
34 m / 113 ft