Adventure to Albert Park
There is far more to this historic and highly sought-after area than its picturesque and normally serene lake and the sound of high octane engines as they speed around its perimeter each March.
Apart from the iconic lake and its famous swans, Albert Park is host to some of the finest 1930s and 1940s architecture in Melbourne, with pretty attached and row housing lining its leafy streets and rose-adorned parks, much dating back to Victorian and Edwardian eras, such as magnificent terraces of St Vincent's Place.
While not everyone can afford a home in the historic area, most can afford a great meal in a historic pub, a snack in one of its many cafes or fine dining experience in one of its many restaurants along its vibrant shopping strip of Victoria Avenue, or on trendy Bridport Street where the cool crowd gathers to people watch.
Albert Park is an artistic neighbourhood, home to advertising and marketing companies, architects, graphic designers and other boutique small businesses, something which is reflected in its unique retail offerings from boutiques to book shops. Meanwhile, its Gasworks Arts Park showcases more than 200 performing arts events and 30 visual arts exhibitions each year to cater to culture vultures.
So, visit Albert Park for a swim in the bay or at its world-class Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, stay for a meal, then wander the majestic streets and parks and marvel at their timeless beauty. While you many only be able to dream of living in this highly coveted section of our city, everyone is more than welcome to visit.
Meander through Middle Park
It might be small – just under one kilometre square – but Middle Park is mighty.
Only a short stroll from the foreshore, this happening hotspot is developing a reputation for being the younger cousin to its sister precinct Albert Park – pretty as a picture yet with a touch of edgy Kilda cool emanating from its Fitzroy St southern border.
Home to some of the best preserved Victorian (the era, not the state!) architecture, a short stroll around its tree-lined streets features such delights as:
- Gothic-style Carmelite Roman Catholic Church
- National Trust heritage-listed Middle Park Primary School
- the imposing grandeur of the historic Middle Park Hotel with its original English Oak panelled dining room.
Middle Park's main strip, Armstrong Street, is the lively hub of the suburb’s shopping, dining and retail culture and the perfect place to sit and people watch with a hot coffee, cold beer, or chilled wine in hand. Meanwhile, the iconic Middle Park Hotel on Canterbury Rd is now bigger and better than ever – literally – thanks to its extra outdoor area provided by Council’s parklets program, allowing more to enjoy its renowned gastro fare and friendly atmosphere.
So, get to Middle Park and have a great day in the little suburb with the big heart that’s a happy mix of old meets modern Melbourne. And don’t forget your swimmers!
Visiting for the day?
See how many of these you can tick off your visit list:
- A circuit of Albert Park Lake - by foot or bike
- Beach time at Albert Park or Middle Park Beach and a stroll along Kerferd Road Pier
- Picnic stop at the beautiful and historical St Vincent Gardens to admire all the blooms and amazing botany including some very old trees
- Shopping stops at either or all of Bridport Street, Victoria Avenue and Armstrong Street to support some wonderful local businesses and boutiques
- Admiring the architecture as you stroll the streets
- A swim at MSAC
Albert Park is only minutes from the foreshore, with a short stroll or tram ride down Victoria Avenue. A relaxed pace is recommended as there's yet more dining options and tempting retail stores to browse and window-shop.
Tram routes: 1, 96
Bus routes: 606
For timetables and information visit Public Transport Victoria.
Geography of the area
The Albert Park and Middle Park neighbourhood is bounded by the foreshore to the south, Pickles Street, Richardson Street, St Vincent Street, Nelson Road and Park Street to the west, Ferrars Street and Canterbury Road to the north and Fraser Street to the west.
Area: 3 km2
2016 population: 11,428
2011 population: 10,908
Average annual growth rate (2011-2016): 4.7 per cent
(Source: ABS National Census 2011 - 2016)
History and characteristics
Albert Park and Middle Park are two of the older neighbourhoods of the City of Port Phillip. Housing stock generally dates from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, with a significant stock of flats and apartments from the 1930s and 1940s. The foreshore also contains a number of high rise residential towers dating from the 1960s onwards.
The neighbourhood is well known for its Victoria-era attached and row housing. The limited opportunities for redevelopment relative to other areas within Port Phillip have contributed to a static population from 2011 - 2016.