Floating botanical oasis coming to Southbank

Floating botanical oasis coming to Southbank
Kaylah Joelle Baker

Sandridge Wharf along Southbank Promenade will soon be home to a new two-level outdoor pontoon bar and pub-style eatery known as Yarra Botanicals.

Opening in early March, the venue is the latest notable landmark from Melbourne-based hospitality group Australian Venue Co which is behind 42 other venues in the city.

The new floating venue comes as a welcome boost to the Southbank precinct, which has suffered badly as a result of the pandemic.

It will also see a second floating pontoon venue on the Yarra, sitting on the opposite side of the river to the popular Arbory Afloat.

Australian Venue Co CEO Paul Waterson said what made this venture different from its other suite of venues across the city was its mission to celebrate and support Victorian produce and producers.

“We’ve committed to investing $20 million into Victorian beverages over three years, and are proud to support the Drinks Victoria campaign,” Mr Waterson said.


We list Victorian products across all of our Victorian venues but to be able to deliver 100 per cent Victorian drinks and 90 per cent Victorian produce is a really exciting milestone for us, as a Melbourne-based hospitality group. We’re so proud to back Victoria with Yarra Botanicals.


Offering a range of cocktails, wines, beers, ciders, premium spirits and share plates with local fresh seafood, pub-inspired snacks and woodfired pizza, Yarra Botanicals is a one-stop destination for everything that represents Melbourne’s social and lively atmosphere.

The venue will invite guests to relax under market umbrellas, in comfy booths or on day beds while enjoying brunch sessions and live music riverside, or to take in the city skyline from the upper storey.

CEO of Melbourne Food and Drink Victoria Anthea Loucas Bosha said she was excited for the opening and what it meant for Southbank coming back to life.

“I am very excited for the upcoming launch of the incredible new venue on the Yarra which will showcase the world-class food and drinks which make Victoria one of the great drinking and dining destinations of the world,” Ms Loucas Bosha said.

With a key focus on sustainability, the Yarra Botanicals’ installation has been designed to have minimal impact on the environment and the venue itself will be filled with native plants and indigenous aquatic vegetation including climbing vines, native trees, planter boxes, herb gardens and edible plants.

Plants and herbs have also been curated especially for gin, as attendees are encouraged to make the most of the on-board botanical oasis and garnish their drinks with an array of choices from the garden.

A truly explorative, farm-to-table venue, Yarra Botanicals will be open seven days a week, from 10am until late •

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