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Boating - Welcome to Docklands Boating

11 Feb 2014

Boating - Welcome to Docklands Boating Image

Starting this month, Docklands News is introducing this regular supplement celebrating our greatest asset. We want to raise the profile of our waterways as they are the key to activating the precint.

If we get the water right, Docklands will prosper.  If we continue to under-appreciate it, the opportunity will be lost.

And there’s plenty to celebrate. Docklands has 7km of waterfront, an amazing array of boats, some of the best marina facilities in the country and an ever growing range of water-based activities and events.

As the harbour steadily morphs from a commercial shipping port to a vibrant 40ha water park, the waterfront will become a much loved and envied point of difference.

In this inaugural edition, let’s take a look at the numbers. We have four marinas (Marina YE, d’Albora Victoria Harbour Marina, Melbourne City Marina and NewQuay Marina), a dedicated superyacht facility (Melbourne Superyacht Marina), three dedicated commercial landings (Water Plaza, Central Pier, Collins Landing and Melbourne City Marina), 46 private berths connected to luxurious waterfront homes and more than a kilometre of wharfage (commercial berths).

There are about 350 recreational boats and 34 commercial vessels currently calling Docklands home. If proposed plans proceed, the precinct will eventually play host to more than 700 boats.

Depending on the size of vessels, we have about 70 visitor berths. Day visits are free (up to 4 hours). Overnight stays with access to basic amenities and comfortable lounges range from $45-50.

Melbourne City Marina, which is a dedicated short-stay facility for bona fide visitors and water-based events, currently hosts 3000 boat movements per year. That number is expected to double in the next five years.

Victoria Harbour currently hosts the Docklands Yacht Club, the Victorian Dragon Boat Association and the Melbourne Outrigger Canoe Club. These clubs will be housed in the sensational new Community Boating Hub with construction due to start this year.

Connecting to past glories - the harbour plays host to two tall ships and a steam tug, the Enterprize, Alma Doepel and Wattle. The latter two vessels are undergoing major restoration work. These are important community based projects that involve countless volunteers and help build a sense of place.  

The wide variety of commercial vessels that call Docklands their home port carry well in excess of 100,000 passengers per year. If the planned ferry/passenger terminal proceeds - the industry expects that number will grow ten-fold in the future.

The harbour currently hosts a multitude of water-based events and activities. These include sailing regattas, dragon boat championships, outrigger canoe championships, fishing tournaments, kayak tours and the Summer Boat Show.

Our 40ha water park is also an incredibly diverse, mostly man-made fishing habitat that is accessible to all. Common species include: bream, salmon, mullet, snapper and the elusive mulloway.  Educated shore-based anglers regularly catch and release trophy sized fish, some over a metre in length. Hard to believe - but true!

How extraordinarily lucky we are to live, work and visit this ever evolving waterfront precinct. In upcoming editions we will provide a heads up on what’s happening out on the water and the latest gossip from around the traps.

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