Welcome. Here you can find the most unique, fun, traditional, tasty, wacky, historical, contemporary, discovered and undiscovered places, events, experiences and things to do.
Published November 27th 2013
Float across the Yarra
It was a beautiful morning and having read about the Westgate Punt many times, but never having actually been on it, I was keen to try it out. Coming from the western side, I headed for the Punt's pickup point at Spotswood Jetty just opposite Scienceworks on Douglas Parade in Spotswood. There are a couple of small carparks in the vicinity, you can walk from Spotswood Station or of course as most people do, ride your bike to the jetty.
Being a weekday, there were already a few people waiting on the jetty for the Punt, some with bicycles and some, like me, on foot. By the time the Punt arrived there was a full load of people and their bikes.The fare was a whole $2 for the crossing. Seems like a bargain to me.
The views in every direction are pretty spectacular, up the river and down and it's fascinating to see the Westgate Bridge from below. Being peak hour, I was much happier taking the Punt across the river rather than sitting in the traffic on the bridge above. It's rather peaceful being on the water and the other passengers were friendly and happy to chat. Most of them were on their way to work. The trip was short, it only takes about 5 minutes to cross the river.
Clad in bright orange, the Punt is impossible to miss
On the eastern side of the river the pickup/drop off point is Westgate Landing on Lorimer Street, near the corner of Sardine Street in Port Melbourne. There's a bus stop scant metres away from the landing where you can catch route 235 and 237 buses into the city. Westgate Park is a short walk down the river.
The Punt is obviously a hit with people who like to cycle to work and given the geography of Melbourne, would otherwise have to cross the river much further up and deal with a lot more traffic.The Punt also links the Bay Trail West bike trail to the Bay Trail so it opens up a pathway across the river for weekend cycling and walking trips.
I enjoyed my trip across the river and back, it was refreshing, interesting and provided some great views. Given that Fishermans Bend is now the subject of an urban renewal project, the amenities and public transport options on the Port Melbourne side are forecast to increase in the future.
The Punt runs every 20 minutes on weekdays in the morning between 6.30am and 9.20am, and in the afternoon between 4pm and 6.50pm with a fare of $2 per crossing. On weekends and public holidays it runs between 9am and 5pm (during daylight savings), with crossings at a regular on-demand basis and a fare of $5 one way, or $7 return.
Note that you can't use your Myki on the Punt and it doesn't operate on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or Good Friday.
For more information, maps and the most up to date timetable visit the Westgate Punt website.