Wet, Wild & Wonderful Melbourne

From kite surfing to stand up paddling, shark diving, and awesome seafood, Residence Manager, Citadines on Bourke Melbourne, Peter Gebhardt, shows you what fun you can have in the waters of Melbourne

Issue: Oct 2013

Kite surfing is an extreme water sport that involves a board and a kite much like the one used for paragliding; it is easier than surfing and more thrilling than windsurfing
Kite surfing is an extreme water sport that involves a board and a kite much like the one used for paragliding; it is easier than surfing and more thrilling than windsurfing
Photo credit: www.GoKite.com.au

Melbourne, where I was born and bred, sits on Port Phillip, a giant natural bay. Like many natives of the city, I grew up very comfortable around water, having spent most of my summers on the beach. My two passions are first, sailing; second, scuba diving. There is nothing that can quite de-stress me like sailing for a few hours after a particularly busy day at work. In a way, I have the best of both worlds – if it is too windy to sail, I go diving; I get to be on and underwater.

Stand up paddle boarding involves paddling while standing on a surf board and is a great way to create waves
Stand up paddle boarding involves paddling while standing on a surf board and is a great way to create waves

For the last seven years, I was working in Singapore. I only recently returned to take on the twin positions of Residence Manager, Citadines on Bourke Melbourne and Director Revenue Management The Ascott Limited. It feels good to be home because I can enjoy all the water sports the city has to offer once again. Melbourne is truly the perfect destination if you want sun, sand and surf on your holiday.

Test the Waters (and Your Skills)

For unique water sports like kite surfing,  GoKite offers classes in St Kilda, Inveloch and Rosebu
For unique water sports like kite surfing, GoKite offers classes in St Kilda, Inveloch and Rosebu
Photo credit: www.GoKite.com.au

If you have tried the usual water sports and are looking for something more out-of-the-ordinary for your Melbourne experience, St Kilda Beach is the place for you. Just a 15 to 20-minute tram ride (No 96) from Citadines on Bourke Melbourne, the city’s most famous beach stretches 700 metres along the St Kilda Esplanade and Jacka Boulevard between the St Kilda Marina and the St Kilda Habour.

Here, you can kite surf. This sport is exactly as its name suggests – surfing with a kite attached to your board, except the kites used in this instance are power kites much like those used in paragliding. Kite surfing, then, is more liberating than windsurfing because you do not have a huge sail blocking you, and more powerful than surfing because you are harnessing both the powers of the wind and the waves.

Stand up paddle boarding involves paddling while standing on a surf board and is a great way to create waves
Stand up paddle boarding involves paddling while standing on a surf board and is a great way to create waves

Another water sport on this beach that will thrill adventure-seekers is stand up paddle boarding. Originating in Hawaii, it basically involved using a paddle while standing on a surf board. It began as a way of allowing surfers to paddle further out to sea and has since evolved into a sport in its own right. You can sign up for lessons on St Kilda Beach and create waves in Melbourne!

If bird watching is a sport, this next activity may be considered one, too – penguin watching. The breakwater which shelters St Kilda Harbour is host to a Little Penguin (also known as Fairy Penguins in Australia) colony. These smallest of the penguin family are most plentiful during summer and the best time to catch sight of them is just after sunset.

All along the Great Ocean Road (left) are beaches that are great for surfing like Lorne (right)
All along the Great Ocean Road (left) are beaches that are great for surfing like Lorne (right)

For surfing, take the hour-and-a-half to two-hour drive to the Great Ocean Road. There are beaches all along the 243-kilometre stretch, with the most popular ones being Torquay, Barwon Heads and Lorne. The road hugging the rugged Victorian coastline is an Australian Natural Heritage built by soldiers who had returned from World War I in memory of their compatriots killed during the war; and is the world’s largest war memorial. If you want a real challenge, though, head about an hour’s drive out of the city centre for the Gunnamatta, Portsea, Sorrento and Rye back beaches. The surfs on there come in from Bass Strait, considered one of the world’s most dangerous stretches of water.

If you cannot dive but want to have an underwater encounter, the Melbourne Aquarium’s Shark Dive Xtreme is the place for you. You can plunge inside the 2.2-million litre Oceanarium with a qualified instructor as your guide and come face-to-face with a shark and other creatures of the deep.

Treasures of the Water

Hunky Dory offers you different types of fish for your fish and chips
Hunky Dory offers you different types of fish for your fish and chips
Photo credit: Hunky Dory

With so much water around, seafood is naturally in abundance in Melbourne. Fish and chips is my standard go-to seafood choice and there are lots of fish and chips shops all over Melbourne. Hunky Dory in Bay Street, Port Melbourne is a fish and burger bar that I like to go to. There are lots to choose from by way of types of fish: Flake, Dory, Blue Grenadier, Baramundi and King George Whiting. You can also have your fried fish with other seafood items like calamari rings, prawn cutlets, and seafood sticks.

At St Kilda, I like to go to Claypots Seafood & Wine on Barkly Street. Their seafood is always fresh and prepared imaginatively with hints of Asian influence. They are famous for their Chilli Crab which is nothing like the Singapore version that comes with a thick gravy. This Chilli Crab has no tomato sauce at all and is not the least bit spicy. Instead, it is dry fried with just a little trace of sauce. The King Garlic Prawns drips with juicy goodness. Do not forget to sop up the sauce with the hunks of bread that comes with the dish. Of course, you have to try their claypots. There are four kinds to choose from: Malay, which comes with sticky rice, stingray, fish fillets and mussels in a laksa gravy; Moroccan, which has couscous, eggplant and chickpeas with the same seafood; Cajun, which is gumbo with okra, tomatoes, sticky rice and the seafood; and Kerela, which is spiced up with tamarind, coriander, garam masala and dried shrimps.

For those who enjoy being close to water, Melbourne offers endless options whether it is in fun or food. The next time you want a vacation that is wet, wild and wonderful, meet me in Melbourne.

Come stay with us:

Citadines on Bourke Melbourne
131–135 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Australia
Tel: 61 3 9039 8888
Fax: 61 3 9039 8899
E-mail: enquiry.australia@citadines.com
Somerset on Elizabeth Melbourne
No 250 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Australia
Tel: 61 3 8665 8888
Fax: 61 3 8665 8899
E-mail: enquiry.melbourne@the-ascott.com

Comments
Write comment
Name (required)
E-mail (required, but will not display)
Comment
Irrelevant or inappropriate comments might be edited or removed.
By subscribing, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal data in this form by CapitaLand Ltd, its related corporations (collectively ‘CL’) and its authorised service providers for the purposes of sending you the Inside e-newsletter, related updates and other e-mail updates which may be related to your subscription with us.
 

Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.



Follow us on:

  • twitter
  • instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • google+
  • pinterest
  • flipboard