The Docklands in Melbourne is fast becoming THE place to visit. When staying in Melbourne we have usually chosen the centre of town or in the Southbank area. We spent a weekend in the ever changing Docklands precinct and think you should check it out too!
We loved exploring somewhere new and here is why!
Have your kids dreamed of playing right under the Bolte Bridge? Opening in 2015 the Ron Barassi Senior Park is a must for families visiting the Docklands. There is a huge oval to kick the footy on or even watch teams train. My kids loved the huge slide and all the diggers in the sand. This park has lots of natural elements even though it’s in the middle of a city. Wet weather? You can also head indoors to experience Ice skating at O’Brien Arena or Glow Golf indoor mini golf.
Day or Night seeing Melbourne from up high is spectacular. The Melbourne Star is the Largest Observation Wheel in the Southern Hemisphere. It recently turned 3 years old and is open 7 days a week to give you the best view of the Docklands area.
Each ride takes around 40 minutes and you get to look across the Bolte to the Bay and learn heaps of fun facts about Melbourne’s history. The kids loved using their map to point to famous landmarks.
Wheelchair access is fantastic with staff well trained in providing an inclusive experience. Usually the pods are slowly moving all the way around however with a wheelchair user, the pod stops and a small ramp is added for barrier free entry. Staff, even at the end of the day are still full of smiles and keen to hear what the kids favourite part was!
For more information and ticketing head here.
ARTVO is Melbournes newest interactive art museum. My kids love these places and have tried them out all over the world. Melbourne did not disappoint even when we attend on a busy public holiday. It was really busy but staff were really helpful in helping set up photos and always present.
With over 100 3D artworks it was really hard to pick a favourite! The kids loved pretending to be eaten by a shark, walk across a bridge, fly on a magic carpet and pat a panda!
There are little stickers on the floor to help you know where to stand and photograph and which way to hold your phone/camera.
Wheelchair access was great throughout.
There are no bathrooms on site but you can use the Dockland public amenities located near the Gold Leaf restaurant.
We were really impressed at how considerate everyone was of each other inside ArtVo. Everyone was able to wait and take it in turns to get the best photo of their family or kids. I think it really helped having so many staff visible and available too.
For opening hours and ticketing head here
We stayed right on the Water at the Sebel Docklands. We love the space of apartments when we travel as a family. Check in was busy and took around 20 minutes as they tried to organise which rooms where ready etc. Staff were friendly and helpful when we had a few car parking issues. There are 3 buildings across the accommodation each with their own pool and gym and great views across the water and to Port Phillip Bay. Parking cost $25 a night.
There are lots of choices within HarbourTown the shopping area of the Docklands but finding breakfast was a little tricky. Right by the Melbourne Star we found some Vietnamese Pho and a few coffee shops that were open by 9am. In the evenings there are a lot more options and we even stumbled across a night market food truck experience.
*We were guests of The Melbourne Star and Artvo for purposes of this review although have attended before as a family.