The Docklands is Melbourne’s waterfront neighborhood where many festivals, activities and events take place. located just minutes from Melbourne, Docklands allows visitors to experience a different side of the Melbourne lifestyle. The Docklands let you enjoy cutting-edge modern Australian and international cuisine, a wonderful shopping experience or stunning city views of Melbourne over a cocktail or dinner. Established in 2007, the precinct is located on the Victoria Harbour, just west of Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD).
Things to do in Docklands
Docklands offers a varied mix of shopping, business, parks, entertainment, dining, sporting events, marine transport, community events and arts and culture to residents and visitors. The Docklands is also home to various attractions including the Etihad Stadium and a large number of modern buildings and public spaces and artworks. Located minutes away from the Melbourne city center, Dockland offers quality restaurants and fantastic shopping all set to the backdrop of picturesque promenades and marinas. You can shop at any one of the three major retail destinations in Docklands or keep entertained with a diverse selection of activites for the entire family. You can charter a restaurant cruise or enjoy an afternoon on a yatch with a glass of wine with your friends. You can even learn to sail a boat on the Victoria Harbour.
Events at Docklands
The Docklands’ unique location and picturesque promenades, parklands and waterways make it a perfect venue for hosting some of Melbourne’s most popular events and festivals. Various events take place at the Docklands throughout the year, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. There are many events that take place year-round at Docklands. Events at Melbourne’s Docklands include New Year’s Eve fireworks, Christmas festivities, International shows as well as food, wine, art fashion and sporting events.
Dining at Docklands
Dining at Docklands is a great way to experience city dining by the waterfront. With breathtaking views and more than 100 restaurants, cafés and bars to choose from, dining at Docklands is a memorable experience, catering for all tastes and budgets. Head to Waterfront City and NewQuay for an abundance of dining options. Other great spots for dining are at Central Pier, Yarra’s Edge and Victoria Harbour Esplanade. The atmosphere is perfect for romantic waterfront dinners or lazy afternoon meals. For stunning views of Melbourne at night, there are various dinner cruises that depart from the Docklands.
Shopping at Docklands
There are three main retail destinations in Docklands Spencer Street at Southern Cross station has a broad range of fashion labels and accessories. 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. Visitors can catch the free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle bus or free City Circle tram to Waterfront City and shop ‘til you drop.
Art and Architecture in Docklands
Each one of Docklands’ precincts showcases innovative architecture and design. Some of Docklands architectural buildings include: Webb Bridge, Dock 5, Tower 5 and 1010 La Trobe Street. There are also more than 36 art installations all across Docklands. Some of the most popular art located in Docklands include: Silence by Adrian Mauriks a series of large playful sculptures. And Cow Up a Tree by John Kelly a large sculpture inspired by a violent flood which swept cattle into trees in rural Victoria.
Getting to Melbourne Docklands
It’s easy to reach the Docklands because the area is close to Melbourne’s public transportation networks. Melbourne Docklands is only minutes away from the city and is easily accessible by Tram, Train, Car, Bikes or by walking. You can also access Docklands by water being that it sits on Victoria Harbour. The free City Circle tram along with the free Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle all make stops in Docklands including Harbour Town shopping centre, NewQuay and Waterfront city. Docklands is accessible by foot and all of the city’s major bike routes run through Docklands. A map of the Melbourne Docklands can be viewed here.
Docklands consists of eight unique precincts, each with plenty of exciting places to visit and much to discover. Each precinct offers something different, from a relaxing meal, to a luxurious day spa, to some fantastic shopping. A map of the Melbourne Docklands Precincts can be viewed here.
- Waterfront City: enjoy entertainment, retail and superb dining at Waterfront City as well as public and charter boat berthing at the marina. 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 cargo 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 Crown Promenade and South Wharf, 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.
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Melbourne’s Docklands at Night (unknown)
A wide-angle view of Melbourne’s Docklands (the Quays)
Melbourne’s Docklands at Dawn (flickr user mugley)