Southbank Overview

If recreation is what you seek, head to the banks of Melbourne’s Yarra river for a memorable day out at Southbank. Southbank offers stunning views of skyscrapers and houses major attractions like Crown Melbourne, Victorian Art Centre, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and much more. Hop on river cruises or simply embark on shopping, art and food tours on your Southbank visit.

By the banks of the river, Yarra is this classy decked-up pedestrian called the Southbank Melbourne. A fall in the Australian economy during the early ’90s gave room to the development and refurbishing of the town. The initial idea of Southbank refurbishing came into place to enhance tourism and to set up a recreational spot amidst the city and it is one of the famous places to visit in Melbourne.

The great view and fine location by the river made it one of the desired areas in town. Housing some of the important businesses, skyscrapers and touristy spots such as the National Gallery, Eureka and so on it is now one of the prominent places in Melbourne.

The dramatic backdrop of the skyscrapers and posh buildings by the banks of the river fascinate tourists. The busy streets, the flashy lights, the rushing pedestrians and the fresh breeze by the riverside in the urban neighbourhood resemble the set of a Hollywood movie.  

If you're a tourist exploring Melbourne, allocate a day for the Southbank tour. Visit Crown Casino, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Victorian Art Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, James Bond store, and enjoy river cruises. Southbank also offers diverse shopping, food, and art experiences. Consider including Australia travel packages in your plans.

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• Explore one of Melbourne’s most picturesque and luxurious destinations located on the banks of river Yarra.
• Witness Melbourne’s urban character at its finest as you click Hollywood-style pictures of bustling streets, tall skyscrapers, blinding lights, rushing pedestrians, and breezy riverside at Southbank.
• With something on offer for all age groups, ranging from sightseeing to shopping and gaming, Southbank is Melbourne’s top recreational destination.
• A rich cultural experience awaits as you go shopping for indigenous products at the local markets, explore art exhibits and listen to local music, and hop on river cruises that serve bewitching views and lip-smacking local delicacies.
• Climb Australia’s second-tallest skyscraper, Eureka, for 360-degree views of Melbourne from 975 feet above the ground, and head to Crown Melbourne for an entertaining night out with friends and family.
• Indulge the James Bond fan in you at The Bond Store and explore nearby attractions like Melbourne Zoo, Luna Park, St Kilda’s penguins, ACDC Lane, bookstores, breweries and wineries, and much more.

How To Reach

Southbank Melbourne is 20 - 25 km away and there are multiple ways to reach Southbank Melbourne from Melbourne airport (MEL). Here is how: 

Via a Bus Service: Opting for a bus would take around 45-50 mins due to multiple bus transfers. Board the T1 Skybus to reach the Skybus coach terminal, take a 140 m walk to Bourke St and board the bus 96 to reach City road, a 5min walk from Cityroad is Southbank Melbourne. 

Via a Car or Taxi: Opting to drive yourself to Southbank is the cheapest option to get to your destination. The distance of 25kms could be driven in about 23mins using the M2 route to get there. However, if you chose the M2 route and head to continue using the state route 37 you would take around 38-40mins to reach your destination.

You can also commute via taxi. Taxis are easily available from the airport for about 55$ - 65$. However, any transport used to reach the destination from the airport will take around 20 -25 mins to arrive at the pedestrian.

(Commute Tip: Purchase a myki pass for intercity navigation, it is the cheapest option of commuting within the city. It might cost you up 28$ for a week.)

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Southbank Australia is during the autumn and spring season. i.e., March to May and September to November. Australia’s seasons are opposite to that of the Northern Hemisphere, Australia experiences the summer season from December to February and winters from June to August.

Hence, autumn and spring seasons are highly recommended to enjoy the Skyline, and the riverside and also to explore the town of Melbourne under pleasant weather conditions. The favorable weather permits you to take hikes, explore the western Australia windflower trail, Mingle with the wild, enjoy the city rides and take a dip in the hot spring near Melbourne.

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Other Essential Information

Location: (To GPS) 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank, Victoria 

Timing: All-day 

Distance from Melbourne Airport: 20 - 25 min

History of Southbank Melbourne

During the early 90s, Australia faced an acute economic downturn, and to find a fix an urban renewal was proposed. Southbank Melbourne which was formerly an industrial area was redesigned to an urban pedestrian by Denton Corker Marshall.

The sector of 1.7 km was designed to have well-furnished tall flashy modern buildings, fresh touch to Melbourne and a renovated bridge by the river. Sophisticated Southbank soon dominated the town. Effluent offices moved to Southbank creating a demand for the area.

