Situated 8kms northwest of the Melbourne CBD in Victoria, the quiet waterfront suburb of Williamstown is located on Gellibrand Point, south of the mouth of the Yarra River. In the City of Hobsons Bay, some 12,733 souls reside in Williamstown.
Explore HMAS Castlemaine, the heroic World War II minesweeper converted into a maritime museum honouring the brave history of mariners; see the interior of the Enterprise, a replica of first vessel to carry European settlers up the Yarra and into Melbourne... The ARHS Railway Museum showcases many interesting rail exhibits; steam, diesel and electric locomotives; steam cranes, freight wagons and historic passenger carriages. The whole family will enjoy an interactive science experience at Scienceworks, and the Jawbone Marine Sanctuary is a great spot for snorkelling and dont miss the diverse animal life at Jawbone Flora and Fauna Reserve.
The Williamstown Bay Beach is great for relaxing picnics and long strolls along the shore. Visitors should follow the instructions from the Aussie heroes, the Australian Surf Life Savers, and should always swim between the flags.
An eclectic array of arts, crafts and other speciality shops are found in the many charming historic buildings of Williamstown.
The popular monthly Williamstown Craft Market features only the highest quality and standard of products so that visitors can go away with something truly special. The annual Williamstown Festival is a major Community Festival celebrating the vibrant cultural identity of Williamstown. For an additional touch of culture, the Williamstown Literary Festival is a popular event focusing on literature, drama and writing.
Williamstown Restaurants and Cafes
Many great waterfront restaurants, bars and cafes are found in charming old maritime buildings along Nelson Place where visitors can experience stunning views of Melbourne's distant city skyline. Enjoy a vast variety of cuisines; Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Italian, Mediterranean and Aussie Pub Bistro.
From Williamstown, visitors can take a ferry ride to the vibrant localities of St Kilda and Southbank. Elegant St Kilda is a must see when visiting Melbourne; busy cosmopolitan streets are lined with gorgeous boutiques and galleries. World renowned Acland Street is home to cafes and restaurants and leads to a beautiful palm-lined foreshore and beach. The much-photographed Luna Park is also located here. Hop on the ferry to Southbank to experience the many vibrant leisure and dining precincts, including the famous Crown Entertainment Complex. The nearby Werribee houses the Victorian Open Range Zoo which can be experienced African Safari-style. The Victorian State Rose Garden features over 5000 roses as well as the historically significant Werribee Mansion.
National Park Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park
Situated within Williamstown, Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park boasts many great leisure and recreational opportunities. The park is perfect for a relaxing stroll along the foreshore and a picnic down by the water whilst taking in stunning views of Port Phillip Bay and the Melbourne city skyline. Visitors can experience a touch of history at the Time Ball Tower situated on Point Gellibrand. Built by convicts during the mid 1800s, the tower was established to tell ships the time.
The first settlers first arrived in 1835 but it wasnt until 1839 that the first pier and lighthouse were built. Named after King William 1v of Britain, Williamstown was originally the port for Melbourne. Due to the Gold-rush in Victoria from 1851, new arrivals to the colony increased dramatically. By 1858, Williamstowns population grew to over 4,000 souls.
The beachside community has a relaxing yet cosmopolitan maritime village atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city.