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 the O'Brien Group Arena skating rink, bump around in dodgem cars at Wonderland or spot Dame Edna on the Walk of Stars – Melbourne's own walk of fame.

Shopping

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. Port Phillip Ferries depart here for Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula. There are two return trips per day.

Melbourne Visitor Shuttle: Stops 9 and 10. The bus runs every 30 minutes between 9.30am and 4.30pm daily (excluding major event days) and includes an on-board commentary.

Things to do

Docklands

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