Hello, sailor / by Mario Mirabile

The area to the west of Melbourne's CBD was originally a swamp. As Melbourne grew, its need for more extensive port facilities grew with it. The 1880s saw the Yarra River re-routed and widened, and the swamp became a sprawling network of docks, rail yards and industry. The docks thrived for 70 years till the rise of cargo containerization saw a gradual reduction in the need for port facilities, and large areas fell into disuse and disrepair.

By the 1980s, the docklands were considered a blight on the city, and the first plans to sell off the old swamp for redevelopment were put in place. Progress was slow, and for the next 10 years the area was most noted for its underground rave party scene. Things finally got moving in the late 90s, and office towers, apartment blocks, and even a new sports stadium sprang out of the ground. The area is still developing, and construction shows little sign of slowing down. The abundance of waterfront real estate has luxury apartment developers licking their chops, and even the docks are back in use. Only now, the berths are filled with luxury yachts.