We don't think of ports as a fun place to visit – and at first glance it would appear Port Melbourne falls into the same category. The main port of Melbourne, with a long history of shipping, has in the past been associated with industry and factories. But don't be so quick to judge – with upgrades and redevelopments turning this region into a residential-friendly area that is bustling with good food outlets, open spaces and a surprising amount of natural beauty. Let's take a deeper dive into this former industrial turned lively locale of Melbourne!
We know – you must be getting sick of the AFL obsession by now
It's the one thing that drives Victorians raving mad…but you can't deny their passion. Let us suggest a more local and community-oriented version of the sport with the Port Melbourne Football Club. Dubbed 'The Borough' due to the region's old name of the Borough of Port Melbourne, this team is steeped in tradition, being the only club to play in every VFA-VFL season since joining in 1886.
Noteworthy players include Ron Barassi, Tommy Lahiff, and David King. The Borough also has a superb record with a whopping 34 Grand Final appearances and an astonishing 16 wins. And yet it doesn't allow success to go to its head and still manages to attract highly decorated players like Brownlow Medallists Bob Skilton and Peter Bedford with its commitment to the local community. There really is no better place for authentic Aussie Rules Football than Port Melbourne!
You might have thought the Port was still an industrial area
At least you thought that when passing by the Toyota factory and the shipping port (still in operation, mind you). But urban renewal really does wonders for the natural beauty of an inner-city suburb. Westgate Park is a fine example of this. Bring your bike for a leisurely ride along the banks of the Yarra River or the tree-lined paths of the nature reserve. And don't forget to bring your iPhone or DSLR – there is a phenomenon that every budding blogger and photographer will want to capture.
Westgate Park's lake, under the right conditions, turns pink! We aren't making this up – check out this video here for proof. Come during the summertime and keep your fingers crossed – it only occurs when the mixture of high temperatures, sunlight level and low precipitation is just right! Safety tip – unfortunately you shouldn't swim in the water for your own protection – but that image only will make a great Insta shot!
After saving plenty on your accommodation
It was time to put that money to good use by getting out of your hotel for a bit. And since you like to think of yourself as a bit of a foodie, there really is no better place than Bay Street for quality restaurants and eateries. We start with Aagaman Indian Nepalese Restaurant – a simple yet unassuming establishment that is perfect for some of your pickiest dining companions (yes, we're referring to your vegan brethren). With exclusively coconut milk-based curries, along with a host of vegan dishes, you can be sure that your tastebuds are about to be set alight with new, exotic flavours and spices.
Prefer something a little heartier? We have you covered with the high-end Italian restaurant, Ciao Cielo. Dark wood panelling, Art Deco ornaments and the most exquisite risotto you have ever tasted, marks this restaurant as a must-visit. After that delicious meal, you'll be in the mood for a drink or two to wash it down. Lucky for you, you don't have to walk far since Bay Street has plenty of bars to quench your thirst. Here are just a few recommendations to get you started - The Exchange Hotel or the Prince Alfred Hotel for a pint, or else you could class it up a little with Harry & Frankie for some sophisticated wine.
Spend Less, Do More
Your Cheaperthanhotels Team