This month the best advice we can provide is where to park in the Yarra River Precinct to enjoy its great array of riverside dining, bar and shopping options, without stretching the credit card to accommodate central city parking prices.
On weekdays, it’s common to have to pay more for your parking than you’d pay for a nice lunch for two people, so choose carefully and plan ahead.
The Southgate Car Park offers secure undercover parking, open 24 hours, every day of the year. Access to the Car Park is from either City Road or Southgate Avenue. Standard rate parking weekdays at Southgate is a wallet stinger. Stay more than 3 hours and you’ll be up for $75. However, enter between 6am and 10am, and exit between 2pm and midnight, and the cost falls dramatically to a flat $15. Night rates (after 4pm) are a flat $12, which also applies on Saturdays and Sundays.
Booking your Southgate car park online also attracts a discount, visit bookabay.wilsonparking.com.au.
While parking at Federation Square certainly puts you in the box seat to visit the NGV, ACMI and the range of Fed Square eateries and public events, it does pack a fiscal punch if you’re not careful. The first three hours of parking at their Russell Crt carpark (accessed off Flinders Street at the bottom end of Russell Street) costs $16 each hour up to three hours, then it moves to the $64 day rate. An early bird option (enter before 10am and exit after 3pm) costs $16. The after 4pm night rate is $13 Monday to Thursday and $16 on Friday. Weekend parking costs $16 per day. However, the best parking deal is to be had by those who dine within Fed Square. You can enjoy free parking Monday to Thursday after 4pm when you spend $50 or more at…
Up the other end of the river, parking at South Wharf to enjoy the major discount shopping precinct and riverside eateries is much less complicated. Buy anything at South Wharf – from a cup of coffee to a meal – and you are entitled to a 50% off car parking voucher, which will bring the hourly rate down from $10 to $5. Night time rates after 6pm are a flat $10. The South Wharf multi storey car park is accessed off Wurrundjeri Way/ Flinders Street extension.
Across the water at WTC North Wharf, the rates for the large Greenco multi storey carparks on Flinders Street start at $8 per hour and only rise to a $32 for 4 or more hours. Evening and weekend prices are $8, which is not bad to enjoy the range of absolutely waterfront restaurants on the Wharf, with views across the water to the Melbourne Convention centre.
Of course, if you’re not wedded to the car, then the cheapest option is always to take public transport. Flinders Street station is just over the river from Southgate and across the road from Fed Square. You can get off at the station, jump on a Flinders Street tram and head down to the World Trade Centre to easily access WTC Wharf and then across the river to South Wharf. At about $8 a day ($6 on weekends) it will save you quite a bit, with no hassles about booze buses on the way home.