Melbourne’s autumn weather is looking fine and warm for the next few days. Why not make the most of it with some outdoor activities before the wind and rain of winter keep everyone in hibernation? The Point Gellibrand Foreshore area in Williamstown is a great location for a family day out, with picnic areas, playgrounds, nature, historical sights, the beach, and, of course, good coffee nearby!
Point Gellibrand Foreshore spans the coastal area between Ann Street Pier and Thompson Street, in Williamstown. It was the site of Victoria’s first permanent settlement and seaport and was crucial to the initial growth of the state, so it’s a very important part of our local heritage. You can reach the Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park via Battery Road (this road’s bluestone wall is believed to have been worked on by convict Ned Kelly himself!). Pack the bikes, or your walking shoes, and start your day on the coastal trail that takes you around Port Phillip Bay. You’ll get beautiful views of the bay, and might be lucky enough to spot a cargo ship on the water.
At the eastern end of the Bay Trail, you’ll find the amazing Timeball Tower, built in 1849. It was most likely Victoria’s first navigational aid of any distinction, and was also used to help shipmasters determine the local time; the large ball at the top would fall at exactly one o’clock each day. Older kids will appreciate the history and scale of this impressive tower, while younger kids will enjoy the gigantic anchor positioned next to it, and all the grassy space to run around in!
Head back along the trail in a westerly direction and you’ll be rewarded with a restful, and naturally wild, oasis with picnic tables, a barbecue or two, and a pretty good kids’ playground, complete with ‘binoculars’ to watch the ships out at sea. Little kids will have fun jumping all over the rubbery dolphins, and speaking into the communication pipes, while older kids will be climbing the ladders, using the swings, and traversing the rubber stepping stilts.
When the littlies get bored at this coastal park , head over to PG Sadler Reserve on the corner of Garden Street and The Esplanade. There’s even more green grass to play on here, plenty of shade, seats for the adults, plus swings, slides, an abacus, giant clock, monkey rings, and more. If the sun is shining and the weather is fine, stroll over to the beach adjascent, which is a calm location for building sandcasltes.