From Newquay Promenade, head south along the wide walkway of Harbour Esplanade or the protected bicycle lane. On your left is the Marvel Stadium, which hosts AFL, soccer, cricket and other sports as well as music concerts.
As recently as 20 years ago everything around you was industrial wasteland. Docklands fell into disrepair in the 1980s as marine freight activity moved to container port facilities further west. The stadium was the first new building to be constructed and was completed in 2000.
Directly opposite the stadium, on your right, is a sculpture called ‘Cow up a tree’. The 8m-tall work of art may seem like a joke, but the artist John Kelly was inspired by floods in Gippsland, Victoria, and the Second World War. There are a number of other public sculptures on this bike tour; look out for them.
Continue south along Harbour Esplanade past Docklands Park on your right until you come to Navigation Drive. Turn right here and look out for Webb Bridge on your left. This cycle and pedestrian bridge cocooned in a steel lattice was designed by Denton Corker Marshall in collaboration with artist Robert Owen. It incorporates the remains of the former Webb Bridge into a work of art with a very practical use, linking Docklands with Southbank.
The bike tour continues along South Wharf Promenade under the road. You’re now in Southbank, another harbourside regeneration project, brimming with restaurants, apartment buildings – and a big shopping development in South Wharf DFO.
Cycle along South Wharf Promenade and you’ll soon come to the Polly Woodside, a tall ship built in Belfast in 1885. Over an 80-year sailing career, she carried cargo around the world before ending her days as a coal hulk in Melbourne. Restored in the 1970s, she is now open as a museum.
South Wharf Promenade turns into Yarra Promenade when you cross Clarendon Street and pass the Crown entertainment complex. Continue across Queens Bridge Street and on your left you will see Sandridge Bridge. This pedestrian bridge is all that remains of the railway that once ran from Port Melbourne to Flinders Street Station on the north bank of the Yarra River. Today it holds sculptures representing the immigrants who once used the railway to arrive in Melbourne after disembarking from their ships.
Look up and to your right and you can see the Eureka Tower, the second tallest building in Australia, after Queensland’s Q1 building. You are now on Southbank Promenade. Continue past the restaurants and under Princes Bridge. Take a right when you get to the boathouse and another right up a slope. At the top of the slope you will see the Melbourne Arts Centre and a blue bike docking station.