Once an area of swampland, Docklands is now a bustling harbour district on the edge of Melbourne’s CBD. It’s renowned for its waterfront dining establishments, shopping centres and family-friendly attractions, as well as a permanent exhibition of large-scale sculptural works.
Things to do in Docklands
Docklands is home to attractions that will appeal to the entire family, including Harbour Town’s sports car simulators and the glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course of Glow Golf. On a hot summer’s day, you can cool off while skating on the Icehouse’s Bradbury Rink or watch teams battle it out in the Australian Ice Hockey League.
While exploring Docklands, keep an eye out for the contemporary sculptures that dot the suburb, transforming it into an open-air gallery. Highlights include the “Threaded Field” (which loops around Etihad Stadium), the famous “Cow Up a Tree” and the dynamic “Blowhole” that is a must-see on windy days. Several of the sculptures are best viewed after dark, including “Aurora”, “Heartland” and “Field of Play”.
Need a retail fix? Browse the fashion retailers that cluster in Southern Cross Station or grab bargains at the Spencer Outlet Centre. The District Docklands is home to homewares stores, a cinema complex and the Funlab entertainment zone, as well as a wide choice of cafes, bars and restaurants. Visit on the weekend to experience the buzz of Dockland’s waterfront Sunday Market, where you’ll find everything from art to antiques and live entertainment.
Getting around Docklands
Docklands is around 10 minutes’ drive from the Melbourne CBD and 20 minutes from Melbourne Airport. Regular trains connect to the Southern Cross railway station and Docklands is served by several tram routes. Ferries also connect Docklands to Melbourne’s city centre and designated bicycle paths traverse the suburb.