While the area itself is relatively small, Melbourne’s South Wharf Promenade has a large city presence. Set on the scenic southern bank of Melbourne’s Yarra River, the shop-lined promenade faces north to Melbourne’s bustling downtown. While shopping here is the major draw, it’s the restaurants, cafés, and dining options that surprise its visitors the most. It is home to the Melbourne Convention Center and Direct Factory Outlets, and the South Wharf holds a piece of history in the Polly Woodside tall ship. Originally launched in Northern Ireland in 1885, the ship made 17 trips around the world in its 90-year career. Long retired from regular use after years of scouring the globe, the ship is now a floating museum that welcomes visitors and groups. Even here on the fresh water banks of Melbourne’s modern South Wharf, it’s possible to feel like a salty pirate sailing the Southern Sea.
The South Wharf is approximately one mile from the middle of central Melbourne. It’s easily accessible by bus and tram, with the 237 and 235 bus line stopping by the Hilton Hotel. By train, the Southern Cross station is a ten-minute walk towards the northern bank of the river, and the Flinders Street tram stop is only five minutes away when headed in the same direction. To visit Polly Woodside, the ship is open from 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday, and admission is $16 for adults and $9.50 for children.