St Kilda Beach is a beach located in St Kilda, Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south from the Melbourne city centre. It is Melbourne's most famous beach. The beach is a sandy beach about 700 metres (2,300 ft) long between St Kilda Marina and St Kilda Harbour along Jacka Boulavard and St Kilda Esplanade. It is located at the north-east corner of Port Phillip and is protected from ocean swell, though still affected by strong westerly winds. With Port Phillip Bay being open to the sea, St Kilda Beach is subject to regular tides. The St Kilda Sea Baths are located at the beach.
The St Kilda Pier is another landmark. The pier is terminated by the St Kilda Pavilion, an eccentric Edwardian building in the mould of English pier pavilions which is considered of high cultural importance to Melburnians. It was recently reconstructed and listed on the Victorian Heritage Register after burning down. The pier has a long breakwater which shelters St Kilda Harbour and hosts a little penguin colony.
St Kilda Beach is one of the 46 bayside beaches which are monitored by EPA Victoria for water quality. St Kilda Beach water quality is generally rated as good (the highest rating given by EPA), being below 150 orgs/100 mL, which is set in the State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria) 2003. The water quality is considerably lower for about 24 hours after rains, which flush stormwater drains. The reading exceeded the enterococci investigation trigger of 500 orgs/100 mL on 28 December 2009. This was short-lived, with bacterial levels returning below the investigation trigger the next day. The cause of the high reading was attributed to a oneoff, unidentified discharge into a stormwater drain, which is located close to the sampling site at St Kilda Beach.
Besides swimming, sunbathing takes place on the beach as well as the grass area adjacent to it. People also engage in other watersport activities, such as windsurfing, sailing, kitesurfing, rollerblading, beach volleyball, jetskiing and waterskiing. A skate park for the Fitzroy Street end of Albert Park is in the planning stages. There is also a boardwalk, and another walking track along the beach and a bicycle track.
St Kilda Beach is the home of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, which began in the early 1870s as the St Kilda Sailing Club, with the present clubhouse dating to the 1920s and the St Kilda Lifesaving Club, which was established in 1911. A large number of sporting tournaments and cultural events are staged on the beach or on the parklands adjoining the beach.
The roads which run alongside St Kilda Beach are popular for many sporting events, such as marathons and bicycle racing.