Travel over the West Gate Bridge and you’ll find a landscape of factories and new suburbs. But south of the bridge, on the western arm of Hobsons Bay, is Williamstown – one of Melbourne’s true gems. Bobbing up and down in its harbour are a fleet of yachts, and along Nelson Place are restaurants, bars and cafes in old maritime buildings. Williamstown’s main beach is around the other side of the bay. For those after an alternative to driving, there is a ferry service to Williamstown from St Kilda and Southgate, with an optional stop at Scienceworks (see next entry). For information on the ferry, see Walks and tours, p. 142.
This is the place to come to ‘push it, pull it, spin it, bang it’, and inadvertently get a grasp on science. It is a great place to bring the kids, with interactive exhibitions on all things science-related. Also in the complex is the Melbourne Planetarium, with simulated night skies and 3D adventures through space. A historic pumping station is located on site, and tours are available. 2 Booker St, Spotswood; (03) 9392 4800; open 10am–4.30pm daily.