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St Vincent Gardens

Home > Melbourne > Dog Friendly | Parks | Picnic Spots | Playgrounds | Wedding Venues
by Rachael Taylor (subscribe)
My husband and I run a small mixed farm on the Mornington Peninsula. You can check us out online at or in person at our fortnightly tours
Published September 29th 2012
St Vincent Gardens, nestled between streets of gorgeous terrace houses in South Melbourne, seems to have it all. It's divided by Montague Street into East and West sections and when it was first designed in the mid 1800's, it was the place to promenade and be seen.

Beautiful enough that it's a favourite for Melbourne weddings, Dog walkers are common, but as far as I have seen, always clean up after themselves (and their pets).

The park benches and shady under-tree spots are perfect for enjoying a book, or sitting and people watching.

The public toilets in the garden are reasonable. I could turn around inside a cubicle despite having a backpack on: a good test of usability.

Toilet Sign at St Vincent Gardens
I visited in the very early hours of the 21st. Not a bad effort St Vincent Gardens.

There's a sign on the outside that gives you the date and time of the most recent cleaning, which I very much appprove of. Despite the idea being popular at various fast food chains, I applaud the Council's attempt to keep themselves accountable, and the toilets clean.

For kids there's a playground. It's certainly not the most extensive I've ever seen, but it has swings, ramps and slides, and it's big enough for entertainment. Dogs aren't allowed with in 5 metres of any of the children's areas, so there's no need to worry on that score.

I personally tested out the larger swings and was pretty impressed.

As well as all these expected draw cards, the St Vincent Gardens are also home to two major attractions: A Lawn Bowls Club, and tennis courts. Don't get too excited though. Due to the brilliant location, and an old rule about membership numbers (the club was founded in 1883), there's a four year waiting list to join the Albert Park Lawn Tennis Club.

Albert Park Lawn Tennis Club at St Vincent Gardens
It's hard to get into this tennis club!

The Albert Park VRI Bowling Club is much more friendly. Membership is $80, they play social bowls and pennant (competition matches). The rooms and lawn is available for function hire, and when I went and had a poke around, the fellows playing were very welcoming

So what are you waiting for? With beautifully tended garden beds bursting into colour, and paths that wend and wind throughout, St Vincents is proof that good things come in small packages.
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Why? It's beautiful, and not well known: you'll have plenty of space.
When: Anytime
Where: St Vincent Gardens, South Melbourne
Cost: Free to go, but take money for the delicious food on offer :)
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