Docklands

NewQuay Docklands adventure

Playing tourist in your own town can be loads of fun, especially when you live in Melbourne.  The Docklands is full of great stuff for families.

We were invited to spend a couple of days in the Docklands and NewQuay as guests of MAB Corporation.

I thought we must’ve seen everything in the Docklands – I mean we visit all the time.. and yet we discovered lots of new spots as well as revisiting some favourites.  And staying overnight at the Sebel Docklands Hotel made our adventure feel like a true escape.

I love a “staycation”, it is the easiest way to escape – without the drama of loosing time to actual travel, and if you miss seeing something, no big deal – you can always go back next week!

The Sebel has an onsite carpark – so we drove – but Southern Cross Station is just across the way, as is the City Circle tram.  To make our time in the Docklands easy to traverse (and even more fun) we packed our micro scooters – which allowed us to cover quite a bit of ground quickly (and the network of paths made it easy to get around).

During our visit we explored as far as South Wharf (crossing over the very photogenic Webb Bridge).  We explored the Docklands Park, visited the Library at the Dock (and the playground behind it).

We enjoyed coffee and treats at the Hortus X Seven Seeds cafe (more than once) and took in the sights along the way.  Outside Hortus X Seven Seeds there is table tennis – and the kids had fun messing about with that as well as checking out some of the installations and sculptures.

As well as taking in the sights we got our skates on and had a fun morning at the O’Brien Group Arena – I highly recommend splashing out the extra $3 for the upgrade ice-skates (I think my feet have a low pain threshold).  We also played a round of Glow In The Dark Mini Golf – not conducive to photography so you will have to trust me that it was a fun way to spend 40 minutes on a wet spring day.

There are numerous spots to eat in the Docklands – we had dinner at the Cambodian restaurant Bopha Devi, and lunch at Cargo (which also has great views across the water).

As we were guests of MAB Corporation we made sure we popped into their Elm & Stone display suite to say hi – I loved checking out the styling (and imagining life in a new penthouse with designer furniture) and the kids were intrigued by the models of the Docklands – which had interactive touch screens that allowed you to light up different sections of the model relative to the map on the screen.

Finally, we had a lovely stay at the Sebel – our accommodation was a two bedroom apartment (which meant the kids invited a friend to join us).  The views were glorious, the pool was warm (there was also a spa and sauna), the rooftop tennis court was surrounded by BBQ areas and a lovely garden and the staff super friendly.  We did have a room service breakfast – it was eaten before I could photograph.  We were genuinely sad to leave.  [You can read about the hotel in more detail here.]

Other stuff to do in the Docklands (which we didn’t have time to do this time) that you might want to include in your visit:

  • a ride on the Melbourne Star (we’ve been during the day and at night),
  • experience an event at the Etihad Stadium,
  • Wonderland (amusement rides and during school holidays live performances in the Wonderland Spiegeltent),
  • ArtVo (think those 3d pavement art),
  • the LEGO Centre and, of course,
  • shopping at Harbour Town.