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August 09 Edition Cover

Boating - Love Melbourne – Love Boating – Love Docklands

11 Feb 2014

Boating - Love Melbourne – Love Boating – Love Docklands Image

By John Zammit - Shipmate Marine Directory
Think Melbourne, think fine food, arts, culture, fashion, Melbourne Cup, AFL football.

Of all the things Melbourne is noted for, boating generally doesn’t rate a mention. Perhaps that’s due to a perception that the weather isn’t quite suited to the boating lifestyle. And yet there are over 175,000 boats registered in Victoria and some wonderful boating destinations. One in particular is a favourite of mine and in my view the jewel in Melbourne’s crown – Docklands.

There are not too many places in Australia, or the world for that matter, where you can cruise into the heart of the city. From a boater’s perspective Docklands has it all – a safe, all-weather destination, located minutes from the CBD, top quality eateries and bars set along picturesque waterfront promenades, great shopping with an eclectic mix of designer labels, specialty stores and discount retailers, parklands with large urban artworks, galleries, and even an ice-skating.

We often visit Docklands by boat, occasionally for an event, sometimes to go to the football, dinner or the theatre. Etihad Stadium is literally across the road and the iconic MCG and the theatre district a short tram ride away. Even Rod Laver Arena, if we’re going to the tennis or a concert, is easy to get to.

We can leave the boat knowing that it’s safe and secure berthed in a modern marina, walk or catch a tram into town, then come back and stay the night on board. In the morning stroll up to one of countless waterfront cafes for a leisurely waterside breakfast, perhaps followed by a bit of retail therapy, before cruising home again.

Whenever we have guests visiting, whether they’re local or from interstate, a trip up the Yarra to Docklands by boat is a must-do. The cruise up-river from Hobsons Bay is an experience in itself with its interesting blend of sights and sounds as you cruise through what is still a working port and in fact Australia’s largest container terminal. And, as you cruise under the Westgate Bridge and the city skyline first comes into view the sight is spectacular, almost breathtaking. With four marinas providing around 350 wet berths and 70 of those dedicated to casual berthing there’s plenty of choice and almost always room for visiting boats.

I’m involved in the marine industry and boating is my work, my hobby and my life. I’ve gone boating in almost every state of Australia and, while you could say that I’m biased towards Melbourne, I can honestly say that I haven’t seen anything like Docklands anywhere. In my view we are ever so fortunate to have a world class precinct like Docklands and, the best part is, it’s still evolving and will continue to get better and better.

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