VICTORIA: As Melbourne starts to breathe again and restrictions start to slowly ease, it’s the perfect time to reward yourself by planning a city-side staycation. The restaurants, bars, and galleries on the southern side of the Yarra River are waiting to open you back and there’s a brand new, eco-friendly hotel to boot.
Melbourne’s Southbank Promenade stretches from Southgate shopping and dining complex to Queensbridge Square and is perfect for those that love great food, locally produced wine and plenty of fresh air and social distancing. Here are our top picks for getting the most out of your Southbank staycation.
On Yer Bike!
Melbourne’s Capital City Bike Trail starts in Southbank and winds its way lazily along the banks of the Yarra. The 29km trail is graded as ‘easy’ and takes in some of the Melbourne’s best and finest attractions from the elegant grandeur of historic Como House to the mighty MCG.
For history buffs, the trail followers the old inner-city railway route before turning back along Moonee Ponds Creek.
Stroll the South Bank Promenade
Melbourne is a city known for its incredible food and South Bank’s promenade boasts some beauties. Neil Perry's Rockpool and Heston Blumenthal's Dinner by Heston share the space with Spice Temple Melbourne (try their bang bang white cut chicken), Nobu Melbourne and Koko at the Crown. PJ O’Briens, Cervo and H
opscotch provide cheaper, cheerful alternatives.
Insider Tip: Music lovers can’t go past Soho Restaurant and Bar. The venue boasts live music, a livelier crowd, and pretty cool views.
Eureka! A Sky Deck with a View!
The marketing says it all. 285 metres above ground. 38 seconds to get there. The fastest elevator trip in the Southern Hemisphere. This is Melbourne sightseeing at its finest and the chance to not only see Melbourne’s pretty CBD, but 360-degree views to Albert Park Lake, Port Phillip Bay, the Dandenong and beyond.
And if those dizzying heights aren’t enough to delight, the Tower is also hope to a world first attraction called The Edge. This glass cube juts out from the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower and suspends visitors almost 300 meters high above Melbourne. Go one, we dare you!
Insider Tip: If you purchase the Sun & Stars ticket you can catch the morning sun, then head back for sunset and the change to see the CBD light up! No wonder they call this place Eureka!
For Art’s Sake!
There’s no mistaking Southbank is Melbourne’s cultural hub. If the giant Queen Bee and her colony of giant golden bees on the side of Eureka Tower or ‘The Travellers’ sculpture lining Sandridge Bridge doesn’t give it away, the signage to Melbourne’s Art Centre, Hammer Hall, Malthouse Theatre, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Melbourne Recital Centre just might.
Serious art lovers, head to the NGV International, and see the artists of the future in training at the Victorian College of the Arts or enjoy the whimsy of the Art Centre Market (at the eastern end of the Riverbank) on a lazy Sunday. Who knows, you might just snap up some fab handmade artworks for a song.
The hotly anticipated NGV Triennial will return this summer, with the gallery announcing the dates for the second edition of the colossal exhibition. The NGV Triennial will run from December 19 to April 18, 2021, showcasing 86 thought-provoking, eye-widening works from more than 100 artists.
Insider Tip: According to the folks at Visit Victoria, It's what's inside that counts. “In Melbourne's arts precinct the exterior is important, too. Stroll around before your performance begins to see the iconic Arts Centre spire, the NGV's famed waterwall, the Recital Centre's honeycomb façade, the glowing tubes adorning Southbank Theatre, and ACCA's distinctive rusty steel exterior.”
All Aboard the Polly Woodside!
Ship’s ahoy! As you steam aboard the creaking timber of the Polly Woodside, one of Australia’s last surviving 19th Century tall ships, you’ll be transported back to a time when salty sea dogs braved blistering oceans. Located in Melbourne’s South Wharf, the Polly Woodside is one of Melbourne’s most iconic attractions completed with interactive gallery and pirate-themed days for the kids. Arrrr!
And when the exploring’s done… you’ll need a place to flop and drop that’s not too far from the action!
A Great (and Green) Night’s Sleep!
Staking its claim as Australia’s first high-rise hotel to be ‘built out of the sky’*, the striking 220-room Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne Southbank – which opened on 9 November – sets a clean and green precedent in the fastest-growing precinct of Australia’s fastest-growing city, projected to overtake Sydney by 2028.
Adina Melbourne’s green cross-laminated timber (CLT) tower punches well above its weight when it comes to boosting the city’s lungs. A fifth of the weight of concrete, the structure is believed to be the world’s tallest engineered timber extension, cleverly built on top of an existing office building.
And to help you get a great night’s sleep, the 5,300 tonnes of CLT used to build the 10-storey, 32m-tall accommodation tower act as a carbon sink, off-setting about 4,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Peace of mind when you stay with us: Introducing Clean Touch.