Construction begins at Seafarers Rest Park

Construction has officially commenced at Seafarers Rest, a maritime-inspired green sanctuary which forms a part of the Seafarers precinct.

Over fifty years ago, the Goods Shed was situated in the heart of Melbourne’s port along the Birrarung-Yarra River. Ships from across the globe docked here, it was a hive of trade and activity. But with the relocation of the port to Port Melbourne and the closure of the Charles Grimes Bridge in 1975, this once vibrant space became dormant. Since then, the site has been sitting underutilised.

This year marks 49 years since its closure, but now this historical site is coming back to life as construction has officially commenced on Seafarers Rest, sitting within the Seafarers precinct.

Seafarers Rest will become Melbourne’s newest public park on the Birrarung-Yarra River and will form a key link in the City of Melbourne’s Greenline Project, which is adding valuable green space to Melbourne’s urban landscape. The start of construction was celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by Lord Mayor Sally Capp together with project collaborators and partners on the 11th of April 2024.

Connecting to the new 1 Hotel & Homes Melbourne’s lounge and bar being constructed within the Goods Shed No.5, the park will provide diverse recreation space for the new residents and guests, neighbouring Flinders Wharf residences and the broader community.

The 3,500 square metre park features expansive lawns connecting to the river with new pathways, alongside a dedicated play area for children and families.

Designed by experts in landscape design, OCULUS, the park’s design incorporates features like rope swings, timber seating resembling shipping crates, and special maritime artefacts from the Offshore & Speciality Ships Association (OSSA) which will encourage visitors to reflect on the rich maritime legacy of the area.

There is also an events deck, which once operational, will host events curated by 1 Hotel and the City of Melbourne.

“We cannot underestimate the value of access to high-quality public space to connect people to each other and their environment, particularly in dense urban areas. Birrarung is a place of great importance and connection and it carries a lifetime of maritime stories too. We are thrilled to see this brought to life through this truly considered park design.” – said OCULUS Associate Director, Claire Martin.

Together with its collaborators and partners, Riverlee is delivering valuable gathering places within the precinct, for people to create memories and foster connections.