So! You’ve taken the Port Phillip Ferry to Docklands, and you’re eager to have a good time, but you don’t know what’s good in the area. It’s a struggle we’ve all experienced! Don’t worry, I’m here to help
When you disembark, the first thing you’ll likely see is the Cow in the Tree. Take a look, maybe strike a pose, and then head around to the front of the Ferry Café — consider this your starting point. Once you’re there, you’ve got several options for exploration. These all lead to a guaranteed good time, or your money back! Kidding, I don’t have the authority for that.
The first option is to turn left, and head down to New Quay. This way offers the best of all worlds: food, shopping, and recreation. It’s about a 10 minute walk from the Ferry stop to New Quay Promenade, otherwise you may like to hop on a City Circle/70 tram if you plan on going directly to The District Docklands. Once at the promenade, you’ll probably be hungry, so it’s probably a good idea to suss out your food options (of which there are MANY). On the main strip, there’s sibling restaurants Cargo and Berth for modern Australian or casual International cuisine respectively, followed by Renzo’s Bar a little further down offering Italian delights. If you just want a coffee and a snack, Capri Café at The Sebel or Cocobei are the way to go! Regarding recreation/general entertainment, you’ll probably want to start off at The District Docklands. The opportunities for shopping are endless, with The District housing shops like H&M, UNIQLO, Toyworld, Hype DC, and Bonds. If you’re not into shopping, then you’ll definitely be into stunning views, which means a visit to The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, where you’ll experience unforgettable panoramic views of Melbourne! Personally, I would suggest aiming for a sunset slot, though the visit will be incredible either way. Alternatively, The O’Brien Icehouse is also nearby if you want to have fun and test out your skating skills. I always seem to end up on the ground, but you might have better luck! You might even want to stop off at HOYTS to catch a movie, or Artvo, a famous immersive art gallery that’ll look great on your Insta. Additionally, there are about a thousand food options within The District whenever you feel peckish — MarketPlace Fresh and Boost Juice are full of healthy snacks, there’s your classic KFC, Nando’s, Pancake Parlour, as well as the S.P.Q.R Pizzeria or Gold Leaf Chinese Restaurant for a more gourmet meal.
The second option is to turn right and go down to the Victoria Harbour area of Docklands. It’s around a 5-10 minute stroll to reach the promenade, or one tram stop away on the 70/75 tram. Again, we’ll start with food: Saluministi and Billy Barista have you covered for coffee and pastries if you feel like something light, otherwise some great lunch spots include Merchant Society for funky Malaysian fusion, Vintam’s Bakery for some quick and cheap Vietnamese, or Bavarian cuisine at The Hof Downtown. Additionally, TAP831 and Neo Lemonade have you covered for dinner and drinks. Since you won’t be driving, you can let loose with the cocktails! Looking for a gift to take back to the family? Stop off at Kep Whitley for some of her gorgeous hand-made chocolates, or check out Victoria Harbour Pharmacy & News for pretty trinkets. You may also want to wander down the pier to take a look at the construction on the Alma Doepel or the beautiful Enterpize. After, you may want to hop on a 48/11 tram and get off at Collins Square, a bustling business and retail precinct. On arrival, lunch options include Bar Nacional, Belle’s Hot Chicken, Famous Fish, Sushi & Nori and more. Later, stop in at Ella Baché for a salon-style pamper, or Miei Fiori for some lovely flower arrangements.
CROSS THE ROAD
The third and final option is to cross the road and head up the stairs towards Marvel Stadium, before walking up the bridge towards Southern Cross Station. Don’t enter the station, but turn left and keep walking until you hit Starbucks. Stop for an iced coffee and prepare yourself for the shopping that awaits you in the Spencer Outlet Centre, which is full of great stores and better deals. Walk in and take a look at Cotton On Mega, Harris Scarfe, or Converse, as well as MANY more, including Kathmandu and Peter Alexander. You’ll have birthdays and Christmas sorted after one trip! At some stage you’ll probably need a break at Schnitz, Subway, or Lindt Café to keep your energy up. Afterwards, you can go directly to Bourke St Mall via the 86/96 tram, and do even more shopping!
Before you say anything, I know. The options are overwhelming! If you’re feeling ambitious, you can probably knock out all three areas in one trip. It sounds like it would be exhausting, but you could do it. I’d personally suggest organising two trips via Ferry — one day for New Quay, and another for Victoria Harbour and the Spencer Outlet Centre. Either way, there’s something for everyone, meaning you’re sure to enjoy yourself.
Writer – Markella Votzourakis – Marketing Officer for the Docklands Chamber of Commerce.