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Whatever your mode of transport you'll find all roads lead south in Melbourne – to Southbank and South Wharf, that is, Melbourne's waterside dining, drinking and shopping hubs. 

Roll up to Southbank's restaurants and bars on two wheels, as numerous cycling trails converge amid the riverside hotspot's public art installations. Southbank and South Wharf are also easily accessible by tram and train and even boat, with water taxis stopping regularly outside Southgate.

Southbank

Cross the fascinating Sandridge Bridge over the Yarra River and disappear amid the striking public art, restaurants and bars at Southbank.

Pull up a riverside table at any of the excellent eateries that stretch from Southgate to Crown Entertainment Complex. Dine alfresco as the city lights up at night or just watch the bustle along the Yarra River. Venture out onto the river itself for a coffee or sunset tipple at Ponyfish Island.

Step into the luxurious world of Crown and splurge at a super-chef's signature restaurant or at the international designer boutiques. Revert to childhood in the indoor amusement park, catch a movie or meet mates for a drink in one of the many bars. 

Get a dose of art and culture by deviating into the adjacent Arts Precinct, heralded by the Arts Centre's famous spire and leading out onto the honeycomb façade of the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

South Wharf

South Wharf brings new meaning to the humble shed, with the loving restored heritage sheds now housing a selection of diverse bars, restaurants and cafes that all share beautiful waterside views.

South Wharf Promenade might just be the only address you'll need to remember for your eating and drinking needs for the foreseeable future. An exhaustive list of bars and eateries tempts the tastebuds, any time of day and prepares you for a super South Wharf shopping spree. Head over to DFO South Wharf to bargain hunt at more than 180 retail outlets.

Getting there

Southbank
By tram: Any tram along Swanston Street and St Kilda Road to stops at Federation Square; the free City Circle Tram to the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets.

Melbourne Visitor Shuttle: Stop 1. The complete trip includes 13 stops and takes approximately an hour and a half. The bus runs every 30 minutes between 9.30am and 4.30pm daily (excluding Good Friday and Christmas Day) and includes an on-board commentary.

By train: To Flinders Street Station.

By foot: From Federation Square, over Princes Bridge to Southbank and St Kilda Road (5-15 minutes).

Along the river: For a different perspective, jump on board a scenic cruise, water taxi or gondola outside the Southgate complex for a cruise along the Yarra River.

South Wharf
By tram: Tram numbers 96, 109 and 112 to Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, or tram number 70 to the end of Flinders Street and then walk over the Seafarers pedestrian bridge to South Wharf.

By train: Catch any train to Southern Cross station and stroll over to South Wharf. 

By foot: Stroll across to South Wharf along the river from Southbank and Federation Square (around 10 minutes) or over the Seafarers Bridge from Docklands.

By car: There is ample parking at South Wharf.

By water taxi: Catch a water taxi to and from the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre landing day and night, every day.

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Things to do

Southbank

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Bistro Guillaume

Prop up the bar with a glass of Champagne or peruse a tight but trustworthy menu of French classics.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Expect the unexpected at Heston's eponymous fine diner at Crown, his first restaurant beyond the UK.

Crown Melbourne

Located on the Southern bank of the Yarra River, Crown is Melbourne's premier entertainment venue....

Red Emperor

Enjoy river views with yum cha, banquets or a la carte dining with provincial Chinese specialties.

Rockpool Bar & Grill

Indulge in a feast with wines as fine as the pampered meats and the sublime mac and cheese.

Rosetta Ristorante

Twist your fork around the handmade pasta and seasonal Italian fare at Neil Perry's Italian foray.

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Things to do

South Wharf

Munich Brauhaus

Get in touch with your inner Bavarian. Pull up a pew and sample the Munich Haus signature lager.

The Boatbuilders Yard

While away the afternoon, enjoy an after-work beer in the sun, or tuck into snacks from the BBQ.

BangPop

Taste the authenticity and frenetic energy of Bangkok's street food at BangPop on South Wharf.

DFO South Wharf

Get to grips with DFO's 120-plus stores offering current fashion and homewares at discounted prices.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Down by the river, MCEC plays host to festivals, exhibitions, conventions and gigs of all sizes.

Akachochin

Eat and drink your way around Japan by matching sake to the regions from whence the food originates.

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