Seafarers Rest, a 3,500 square metre public park in Docklands has received final approval from the City of Melbourne, with Oculus tasked with designing the park as part of Riverlee’s Seafarers development.

The park – sitting on the northern banks of the Yarra River – will provide more open green spaces to users, residents and visitors of the Northbank precinct, and will become a vital link between the area and the CBD. The park will be the largest outside of Birrarrung Marr that allows connection to the river, and will honour both its First Nation and European maritime history.

The project has been completed in collaboration by Riverlee, the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government’s Department of Treasury and Finance. Final approval was granted at a Future Melbourne Committee meeting on Tuesday.

Riverlee Development Director David Lee says the park is significant to not only the Seafarers development, but the whole Northbank district.

“Seafarers Rest has been part of Riverlee’s plan to transform this somewhat forgotten part of the city for many years, so we are excited to officially be progressing with our plans in creating a green, open space by the river for everyone to enjoy. 

“Our vision involves a greener Northbank that does not forget the origins of the site. We are entwining history into the park that will ultimately be the gateway to Northbank for those coming via Seafarers Bridge.”

New images shed light on what the park will look like, with a concept drawing providing much needed insight into facilities, with open lawns, play areas, event spaces, seating and an urban forest all featured within the concept.

Oculus is ensuring Seafarers Rest will retain a stand of established eucalypts in order to help the city achieve the 40 percent Urban Forest Canopy target set by local council.

“A vital piece of Northbank, Seafarers Rest’s green infrastructure promotes wellbeing through connection to place and a celebration of community and culture. The outcomes we will deliver draws heavily on the relationship to the river and the site’s maritime history which define the unique character of this part of the city and remain important to Melburnians,” says Oculus Associate Director Claire Martin.

“Seafarers Rest is a public park delivered through developer open space contributions reinforcing the role private landholders can play in delivering social infrastructure and public value through equitably distributed public realm that meet green infrastructure targets.”

Seafarers Rest will form part of the Northbank chain of parks, connecting through to Batman Park, Enterprize Park and Birrarung Marr, delivering on the City of Melbourne’s Open Space Strategy.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp says community consultation was vital in the design process. 

"The updated park design has taken feedback from the community on board and now includes widened paths for pedestrians, a diverse range of seating options to cater to different needs and experiences, and improved access through the space,” she says. 

Seafarers Rest will open in 2024, with the Seafarers building encompassing the restored Goods Shed No.5, luxury residential and Australia’s first 1 Hotel, to be completed in early 2024. 

To read our article from last year about Seafarers Rest, click here.