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Melbourne Docklands is a year round visitor destination with exciting events including Christmas festivities, New Year’s Eve, the Skandia Docklands invitational yacht racing, Australia Day celebrations, Melbourne International Boat and Lifestyle Show, Ignite winter festival of sound and light, as well as food, wine, art, fashion and sporting events. Waterfront City Piazza and Harbour Town offer a busy calendar of events including Wonderland Park with ice skating and carnival rides, and the Docklands Sunday Market. Find out more about what’s on at Docklands.
Docklands is situated on 40 hectares of deep sheltered waters, at the junction of the Yarra River, Moonee Ponds Creek and Victoria Harbour. Boaters can enjoy the convenience of city dining by the water, wandering the many waterfront promenades, taking in an event, hopping across to Etihad Stadium or just sitting back and casting a line. For more information on Docklands berthing contact: 9658 8738 or email. If you don’t own a boat, why not spend the day out on the water? Charter a restaurant cruise or party boat or enjoy an afternoon on a yacht with a glass of wine and a bunch of friends. Or you might prefer to get active and learn to sail on Victoria Harbour.
Docklands offers three major retail destinations, DFO at Southern Cross Station has a range of brand direct outlets and Waterfront City is home to Harbour Town and Costco. At Harbour Town you’ll find speciality stores, entertainment and attractions, as well as brand direct outlets, in two levels of unique laneway shopping. Costco stocks everything from groceries to diamond rings, tyres and white goods, at a fraction of the standard retail cost (membership fees apply). Catch the free Melbourne Visitor Shuttle or City Circle tram to Waterfront City and shop ‘til you drop.
This tour-de force stadium has computer-managed turf, a retractable roof and moveable seats that allow the playing field to change to suit different sporting codes. Tours run all year.
The National Ice Sports Centre (Medibank Icehouse) is Australia’s world class ice sports and leisure venue that provides cool and exciting activities and affordable experiences for everyone, including ice skating every day (excluding some holidays).
Spectacular urban art
More than 25 large scale public artworks are scattered throughout Docklands, including:
- Variety Australian Entertainers of the Century and Walk of Stars (Peter Corlett): 100 plaques, a mosaic wall and bronze figures commemorating Australia’s finest entertainers.
- Silence (Adrian Mauriks): a series of large playful sculptures.
- Cow Up a Tree (John Kelly): a large sculpture inspired by a violent flood which swept cattle into trees in rural Victoria.
- Anchor (Neil Dawson): floating near the entrance of Etihad Stadium, discover a tribute to the maritime crafts of the past.
- Blowhole (Duncan Stemler): a mesmerising 15 metre high wind-powered sculpture.
Each Docklands precinct showcases innovative design features, whether through structure, sustainability or commanding visual facades. Some highlights include:
- National Australia Bank Headquarters (Bligh Voller Neild, 2004).
- Dock 5 (John Wardle, 2006).
- Webb Bridge (Robert Owen and Denton Corker Marshall, 2003).
- Tower 5 (HPA and Wood Marsh, 2005).
- 1010 La Trobe Street (Ashton Raggett McDougall, 2006).
Getting to Docklands
Melbourne Docklands is only minutes from the city and has excellent public and private transport and bicycle and pedestrian connections.
Trams: NewQuay and Waterfront City – catch the free City Circle tram or tram 30 via La Trobe Street, 70 via Flinders Street or 86 via Bourke Street. Victoria Harbour – catch tram 48 via Collins Street.
Trains: take the train to Southern Cross Station and walk over the Bourke Street Pedestrian Bridge via Etihad Stadium to Harbour Esplanade.
Melbourne Visitor Shuttle: catch the free Melbourne Visitor Shuttle from any of the stops in and around the city. The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle stops at Harbour Town shopping centre.
Water: catch a water taxi or boat from many landings along the Yarra River, including Federation Square, Southgate and Crown Entertainment Complex.
Car: parking facilities are available at Etihad Stadium, Docklands Drive at NewQuay and Waterfront City, along Bourke Street and North Wharf Road.
Bikes: the Yarra Trail, the Capital City Trail, Moonee Ponds Creek Trail and the Maribyrnong Trail all converge at Docklands.
Walk: from the city via La Trobe Street, Collins Street or the Bourke Street Pedestrian Bridge from Southern Cross Station.
Waterfront City Marina: boaters will be pleased to learn that Docklands offers 80 public berths at four magnificent marinas, from just $35 a night. Bookings: (03) 9658 8738.
Explore the precincts
Waterfront City: enjoy entertainment, retail and superb dining at Waterfront City as well as public and charter boat berthing at the attached marina. Waterfront City is home to one of Melbourne’s best tourist attractions, the landmark Southern Star observation wheel. Shop for premium brands at great prices at Harbour Town shopping centre or take in a free event at the piazza.
NewQuay: a selection of stylish restaurants, cafes and bars line a picturesque waterfront promenade at NewQuay. By day, take in scenes of boats coming in and out of the nearby marina as you sip on your latte. By night, enjoy the movement of the moonlit water and savour your meal with a backdrop of sparkling city lights.
Digital Harbour: marvel at award-winning architecture at Digital Harbour, a thriving technology hub modelled on some of the world’s most successful technology precincts.
Central Pier: Central Pier’s heritage listed boat sheds now house a range of spectacular function venues as well as an opulent bar and friendly dining, right on the water. Central Pier is also the drop off point for many charter boats, and is home to Melbourne’s Superyacht Marina.
Stadium Precinct: home to Etihad Stadium, Channel Seven (television) and plenty of cafes. Stroll from Southern Cross Station along the Bourke Street pedestrian bridge to Etihad Stadium for many of the city’s biggest sporting and music events.
Victoria Harbour: a distinctive peninsula in the heart of Docklands, Victoria Harbour features waterfront promenades, relaxed cafes and restaurants and a marina. Pick up some essentials at the suburban-style Merchant Street shopping strip or run the kids ragged at the innovative Docklands Park children’s playground.
Yarra’s Edge: a natural extension of the Southbank promenade, Yarra’s Edge offers riverside dining, a luxurious day spa, art galleries and a marina. The superb Webb Bridge provides a pedestrian and cycle link across the Yarra River to Victoria Harbour and Docklands Park.
Batman’s Hill: boasts innovative architecture, new retail and public spaces, along with the carefully refurbished historic Goods Shed No. 2. If nothing starts your engine more than a classic car collection, explore the Fox Classic Car Museum (open Tuesdays and by appointment).