Heading down to the waterside in Docklands? Check out these hidden bars, epic attractions and amazing art galleries while you're in the area.
See a spectacular glowing weather forecast
Melbournians love any excuse to talk about the weather. And Victoria Harbour's Light House is a towering ode to our favourite conversation starter. Every night after dark, the building projects Melbourne’s weather in real-time, with stunning abstract light installations. Stick around to see the lights forecast tomorrow’s weather on the hour, every hour. Will it be rain, clouds, wind or sunshine?
Kayak by moonlight
See the sun set over Melbourne from a different perspective. Kayak Melbourne offers sparkling nighttime tours along the Yarra, with an active twist. But don’t panic, there’s no experience required! Departing from picturesque Docklands harbourside, this is an evening adventure like no other. You even get to dine while on the water.
Feast in a leafy brunch wonderland
Seek out some of Melbourne's most aesthetic brunch dishes in this cute-as-a-button cafe. Take a seat under Cocobei's towering wall of greenery and ponder the stacked all-day menu. You could order eggs on toast (and they'll be perfection) but you'd be missing out on some incredible creative dishes. Try fluffy soufflé hotcakes with orange mousse, cured salmon mille-feuille or pork tomago onigiri. And caffeinate with a tasting flight of specialty drinks.
Inhale the world's best porchetta panini
You might know the Flinders Lane store a little better, but Saluministi's Docklands outpost is just as delicious. And we simply can't go past the best-selling grilled panini, the porchetta. That’s free-range roasted pork ribboned with artichoke paste, partnered with pecorino and rocket. Served in a stone-baked ciabatta roll, with a side of house-made pickled veg, it's perfetto.
Play inside a neon-lit arcade wonderland
Roll up to Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq for the ultimate arcade experience. Once you’ve finished with bowling, bumper cars, arcade games, or virtual reality be sure to try their circus sour. A fruity twist on your classic cocktail, served with a tower of sugary sweet fairy floss on top.
Sink eco bevs at Urban Alley Brewery
You don’t need to drive out to the ‘burbs for a legit brewery experience. Urban Alley has the capacity to produce 1 million litres of beer a year, and their unique eco-model means your sips are super sustainable. Settle in for a signature bev in the loft style surrounds and order from a menu of burgers, pizzas and steaks.
Have a dumpling feast at Heartling
Melbourne's most exclusive dumpling restaurant has arrived. With space for just eight diners, you'll feel very special when you nab a seat at Heartling. The focus here is on 'slow' dining – a meditative food experience that allows you to savour every flavour. Choose the seafood or plant-based menu, then indulge in a series of hand-crafted, heart-shaped dumplings. Splurge on dessert, you won't be disappointed.
Visit an Instagrammable cafe
With its pastel-coloured drinks and aesthetically-pleasing brunch items, you’d be silly not to whip out your phone and post a pic or two of Min the Cafe on Instagram. Take a seat under the cherry blossoms and sip on signature beverages like the iced purple sweet potato latte or the iced unicorn dreams blue latte topped with crunchy fruit loops. For something more filling order the Biscoff caramel croffle or the slow cooked beef bowl with kimchi.
Sail away on a picnic boat
The rumours are true – you can now be your own captain on a floating picnic boat in Melbourne. Explore the waterfront with On a Boat, a self-skippered electric boat hire company. Gather your mates, grab some drinks, pack your fave snacks and set off from Collins Landing. You can even bring your dog!
Find one of Melbourne's best katsu sando
Ilza’s home-style chicken katsu sandos are a Docklands sensation. The equally delicious pork-cutlet sandwiches are just as crispy, served on the same fluffy white bread. But why stop there, when there’s chicken karaage, udon noodles, yuzu cocktails and strawberry shortcake to devour.
Learn to ice skate
Whether you’re experts or beginners, skating with your crew is always fun at O’Brien Icehouse. Slice across the ice during the public skating sessions, or check out an ice hockey match. Grab a toastie at the igloo cafe or get a little fancy at the St Moritz bar on site. Plus, visit before 28 August to score 25 per cent off skating. Just use code 'whatson23' for sessions on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
Visit a cute waterside market
Visit this scenic spot every second Sunday for a delightful day out. You can find everything from jewellery and homewares to artisanal produce, all in one stunning city location. Grab a coffee from expert baristas then peruse open-air laneways for your next locally made buy.
Wander rooms of illusion at ArtVo
Lose yourself in a world of illusion at this one-of-a-kind art gallery. ArtVo is the ultimate trick art spot, home to a collection of over 80 hand-painted immersive artworks. Kids young and old will love the different zones where viewers become the art.
Live like a pirate
To get your pirate on, heave ho to the Mission to Seafarers. Test your pipes at a free sea shanty sing-along session. These ever popular sessions are the ultimate way to blow off some steam, pirate-styles.
DIY okonomiyaki at Dohtonbori
The first of its kind in Melbourne, Dohtonbori is a popular export from Japan specialising in okonomiyaki. Plate up fresh cabbage pancakes at the helm of your personal teppanyaki hot plate, then load it with kimchi, lobster, pork belly and more.
More must-visit spots by the waterside
Where to eat near Marvel Stadium and the MCG
Heading to a game? Here’s where to stop off for pre or post-event feasting.
Makers Market at The District
This outdoor undercover family-friendly market at Docklands features craft, gifts, fashion and food.
Steakhouse Grill 66
The modern Australian menu features a range of a steaks, burgers and a la carte dishes
Be your own captain by renting a picnic boat, with no boat licence required.
Social enterprise selling bikes, accessories and clothing, with profits going to youth programs.
Movie theatre with recliner seats and surround-sound in every cinema.
Chilangos Mexican Cantina Docklands
A popular Docklands spot serving burritos, tacos and Mexican drinks.
Healthy, wholesome, delicious meals inspired by healthy international cuisines around the world.
Last updated on Wed 23 Aug 2023
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