Southbank is located along 2km of the Yarra River and lined by wide pedestrian promenades offering scenic views of the river and city skyline. Southbank is an inner urban neighbourhood of Melbourne and bordered to the north by the Yarra River, and to the east by St Kilda Road.
Before European settlement, the area was a series of low lying swamps inhabited by Aboriginal tribes. From European settlement the area developed into factories, warehouses and wharves, mostly built between the 1860s–1920s when the area was part of the first port of Melbourne. In the early 1990's it was transformed into a densely populated district of high rise apartments and office building as part of an urban renewal program
Today, Southbank is dominated by high-rise developments and is one of the primary business centres in Greater Melbourne. It is also one of the most densely populated areas of Melbourne, with a large cluster of office towers & apartment towers, with most people living in multi-level apartment buildings, including. It includes Australia's tallest tower, which is also the tallest building in Melbourne, the Eureka Tower, featuring Skydeck 88 providing stunning views of the city, bay and surroundings both day and night.
Southbank retains a number of significant heritage buildings in the Arts precinct which draws a sophisticated crowd to its venues, which include the state-of-the-art Melbourne Recital Centre, the Malthouse theatre based in a restored brewery and next to it the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. The Arts precinct blends old & new with the Victorian Arts Centre, the National Gallery of Victoria, parts of the Victorian College of the Arts campus and the Victoria Barracks.
Southbank is one of Melbourne's major entertainment precincts and the lively riverside promenades feature al fresco fine dining and cargo sheds housing craft-beer bars. The Southbank art and craft market occurs on the promenade near the Arts Centre every Sunday. The promenade is also home to several buskers and a pavement chalk artists.
Southbank's promenade forms part of the Capital City Bicycle Trail, however, due to the large number of pedestrians in the area, bicycle riding at high speeds is hazardous. There is a 10 km/h speed restriction in place for cyclists, with Victoria Police enforcing the speed limit.
Southbank is often heavily congested with traffic and parking is mainly limited to off-street multi-storey parking.
03 Oct 2017