The myriad public artworks make for an inspiring breadcrumb trail on a stroll around the Docklands, where there's something for everyone from foodies to footy fans, excited kids and shoppers with keen eyes for a bargain.
Fun for all the family
Bring the family for a fun-filled day around the harbour. Catch a flight on the Melbourne Star observation wheel and take in spellbinding 360-degree views of Melbourne city, Port Phillip Bay and the Dandenong Ranges.
Kids can try their skills on the ice at Medibank Icehouse, bump around in dodgem cars at Wonderland Fun Park or spot Dame Edna on the Walk of Stars – Melbourne's own walk of fame.
Fill your trolley at Costco, then take a stroll to the Harbour Town Shopping Centre for designer threads, jewellery and children's fashion. Wander leisurely through this open-air shopping precinct, combining discounted brands along with the latest fashion, designer and specialty stores.
Eating and drinking by the water
There's a smorgasbord of dining options at Newquay, Victoria Harbour and Waterfront City, tucked in beneath luxury apartments, lining the marina and scattered around the office buildings. Indulge in Indian, Cambodian, Vietnamese or Thai, go mod-Oz, choose artisanal baked goods and locally roasted coffee, or cool off with a gelato and saunter along the jetty as the sun sets.
Meet friends after work and slow down over a bottle of wine while the boats bob about on the water or get in the mood for a big game at Etihad Stadium with a drink at the Woolshed Pub.
How to get there
Tram: The free City Circle tram runs along Harbourside Esplanade seven days a week
Train: Alight at Spencer Street Station and follow the signs across the Bourke Street footbridge
Car: There are 1,100 parking spaces with ticket validation for restaurant patrons
By foot: Access from the city is along the Collins Street, Bourke Street and LaTrobe Street bridges
Ferry: Bay and River Cruises (Ph 03 9682 9555) operate a ferry service from Southgate, via Crown Casino and the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
Bus: Melbourne City tourist bus stops at Waterfront City's Tourism Lounge. Buses run every 25 minutes, seven days a week between 10.15am to 4.30pm.