A port town at the mouth of the Yarra River, Williamstown brims with colonial and maritime history. Williamstown’s heritage landmarks have endured more than 150 years on the salty edge of Hobsons Bay and Port Phillip Bay. The bluestone Old Morgue was built by convicts in 1859, while the 19th-century Timeball Tower at Point Gellibrand continues to keep time today.
Tick off historical highlights such as Blunt’s Boatyard, Fort Gellibrand, and Williamstown Town Hall, or explore the town’s promenade, which winds its way through numerous nature reserves and passes eateries that serve fish and chips. Complement your Williamstown adventure with a cruise down the Yarra from Melbourne; boats regularly depart from Southgate and St Kilda, and take you to Gem Pier in Williamstown. Cruises range from regular sightseeing trips to dinner and burlesque showboats.
Things to know before you go
- Williamstown is a must-visit place for families, foodies, and nature lovers.
- The port city is home to an abundance of bars, restaurants, and shops, and has plenty of accommodation options; advance booking is recommended in high season.
- Williamstown is home to a beach that has parasols and sunbeds to rent.
- The promenade that runs through the nature reserves is accessible to both strollers and wheelchairs.
How to get there
To reach Williamstown by public transport, take a train on the Williamstown line from Flinders Street Station or Southern Cross Station. Note that there are stations at North Williamstown, Williamstown Beach and Williamstown, but Williamstown Station is the closest to historical highlights such as Gem Pier and Point Gellibrand.
When to get there
In order to enjoy the most pleasant weather, visit Williamstown in spring (September through November) or fall (March through May), when temperatures are ideal for outdoor exploration and skies are likely to stay dry.
Museums of Williamstown
WIlliamstown is a mecca for culture vultures. Museum highlights include: HMAS Castlemaine, an Australian-built vessel that’s open for inspection; the St. John Museum, which showcases the St. John Ambulance contributions to society; and the Williamstown Historical Society Museum, which illustrates life in the port city from the 1840s.
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