On the Waterfront

Swanston St/Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

On the Waterfront

Swanston St/Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Staff Pick
1 h 18 m
5.26 km


Spectacular bridges, Indigenous history, Southbank promenade, the Melbourne Aquarium and the Melbourne Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre feature on this walk of discovery.

On the Waterfront

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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.


Points of Interest

1. 4. Alexander Gardens

4. Alexander Gardens

2. 5. Dervish


3. 6. Southbank Promenade

6. Southbank Promenade

4. 7. Southgate Pedestrian Bridge

7. Southgate Pedestrian Bridge

5. 8. Flinders Walk

8. Flinders Walk

6. 9. Sandridge Railway Bridge

9. Sandridge Railway Bridge

7. 10. Queen’s Bridge

10. Queen’s Bridge

8. 11. Enterprize Wharf

11. Enterprize Wharf

9. 12. Constellation

12. Constellation

10. 13. Customs House

13. Customs House

11. 14. Enterprize Park

14. Enterprize Park

12. 15. Melbourne Aquarium

15. Melbourne Aquarium

13. 16. Batman Park

16. Batman Park

14. 17. Spencer Street Footbridge

17. Spencer Street Footbridge

15. 18. South Wharf

18. South Wharf

16. 19. Dukes and Orrs Docks (1875)

19. Dukes and Orrs Docks (1875)

17. 20. Polly Woodside

20. Polly Woodside

18. 21. Seafarers Bridge

21. Seafarers Bridge

19. 22. Webb Bridge

22. Webb Bridge

20. 23. South Wharf

23. South Wharf

21. 1. Federation Square

1. Federation Square

22. 24. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

24. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

23. 2. Flinders Street Station

2. Flinders Street Station

24. 3. Princess Bridge

3. Princess Bridge


Historical Interest Historical Interest
Art and Culture Art and Culture
Coast/River/Lake Coast/River/Lake
Park(s)/Garden(s) Park(s)/Garden(s)
General General
Picnic Spot Picnic Spot
Seating Available Seating Available


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