If you’re reading here, you’re likely well aware that Australia is one of the world’s most sought-after kiteboarding destinations. It makes a certain sense that such a large country renowned for its beaches would have plenty of good spots, and there’s a variety of conditions to cater to just about anybody – beginner or professional.. Australia can host kiteboarding competitions just as easily as it can provide people with places to take their first lessons.
For those who might be looking at Australia as a potential destination for a kiteboarding vacation though, it can be difficult to sift through the options and narrow things down to just one place. So in this piece, we’re looking at a destination that may seem like one of the most obvious ones in the country, but which can also fly below the radar for those seeking secluded beaches or kiteboarding hot spots: Melbourne.
The Victorian capital is a popular place for tourists, and is actually somewhat known for its sporting culture. Some may not realise just how nice a base it is for a kiteboarding getaway though, so we’re going over some of the reasons it can be looked at as just that.
1. St. Kilda’s Is Fantastic
If you’re not intimately familiar with Australia’s best beaches, or the Melbourne scene specifically, you may be surprised to learn that one of its suburbs is actually specifically known for kiteboarding. At least one travel site, in fact, has ranked St. Kilda’s as the top spot in all of Australia for the sport. In that ranking, it’s correctly noted that the fairly flat water conditions off of St. Kilda’s make it a nice place for kiteboarders of different skill levels. It’s also pointed out that Kite Republic, in the same area, was Melbourne’s first kiteboarding school.
There will always be debate among kiteboarders about which spots are better than others and why, and additional factors like weather conditions (which we’ll get to) and crowds (there can be a lot of people at St. Kilda’s) always come into play. But you can’t really definitively do better than this Melbourne beach area for a fun mix of kiting action and night life.
2. Conditions Are Generally Great
Good conditions are never guaranteed, which experienced kiteboarders know all too well. Melbourne and St. Kilda’s, however, do tend to provide a good environment. The water is fairly flat, as mentioned, and there’s also little to speak of in the way of currents or dramatic tidal shifts. It’s easy enough to check on wind conditions from numerous trusted sources, and generally the direction of the wind off of this particular beach is favourable for easy launches and safe kiting. Again, you never know when you’ll catch a bad day, but for the most part this is a fairly reliable area from a conditions perspective.
3. There’s A Good Mix In The Crowd
This has been implied already, but you’ll find kiteboarders of all different skill levels in Melbourne, and really around much of Australia. As mentioned, there is a school at St. Kilda, which means there will typically be some beginners about, as well as some active instruction going on. But there will also be plenty of people who really know what they’re doing. It’s a nice mix, and on any given day you’re unlikely to be the most or least experienced person out, no matter what your level might be.
4. There’s Plenty To Do At Night
First and foremost, the city’s bar scene is about as good as you’d expect of a famously fun-loving Australian city. If you want a laid-back spot with great drinks, a rooftop atmosphere, and a strong food menu as well, head to Bomba (which doubles as a bar and Spanish tapas restaurant). If you want something dark, intimate, and unique, check out the Gothic-themed Bar Ampere. And if you’re just looking for a beer hall, look no further than The Local Taphouse, which is an extremely convenient option in St. Kilda’s.
You have a few options for a more involved night out as well. Melbourne has a fairly well-regarded casino, for instance, despite Australia’s embrace of online gambling more broadly. Online games are a big draw around the country, but the Crown Melbourne provides an environment you can’t get online, and which you might enjoy after a full day at the beach. If gambling isn’t your scene though, we’d also recommend the Queen Victoria Night Market as a final suggestion of something to do.. It’s a common recommendation for tourists, and while you may not want to do too much walking around, it’s easy enough to find a nice food booth or drink stall to hang out at.
5. Travel Is Fairly Straightforward
We’ve now covered what makes St. Killda’s unique, what conditions to expect, and a few of the things you can enjoy in Melbourne when you’re not out kiteboarding. So as a final note we’ll also point out – perhaps somewhat obviously – that Melbourne may also appeal because of its accessibility. Melbourne Airport is a fairly major hub, and Avalon Airport also has international service, meaning travellers from abroad will have plenty of chances to find reasonable flights to the area.