Once known as the West Melbourne Swamp, Docklands is a waterfront suburb of Melbourne. It soon developed into a harbour, and today it’s home to many business headquarters and top Melbourne attractions. Here are the 10 best things to do and see while exploring the area.
Contemporary art sculptures are practically everywhere around Docklands, just waiting to be discovered. These sculptures have become a strong identifier of the area, showcasing the creative part of not just Docklands but Melbourne as a whole. Each sculpture has its own theme, whether it is history and future, land and sea, or culture and technology; “Cow Up a Tree” was inspired by Australian floods, and “Continuum” symbolizes Docklands coming to life. Docklands is like a free, open-air gallery of urban art, and your only job is to walk around and enjoy it.
The artistic side of Docklands does not end with its urban art sculptures. There are two main bridges that are almost next to each other: Webb Bridge and Jim Stynes Bridge. The Webb Bridge connects the north and south banks of the Yarra River, bridging Docklands and South Wharf, and features designs based on the Aboriginal fishing baskets, fishing traps and drums. Jim Stynes Bridge was named after the late footballer. He wished to have a bridge named after him, and his wife and children worked to make it so.
Another important feature of a great suburb is the convenience and accessibility of good shopping areas. Docklands is a perfect place for those looking for value and quality. From Factory Outlet to the open-air markets of Harbour Town and the Sunday Market, Docklands possesses a diversity that accommodates every kind of person. So relax and stroll at your own pace down the rows of shops and stalls.
As a centre of entertainment, Docklands offers a wide range of alternative adventures. Medibank Icehouse, situated right beside Harbour Town Shopping Centre, is perfect on a hot summer’s day. Alternatively, Glow Golf in Harbour Town offers a whole new experience of miniature golf, with neon lights and glow-in-the-dark technology. And if glowing golf games are still not enough, Glow Golf Docklands offers laser tag games for groups that seek a more thrilling experience.
A sunset is always a beautiful sight, but along the Central Pier in Docklands, it becomes stunning. Add the orange of the sunset to the glistening of the river, together with the boats, and the pier becomes truly serene. Sunset is also the time that jellyfish migrate, so have fun counting them in the river.
The Yarra River is a vital and beautiful part of Melbourne, and Docklands offers a range of river trips. Take the Melbourne Tramboat, the only one of its kind in the world, if you are looking for a vintage experience along the river; or the Melbourne Showboat, if you prefer a more elegant tour. There are even themes for you to choose, from burlesque to Japanese. A cruise down the Yarra River is a completely different experience at Docklands.