Spectacular bridges, Indigenous history, Southbank promenade, the Melbourne Aquarium and the Melbourne Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre feature on this walk of discovery.
Federation Square (1) is a centre of cultural activity for Melbourne. Positioned on the city’s busiest intersection across the road from Flinders Street Station (2).
From Federation Square, walk south along Princess Bridge(3) over the Yarra River and follow the ramp down to the riverside in Alexander Gardens (4) and then walk under the bridge.
You will pass the giant steel sculpture Dervish (5) the 1981 work of Melbourne-born sculpture Clement Meadmore, which has a current market value of around $500,000.
Walk past the Southgate restaurant and shopping precinct along Melbourne’s Southbank Promenade (6). Cross the Southgate Pedestrian Bridge (7) which marks where a significant creek or tributary into the Yarra River once flowed.
Heading west along Flinders Walk (8) you will pass under Sandridge Railway Bridge (9) and you come to Queens’s Bridge (10) just beyond the Banana Alley Vaults.
The Yarra’s waterfall was destroyed in the mid-19th century to allow the tall ships access to the wide basin or “pool” of the Yarra now recreated near Enterprize Wharf (11). Five carved figureheads titled Constellation (12) evoke the spirit of these ships. However, destruction of the waterfall also ruined the ecology of the area with salt water now flowing into the freshwater wetlands. Early port facilities were also located here, as well as bond stores and the Customs House (13), now the Immigration Museum.
Walk past the popular SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium (15) that features a breathtaking underwater wonderland where children and adults can enjoy ‘fish-eye’ views of sea life and its many different creatures.
Then cross to Batman Park (16) and take the Spencer Street Footbridge (17) to South Wharf (18) and follow the river concourse to Dukes and Orrs Docks (1875) (19) now home to Polly Woodside (20).
The Seafarers Bridge (21) will take you across the Yarra to the southern end of Docklands, Melbourne’s newest community, now home to thousands of residents and headquarters for several of Australia’s most successful companies.
On South Wharf, continue to the spectacular Webb Bridge (22) a snaking pedestrian and cycle link between the Southbank promenade at Yarra’s edge and the Docklands.
Walk back along the river past the many retail outlets and restaurants located in South Wharf (23). The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (24), made up of convention and meeting spaces and a huge exhibition hall, it is the first ‘6 Star Green Star’ convention centre in the world and is a technological marvel designed with the environment in mind using fresh air, natural light and solar power.
Take a leisurely stroll along the river as you walk back to Fed Square.
4. Alexander Gardens
6. Southbank Promenade
7. Southgate Pedestrian Bridge
8. Flinders Walk
9. Sandridge Railway Bridge
10. Queen’s Bridge
11. Enterprize Wharf
13. Customs House
14. Enterprize Park
15. Melbourne Aquarium
16. Batman Park
17. Spencer Street Footbridge
18. South Wharf
19. Dukes and Orrs Docks (1875)
20. Polly Woodside
21. Seafarers Bridge
22. Webb Bridge
23. South Wharf
1. Federation Square
24. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
2. Flinders Street Station
3. Princess Bridge