Melburnians like to think we know everything about the city in which we live. We know where to find the cheapest coffee or the best dumplings in the city, but there are certain things that even a life-long Melburnian may not have an index of knowledge about. Case in point: Victoria Harbour.
Victoria Harbour is a precinct of Docklands, located where Collins and Bourke streets meet beside the picturesque harbour. With its direct connection to the CBD via Collins Street, Vic Harbour is a mix of residential, office, retail and community spaces. It’s ready to be explored, so hop on the tram and make a day of it.
Victoria Harbour hot-spots
At the junction of Bourke and Collins Streets is Melbourne’s first real-time weather display. This state-of-the-art lighting installation illuminates a 15-storey residential building façade with a forecast of the following day’s weather.
Running from dusk until midnight each night, Light House at 888 Collins Street uses data from the Bureau of Meteorology's weather station to display how the weather will feel in a visually stunning manner, using colours and staggered light displays.
On the hour, every hour, moving lights will reflect weather conditions – such as rain, sunshine, wind or clouds – with the remainder of the hour featuring abstract light movements constantly but gently changing. To top it off, from midnight until dawn, the building will go into a static phase that reflects the moon patterns. Cool, right?
For the best view head to Buluk Park, beside Library at the Dock. From June 20 to 25, Light House will be featuring a winter solstice themed light show which will run for ten minutes each hour, on the hour, from sunset until midnight.
When cracking Italian sandwich shop Saluministi opened up a second leg in Victoria Harbour, the people of Melbourne sopped it up. For Saluministi isn’t just a paninoteca serving delicious sandwiches – it’s a haven for serious salami and cured meats.
The light-filled space features a large, open plan kitchen and enough cured meat on display to make a vegetarian blush. While the breakfast menu includes bruschetta, organic cereal and pane tostatos, it’s the paninis you really want. These fresh rolls are packed sky high with ingredients, including anything from calamari to sausage. Favourites include the porchetta (free range slow roasted pork, artichoke paste, pecorino romano cheese and rocket) and the cotoletta (crumbed free range pork loin, vincotto mayo, coleslaw and provolone dolce). Grab one with a cup of fresh Italian stovetop coffee served with biscotti and be transported to Italy’s Amalfi Coast in no time.
We’re pretty lucky having a river running through our city – mostly because it means we get to do things like paddle a kayak right through the center of the city and observe Melbourne’s skyline from a pretty unique vantage point.
Kayak Melbourne run Moonlight Kayak Tours along the Yarra River. The tours run for two and a half hours, are suitable for all ages and there’s no experience necessary. Punters meet before sunset in Victoria Harbour and, following a safety briefing, you’ll set out to explore the sights of the harbour. Kayakers will then tie up to a dock on the marina and be served fish ‘n’ chips in a special on-the-water dining experience.
Following the meal, you’ll continue upstream under the Bolte Bridge and through to downtown Melbourne, passing the dramatic fire display at the Crown Casino, Flinders Street Station and the historic Princes Bridge. It’s here you’ll get an Instagram-worthy snap of Melbourne’s skyline as the sun goes down.
As you’d expect, Docklands’ waterfront library has an extensive book collection with over 200,000 books on shelf, subscriptions to the daily newspapers and about 400 magazines, as well as a massive DVD and CD collection and eLibrary, including resources in languages other than English. But there’s a lot more than reading going on at the Library at the Dock – it’s a well-rounded creative community hub.
The civic heart of Docklands, the Library at the Dock’s state-of-the-art facilities include a gallery, pro-editing suites and a recording studio for public use, practice rooms for musos, an informal makers space and design lab, and a range of spaces that can be booked for meetings and local community-run events. Bonus: you’ll also be treated to spectacular views of the water from every corner of the complex.
Topping it all off are free workshops, events and activities that run regularly throughout the year including Tai Chi, a laughter club, evening table tennis, lantern making workshops and more.
Is there anything better than chocolate? Probably not. Good news is you can get your chocolate fix at Victoria Harbour too. Artisan chocolate makers Wawa Chocolatier have set up a pop-up chocolate shop next to the Knowledge Market, opposite Library at the Dock.
Wawa Chocolatier serves chocolate without the ethical hangover. The company was founded by Western Australian farmer Jade Anderson and has its roots in local and ethical produce. They create small batches of handmade chocolate bars using manual tempering techniques, on locally grown and produced ingredients and fine French couverture.
Wawa is also known for their unconventional flavour blends. Get your hands on a block of Balsamic salted caramel or lavender honeycomb and cocoa nib. White choc fans will enjoy the blueberry and blue corn, and coffee fans can dig into Wawa’s milk and coffee bean flavour. The pop-up shop will also be serving hot chocolate drinks to warm you up during the winter months.