Back in the 1990’s, Southbank was simply a carpark and factories. After Crown Casino opened in 1997, Southbank blossomed into one of Melboure’s cultural precincts. From bars, restaurants to incredible views, Southbank has plenty of things to see and do. Here’s what we recommend.
Things to do in Southbank
Dine at one of the many restaurants
Southbank is literally the southern bank of the Yarra River; if you walk back a block, you’ll come across a highway. This means that shopfronts are in one line, and they’re all restaurants or bars, so there’s a wide variety of dining options. In fact, dinner on the edge of the river is a popular local favourite. Pure South Dining, Nobu and Rockpool are all popular options.
Watch the giant fire show
Crown Casino, Southbank
Love a spectacle? Southbank is home to the Gas Brigades (or ‘the flames’ as the locals call them) and every day they shoot giant bursts of fire into the air. Stand below them and you can feel the heat of the flames – we assure you it’s perfectly safe. It’s entirely free and comes highly recommended. The flames fire off several times a night, you can check the schedule here.
Enjoy a drink at a bar (or several)
Imbibing is what Southbank is known for, and it doesn’t disappoint. Start with a drink at Ponyfish Island – Melbourne’s only bar in the middle of the river – and watch the sunset. Then wander to Hophaus, a modern German drinking hall, to sample several beers on a paddle. And finish up at The Den, a swanky underground speakeasy, serving cocktails into the night.
See the sights from Eureka Tower
Riverside Quay, Southbank
You’ll be able to see Eureka Tower from many parts of Melbourne, and it’s one of Southbank’s most popular attractions. One of the tallest residential buildings in the world, it provides a fantastic view of Melbourne. Standing 297 metres tall (975 ft) you can get a near panoramic view, stretching all the way to the Dandenong ranges.
Visit Crown Casino
Whiteman St, Southbank
There is only one casino in all of Victoria, and it is Crown Casino. It’s also the biggest casino in Australia, and the Southern Hemisphere; so it goes without saying, it’s a behemoth! Inside you’ll find a cinema, bars, restaurants, pokies, poker, blackjack and more.
Just make sure you also enjoy a drink at some of the city’s laneway bars; Crown Casino isn’t a comprehensive experience of Melbourne’s drinking culture.