A bayside suburb offering views of Melbourne from a different perspective.
Only 15km from Melbourne's central business district, Williamstown is a great spot if you want some time away from the city. Established in 1837 as Melbourne's first port, Williamstown and its sheltered harbour played an important role in the early settlement of Victoria. Delve into the rich maritime history of this quaint little suburb, soak up some local life and admire the city skyline from the other side.
The best way to get to Williamstown is by jumping on a ferry – see how the city meets the seaside as you cruise along the Yarra River through the waterfront hub of Southbank, past colourful corrugated cargo in the Docklands, and into Hobson's Bay before arriving on the other side.
A walk along the waterfront provides you with an insight into life in Williamstown, way back when and present. Originally built in 1867 to protect Melbourne from invading ships, Two Sir William Armstrong Rifled Muzzle Loading Fortress Guns (or cannons, to the rest of us) bring to life the town's history. Nowadays, you’ll see an abundance of boats bobbing up and down in the water in an almost rhythmic pattern. Get even closer to the action by taking to one of the many piers. At the end of Ferguson Street Pier, local fishermen dangle their feet over the edge as they wait for the catch of the day.
Over winter, you'll find the Steve Irwin Sea Shepherd ship docked at Gem Pier. Sea Shepherd, the non-profit ocean conservation organisation provides free tours of the vessel every Sunday (while it's docked) from 10am-4pm, with crew members onboard giving you the latest info on current and recent campaigns.
After taking in all of that ocean air, while away the rest of the afternoon at Crowded House cafe and enjoy some good ol' coffee.
Williamstown, you cute.