Hidden gems to visit in Docklands

From dessert cocktails to free Tai Chi, here are some surprises you may not know about in Docklands.

A harbourside scene at sunset

It’s high time you sailed into Docklands. Image by Luke Evans for What’s On Melbourne.

DIY okonomiyaki at Dohtonburi

The first of its kind in Melbourne, Dohtonburi is a popular export from Japan specialising in okonomiyaki. Plate up fresh cabbage pancakes at the helm of your personal teppanyaki hot plate, then load it with kimchi, lobster, pork belly and more. It doesn’t get any fresher than this!

Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq

Roll up to Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq for the ultimate arcade experience. Once you’ve finished with bowling, bumper cars or virtual reality be sure to try their Magnum espresso martini. A twist on the classic cocktail, with a side of delicious chocolate ice cream.

A bumper car ring at an arcade

Archie Brothers Cirque Electric. Image by Ray of Melbourne for What’s On Melbourne.

Urban Alley Brewery

You don’t need to drive out to the ‘burbs for a legit brewery experience. Urban Alley has the capacity to produce 1 million litres of beer a year, and their unique eco-model means your sips are super sustainable. Settle in for a signature bev in the loft style surrounds and order from a menu of burgers, pizzas and steaks.

Kep Whitley’s sweet treats

Kep Whitley is famous for ice-cream, chocolates and treats that look more like pieces of art than something you’d eat (but that’s not going to stop us). Drop-in for a bite or choose from their range of delicious hot and cold drinks.

Find yourself on a boat

The rumours are true – you can now be your own captain on a floating picnic boat in Melbourne. Explore the waterfront with On a Boat, a self-skippered electric boat hire company. Gather your mates, grab some some drinks, pack your fave snacks and set off from Collins Landing. You can even bring your dog!

Min the label – and cafe

An ethical design store meets chic sleek cafe. What can’t Min do? This relative newcomer specialises in versatile, biodegradable fashion along with diverse dishes. Treats suit every taste and range from healthy (superfood lattes) to decadent (oreo and ice cream topped honey toast). And no corners are cut when it comes to quality – you’ll find Mork hot chocolate, Five Senses coffee, meat from Meatsmith and the OG butterbing cookies.

Layers of toast topped with fruit and crushed biscuits

Treats at Min. Image by Crackling Media for What’s On Melbourne.

Kayak Melbourne’s moonlight sessions

See the sun set over Melbourne from a different perspective. Kayak Melbourne offers sparkling nighttime tours along the yarra, with an active twist. But don’t panic, there’s no experience required! Departing from picturesque Victoria Harbour, this is an evening adventure like no other. You even get to dine while on the water.

The rooms of illusion at ArtVo

Touch, feel and grab the camera at this one-of-a-kind art gallery in Docklands. ArtVo is the ultimate trick art spot, home to a collection of over 80 hand painted immersive artworks. Kids young and old will love the different zones where viewers become the art.

A large painting of a canoe on a wall

ArtVo. Image by Ray of Melbourne for What’s On Melbourne.

The panini at Saluministi

Nestled along the Yarra River, Saluministi are making sandwiches sexy again. Their made-to-order panini are stuffed with authentic ingredients, like porchetta and buffalo ricotta. Catch them at the right time and you’ll be treated to specials like freshly piped cannoli.

Lady Cutler Showboat

Whether you’re sipping drinks at their floating pop-up bar or heading off on a cruise, the Lady Cutler Showboat is guaranteed to spice up your night. Book for their live burlesque cruise, combining comedy with world-class, glittering showgirls. Or enjoy a ritzy affair on the champagne and brunch cruise.

A small cruise boat on the water at sunset

The Lady Cutler Melbourne Showboat. Image by Luke Evans for What’s On Melbourne.

Magnet Galleries

Find yourself attracted to the art of photography at Magnet Galleries. This not-for-profit social enterprise works to preserve and showcase the unique photographic talent of Australia. Current exhibitions include Memento, raising funds for bushfire relief.

The Docklands Harbourside Art Trail

Sure, you’ve seen the cow-up-a-tree sculpture, but did you know there are dozens of public works dotted around Docklands? Discover them all on the Docklands Harbourside Art Trail with a map from the Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall. Or get the free app (available for iPhone and Android) and hear commentary by several artists, including Sally Smart and RONE. The trail splits into three themed 2.5 km sections: ‘real and unreal’, ‘the dynamic earth’, and ‘you, us and them’.

Workshops at Library at the Dock

Library at the Dock isn’t your average library. And we’re not just talking about the million dollar view. Offering activities year-round, you can kick off your broadcasting career at free podcast workshops, take in early morning Tai Chi or use the sewing facilities during a social sewing evening. All a mere tram ride away from the CBD.

Spanish flavours at Bar Nacional

Tucked behind one of the busiest corners in the city, Bar Nacional is a haven away from Melbourne’s business district. Under industrial pillars you’ll find a modern take on classic Spanish fare – and a generous wine list. Beer, cider and a compact range of cocktails will please a crowd.

The entrance to a modern bar and eatery

Bar Nacional. Image by The City Lane for What’s On Melbourne.