The life and soul of Southbank is the affluent, buzzing riverside promenade stretching along the south side of the Yarra River from the popular Southgate shopping and dining complex to the glittering Crown Casino.
Packed with cafes, shops and restaurants, with a sprinkling of upmarket hotels, major offices, public art and swish new apartments, the promenade is a favourite place for locals and visitors to drink, dine and stroll, all the while taking in the splendid city views.
Southbank is an important cultural hub that includes the Melbourne Arts Centre, Concert Hall, National Gallery of Victoria, the Malthouse Theatre and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and Victorian College of the Arts. It also includes the Melbourne Exhibition Centre (informally known as Jeff’s Shed after a former premier) and the Polly Woodside Maritime Museum.
Significant and rapid residential development has occurred in Southbank in recent years, with the population skyrocketing. Housing (all of it apartments) is now the main type of occupancy in the suburb.
In the part of Southbank to the west of Montague Street, industry and warehouses dominate the landscape. Automotive, aerospace, food and construction material companies are significant land users. Webb Dock, one of Melbourne’s major shipping and container docks, is located in Southbank.