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Published December 24th 2017
Staying cool in Melbourne in just a breeze off the Yarra
Melbourne when you are hot you're sometimes too hot. So on a summer's day, it is worth finding a place close to the water that serves your refreshing ice-cold drinks. But that doesn't mean you have to head for the beach, as the Yarra River in the CBD offers a host of cool alternatives to help you cool down.
For a cool night out with breezes off the Yarra River, try the Arbory Bar. Some people have yet to discover this attraction because it is one of Melbourne's tucked away secrets. Just take the stairs down on the river side of Flinders Street Station. What was once the disused Sandridge Line has been reborn and is now what has to be Melbourne's longest open-air bar. All 150 metres of it.
In some ways, this is a bit like what New York did with their High Line: an elevated linear park on a disused section of Manhattan railway, where shrubs and trees bloom between rusty railway tracks.
The Arbory is a great way to enjoy a very cool drink. The leafy plane trees which is how the Arbory got its name also shade you from the harsh sun. Perfect for a drink on a warm evening and when darkness falls you can enjoy the glow of Hamer Hall, the lights of Flinders Street, the twinkling stars, and the rippling reflections on the black river.
The food is quite good as well. See the menu here. Below is a picture of the last meal I had there. It is what I got when I asked for an entree side of cauliflower.
This is what I go when I asked for a caulifower entree.
Another option and close buy is Supafish a neon-lit floating bar which is also moored just for the summer. It is quite a surreal sight as it is 38-metre-long and has glowing eyes staring from the front of a steel and neon rib cage that crowns the 300-capacity barge.
Supafish has a food menu from Nick Peters and Matt Lane from Mamasita and Hotel Jesus featuring quesadillas and ceviche, Totopos corn chips with salsa washed down with summery drinks such as on-tap Pimm's, margaritas, espresso martini and even a kombucha cocktail.
For some reason, the downing of drinks seem to always go well with the downing of the sun at sunset. And what better spot than this novelty?
Open daily from 11am to 1am
Entry is between Ponyfish Island and Sandridge Bridge on Southbank Boulevard.
Supafish will open from early December and run through to February 2018.
In sight of the Abory and well-known by most Melburnians is
Ponyfish Island. The tiny island is floating under the Pedestrian Bridge, Southbank and is only accessible from stairs descending down from the bridge.
It is named after the elusive Ponyfish, a mysterious creature apparently seen swimming in the Yarra River.
But the whole bar is somewhat fish shaped so that is another fitting reason for its name.
Get there early for a seat looking right on the water's edge. Or at least walk the bridge a few times until you spot one. The space is decorated with specimens and diagrams of flora and fauna - both real and imagined.