Housing some of the powerful business headquarters such as Treasury Wine Estates, Crown Limited, Alumina, Incitec Pivot, The Herald & Weekly Times and many more. The elite class was drawn towards Southbank. However, Its popularity gained momentum due to tourists.

The river cruise, the bridge, the skyline, the markets and more was a lot to explore. Eventually, the establishment of many museums, art galleries and historical exhibitions at Southbank gathered the attention of art lovers, artists and so on. All the measures put together have made Southbank one of the popular places in Melbourne.

Best Restaurants in Southbank Melbourne

1. Nobu Melbourne: Nobu is a widely recommended Japanese restaurant at the Crown by the Yarra River. An approximate cost for two customers is around 50-60 USD. The restaurant is highly appreciated for its Japanese expertise.

2. Conservatory: This elegant chic-themed restaurant at the Crown serves a sumptuous global buffet. The attractive furniture, high ceiling, and white decor add to the sophistication of the dining. The global buffet pleases the palate with a great variety.  

3. Ging Thai: If you are up for an Asian savory, Ging Thai is a place to explore. A typical Thai serving arena with flavors of its homeland. 

4. Gradi crown: Cheese!! If that’s your calling and you’d want to indulge in some lip-smacking pizza, this is the place. Grade Crown is an Italian food destination serving delicious pizza and Wine.

Tips for visiting Southbank Melbourne

1. Commute: Prefer using a public mode of transport as you would have issues finding a parking spot. Also, Southbank is best explored on foot. 

2. Day Out: Remember that Southbank has too much to offer. So, plan your itinerary to space a whole day for the visit. 

3. Pre-bookings: Revise your plan and pre-book your essentials such as the passes to the Edge or river cruise etc. It is also suggested to pre-book a table in the restaurant you wish to dine in. 

4. Events check: Numerous artists present live performances at Southbank Melbourne. Look it up while making your plan to experience these gigs by the river.

5. City tours and market visits: Multiple options of city tours are available to take you across Melbourne, packages could be fixed based on your preferences.

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Point of Interest for Southbank
Shopping, Cruises and Art

Shopping, Cruises and Art

If you are looking out to stroll around Southbank one thing you can do is a shop, board a river or even enjoy the art exhibits and timely music that is played on the street. You could also opt to brunch or savor dinner on the river cruise to enhance your experience.

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Witness Vault

Witness Vault

Vault is an abstract minimalist sculpture by the sculptor Ron Robertson Swann at the Australian Centre for contemporary art at Southbank. The bright yellow coloured innovative structure is worth a sight. Made of large thick flat polygonal sheets of steel is assembled in a manner of dynamic movement. You can expect to get a cool goofy picture at this venue.

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Explore The Eureka Tower and The Edge

Explore The Eureka Tower and The Edge

Eureka is one of Southbank's experiences you can’t ignore. Situated in Southbank it is Australia's second-tallest building measuring 297.3 meters (975 ft), you can look at the 360 degrees of Melbourne at the observation deck on the 88th floor of the building

The experience of Eureka gets dramatic at the ‘Edge’, the Edge is a block extension at Eureka with a backdrop of Melbourne at a great height making you feel a drop from the building. Edge is an architectural marvel you should have a picture of.

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Visit Crown Tower

Visit Crown Tower

An entertainment-stocked plaza. Well known for its casino, the Crown engages its visitors with gambling or indulges them in choices of their own, housing some of the posh brands, enthralling theatre performances, gaming rooms, spas, concerts, nightclubs, bars, and as many as 29 restaurants to choose from Crown establishes a very engaging time for the people. Visiting Crown at Southbank is a wholesome day of thrill and enthusiasm.

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Relive your fav James Bond Memories at The Bond store

Relive your fav James Bond Memories at The Bond store

James Bond lovers wouldn’t want to miss out on this one. Relish some coffee while you picture bond sniffing the culprit at this cafe by the Southbank. The setting is perfect for a retro catch-up. This out-of-a-movie store at Southbank is a great place to relax, read a book or even write one.

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 Shop at Sunday markets

Shop at Sunday markets

Hopping in on a Sunday to the Southbank is a joyride. The busy streets are filled with life and laughter with live performances, artists selling their best pieces, and the locals and tourists retreating by the river on a holiday.

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Tourism Board Alliances

Southbank FAQs

Is Southbank a suburb?

No, Southbank is an urban neighbourhood by the river Yarra in Melbourne.

What is Southbank?

An ornamental river side structure that was modeled to enhance the economy. However, Southbank today is a diverse cultural shower with graffiti walls, fun markets, live music, buffets, scenic views and more.

When was Southbank built?

Southbank was built during the 90’s to overcome the economic crisis as an economic renewal program.

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