Southbank & Southgate - Melbourne
Southbank & Southgate
Southbank, Melbourne has been somewhat like a smaller sibling of the cities Central Business District, across the Yarra River. Not surprisingly, this is how it received its name, for being on the South banks of the Yarra River. Up until the 90’s, Southbank was predominately a rundown industrial area. Today, Southbank is a bustling hub for business, residential, hotels, conventions, the arts as well as being a hot spot for day and night entertainment.
The jewel of Southbank before the 90’s was the Arts precinct, with the concert hall, National Gallery of Victoria (NVG International) and Art Centre spire reaching high into the sky. Large grassed areas dominated the river banks with BBQ areas facing the city skyline. A more recent addition is the Melbourne recital hall on Southbank Boulevard across the road from the NVG. On Sunday the markets that stretch from the Arts centre around to the promenade are popular for unique pieces of jewelry and other items.
More developments are in the pipeworks for a redevelopment of the Arts centre promenade to Southbank Boulevard, further invigorating the area and concreting its position as Australia’s prime Arts precinct.
Business & Hotel
In the 90’s Southbank was to undergo big change. It was during this period that the construction of a new and distinct skyline would begin.
The early 90’s saw a hotel and some commercial buildings built along the Yarra Promenade which spans from the Princess Bridge (St. Kilda Rd, Swanston Street) to Queensbridge Street. This was the first sign of urban renewal for Southbank, this new but still humble skyline rising across the river from the traditional CBD. Also helping to link the area to the North Bank was the newly constructed pedestrian bridge connecting Southbank with Flinders walk and Flinders Street station.
Entertainment & Shopping
A primary focus of the early 90’s urban renewal of Southbank was the Southgate Arts and Leisure precinct. Today, as intended, Southgate bustles with strong crowds of visitors, office workers and Southbank residents with its many galleries, restaurants and boutiques. Southgate starts at the Concert Hall off St. Kilda road to Southbank Avenue where the pedestrian footbridge crosses the river.
Southgate has many dining and shopping options. There is a great range of dining from formal, café, pub, seafood and the Southgate food court. Most restaurants have excellent views over Yarra Promenade, Yarra River and the CBD skyline, many opening up onto balconies or outdoor areas. There are specialized clothing boutiques and stores with exquisite products.
Crown Casino was built in the late 90’s taking up a large parcel of Southbank from Queensbridge Road to Clarendon Street. Again, this development was to change the face of Southbank, further stretching its Skyline to match the length of the CBD. Not only did Crown Casino make a strong impact on the skyline with its Crown Towers Hotel, but it quickly developed a reputation as an entertainment precinct drawing in crowds of people with its cinemas, bars, restaurants, concerts, shows, clothing and all round opulence.
The Complex continues to grow with now a second hotel the Crown Promenade and the third hotel to be completed in 2011.
See here for more about Crown Casino
Southbank &Yarra Promenade
With all the hotels, high rise apartments and office buildings, Southbank would not enjoy its integrated success with the Central Business District if it were not for the Southbank and Yarra Promenade. Together, the two span the entire length of the Southbank skyline along the banks of the Yarra River. This results in a large paved pedestrian walk with clear open views over the Yarra River and the impressive Melbourne skyline.
These views can be enjoyed from many of the restaurants that line the promenade, while walking, cycling, roller blading or choosing one of many spots to just sit and enjoy the atmosphere.
The Yarra Promenade of Crown Casino has a few special attractions including the night time Fireballs. See “FREE Things to Do At Crown”
The promenades, particularly Yarra Promenade are hot spots for buskers drawing large crowds for entertainment. Walking the promenade most days will guarantee the crossing of multiple buskers playing instruments, doing acts or creating artistic masterpieces using the promenade as a canvas.
Along with Crown Casino, high rise apartment living in South bank begun. The highest was “Southbank Towers”. Now there is a large concentration of residential apartments in Southbank taking advantage of the suburbs facilities and easy access to the CBD. Many of these towers such as the pocket on city road were dominated by building developer Central Equity. Higher quality residential buildings however have dominated the cluster on the Southbank Promenade including Eureka Towers, the tallest residential tower to roof in Australia.
Southbank is located on the South banks of the Yarra River directly across from Melbourne’s Central Business District. It is bound by St. Kilda Road (an extension of Swanston Street in the CBD) and Clarendon Street (an extension of Spencer Street in the CBD).
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See Metlink for bus information and other information regarding trains, trams and buses http://www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au
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