bah humbug again

On January 2, 2014, in CBD, by Jonno

Looking at the Calender on the wall it is hard to believe how quickly the year has gone. It’s just four weeks until Christmas and we are not ready. Well, to be honest we have never been ready and who really is? But of course the time of year does means going out for drinks and Melbourne has a lot of great venues to visit.

As Christmas falls in summer here (much to the disgust of the Poms) some of the best places to visit are outdoors. down on the banks of the Yarra River there is now a nice selection of pubs and bars. A great evening can be head starting off at the Riverside bar just over the road from Flinders Street station. Set on the banks of the river with granite steps up to the actual bar, the added end height give some nice aspects of the water. Follow the river downstream keeping to the city side and you’ll pass under the traffic bridge and be on the river side of flinders street station. Ahead you’ll see a footbridge crossing the river and on this bridge you will find the very nice Pony Fish Island.

Pony Fish Island is located on one of the bridge piers and is a narrow bar, but is right on the water. This is a great spot to pick up a cooling breeze off the river on a hot summers night. The bars has a younger feel and the stairs tend to keep the oldies away! Crossing the river to Southbank, there are a multiple of bars and cafes. Most of these venues are restaurants with bars and so often you may feel as though you should be having a meal. One of the more popular bars here is World (received quite a few “likes” in Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars).

If restaurant orientated bars is not what you fancy, then keep walking downstream and you’ll come across the Pop-Up bar. As its name suggests, this is not a permanent fixture and the bar expands on to the promenade of Southbank for the summer. With fake grass and a selection of seating, this is an odd bar, but one that is well worth the wander.

Further downstream you will find the Boatbuilders Yard, which is more of a pub style venue. We were not that impressed by this bar when we visited and even through it is nicely located on the edge of the river, it have few likes in Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars. Interestingly the most popular pub in this location is PJ O’Briens. Having often frequented this Irish pub, We can see why. The manager we met was gorgeous and charming and if her professional attitude extends to the staff, then the service will be excellent and the beer, well, the Irish are known for it – we don’t need to say anymore!

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Melbourne Skyline

Another rainy Melbourne day!

Sharing a cold beer or nice wine with mates on a warm Melbourne summer afternoon is one of our favourite past times. Especially if you can get an outdoor bar, and extra special if it is on the river. We have visited all the 250 or so bars and pubs in Melbourne CBD, Docklands and South Bank and here are three of the best for relaxing on the Yarra, drinking outdoors.


To find these bars and many more easily, download our Melbourne Pubs & Bars iPhone app – walk around Melbourne CBD and be guided not only by our reviews, but also which venues people have “Liked” the most. In our app when you visit a bar you can tick you “Like” it, and that you have visited it too – so when next looking for a bar you haven’t been to you can see them on your iPhone quickly.


Transit Lounge

Transit in Federation Square

Cool views over Melbourne CBD

A hidden Melbourne rooftop bar, you will find this gem above Taxi restaurant – which itself is above Transport, on Swanston Street in the corner of Federation Square touching Princes Bridge. The bar isn’t very big, but with the rooftop area added in you can fit in a good crew here if you are looking to impress out-of-town mates. With gorgeous chesterfield chairs and couches this bar has been decked out tastefully.


See more on Transit.





Image of Riverland their website

On the river and great on a warm balmy night

A very popular bar on a sunny day, this Melbourne riverside bar has a lot of outdoor space. Perfect for Pimms in a cool summer breeze, pretend you are in London (or atop Madame Brussels – another of our favourite, and quirky Melbourne bars).


After a large sporting event at the MCG, Rod Laver Arena or ??? this bar is usually packed, as it is the closest “cool” bar to these grounds. So check for major events before trying to sample this top Melbourne bar.

See more on Riverland.


Ponyfish Island

Ponyfish Island

The closest you can get to the Yarra without a boat!

We’re saving the best til last. In such an innocuous spot, this brilliant little bar is on the Yarra underneath the pedestrian footbridge from Flinders Street Station to South Bank. About halfway across the bridge from the Flinders Street Station side, look to your right for some stairs and wander down. You will see a unique bar literally on the Yarra River.


In summer this bar rocks on, the music is funky and it can often get crowded by late afternoon on the weekend – so get in early and perch yourself with a drink overlooking the river and Melbourne skyline.


See more about Ponyfish Island on Facebook.

Flinders Street StationMelbourne is famous for its multitude of bars, pubs and clubs with perhaps the main attraction being those hidden lane way bars that always seem so elusive. Then there is the attraction of the gorgeous rooftop bars with views over the city and the experience of the night wrapping itself around you whilst you savour a refreshing drink. But now there is even more to Melbourne.


Melbourne’s Waterfront Bars and Pubs


The Wharf Hotel

Ahhhh! Beer and Water!

Over the years the spotlight has turned a little with some fabulous venues opening up right on the Yarra River. Many bars have been around for a long time, such as Riverland, nestled between the banks of the Yarra River and Federation Square.  But in the past few years some new venues have graced the waterway with Pony Fish Island opening on the pier for the pedestrian walkway from Flinders Street to Southbank. Two new pubs have also opened, The Boatbuilders Yard and The Wharf Hotel further downstream towards Docklands.


Beer and Water is always a good combination



Troy and Jonno recently ventured down the river to seek out the Boatbuilders Yard and The Wharf Hotel. Sadly the images on the internet of the Boatbuilders Yard make the place look quite awesome, so I was a little disappointed when I got there. It is a little more expensive than other Melbourne bars too.

It was however, a glorious evening walking over the bridge to Southbank from where my taxi driver dropped me off. (Note to Taxi drivers – buy yourself Best Melbourne Pubs and Bars app – it will make you look good!).

Boatbuilders on the YarraSo what could be better on a summers evening than heading down to the water for a nice refreshing beer?

Having your mate buy you a beer when you arrive!