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Ponyfish Island

Last Updated: May 28, 2024 City Secrets
Tripadvisor Rating 4/5
5 46
Google Rating 4.4/5
46
avatar By Sam Baldwin

Experience the unique atmosphere of Ponyfish Island, a floating bar and restaurant in Melbourne. Enjoy delicious food and cocktails while taking in the stunning views of the Yarra River and the city skyline.

Evan Walker Bridge, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia

What’s The Detail?

Located right in the middle of Melbourne’s iconic Yarra River, Ponyfish Island is a floating bar and restaurant that has become a staple venue for locals and tourists alike. As you sit on crafty stools or comfy lounge areas, you’re treated to an uninterrupted view of the city’s skyline and the serene flow of the river beneath you.

Whether you’re in the mood for a fresh cocktail, local wine and beer, or a satisfying bite from their menu featuring fresh Asian-inspired cuisine, this bar and restaurant has it all. And if you’re craving a quick snack, their menu boasts delectable options like waffles or smashed avocado on toast and quesadillas or toasties, ensuring that there’s something for everyone.

The Story

Founded by Grant Smilie from 360 agency and Jerome Borazio of Sister Bella and 1000 Pound Bend, the restaurant was conceived as a hidden space in the bustling heart of Melbourne. Anchored under the Southbank pedestrian bridge, the venue has seen swimming in the Yarra River of inspiration and creativity since its establishment. Following a redesign in 2023, the space now boasts comfortable lounge areas and custom sunshades, transforming it into a haven where guests can dine, drink, and share memorable moments.

people dining at Ponyfish Island at sunset time Source: https://whatson.melbourne.vic.gov.au/rails/active_storage/representations/proxy/eyJfcmFpbHMiOnsibWVzc2FnZSI6IkJBaEpJaWxtWkdKa05EYzVPQzFsWVRNMUxUUTVPV1V0WW1WaVl5MWhORGt5WkRBNE1qZGlaalVHT2daRlZBPT0iLCJleHAiOm51bGwsInB1ciI6ImJsb2JfaWQifX0=–8dd08f02f47d538e842aee2fbf39e56530193912/eyJfcmFpbHMiOnsibWVzc2FnZSI6IkJBaDdDRG9MWm05eWJXRjBTU0lJYW5CbkJqb0dSVlE2REdkeVlYWnBkSGxKSWd0RFpXNTBaWElHT3daVU9oTnlaWE5wZW1WZmRHOWZabWxzYkZzSGFRSndBMmtDVGdJPSIsImV4cCI6bnVsbCwicHVyIjoidmFyaWF0aW9uIn19–f3876e1fcc2db92cdffea604834734701decf454/dae1a546-4242-4f99-b391-b37c4253c5c9.jpg

What Is The Place Famous For?

Beyond its reputation as Melbourne’s only floating bar, the place is famous for its unique cocktails, a wide selection of local wine and beer, and its friendly and welcoming team. Set against the backdrop of the city skyline, the bar offers an unmatched view that’s become a favorite for those seeking to unwind after a long day or enjoy a weekend brunch.

The cocktail menu, in particular, continues to be a highlight, featuring both classics and new concoctions that reflect the venue’s vibrant energy. Plus, those in the know trust the bar snacks, like charcuterie, to pair perfectly with their drinks.

Did You Know?

How To Get There?

You can take the following public transportation options on Southbank Pedestrian Bridge to reach the place and enjoy:

Bus: 207, 216, 234, 250, 251, 302

Train: BELGRAVE, CRAIGIEBURN, FLEMINGTON, HURSTBRIDGE, MERNDA, SANDRINGHAM

Tram: 19, 48, 57, 59

Ponyfish Island packed with customers with the bridge in the middle of the photo Source: https://openverse.org/image/bf523364-dee3-4f0c-bac1-4e32db2f0511

Nearest Parking and Cost

For a 3-minute walk, you can park at Southgate underground for 2 hours for $23.

Nearby Attractions – Make A Day Of It!

Heading there? Check out these popular attractions in the vicinity:

entrance of Yarra Building with glass walls and doors Source: https://openverse.org/image/25739df0-c809-4691-ba81-f22d2b16a3f8

Koorie Heritage Trust

The Koorie Heritage Trust is a cultural center in the city that offers a deep insight into the rich history, art, and culture of the Aboriginal people of South Eastern Australia.

Southbank Promenade

Southbank Promenade is a bustling riverside walkway known for its vibrant dining scene, street performances, and stunning views of the city skyline.

Top 5 Closest Hidden Gems – Recommended By Adventure Clues

Destination Distance
Federation Square 500 meters
Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Walk 550 m
Hosier Lane 750 m
Presgrave Place 850 m
Coop’s Shot Tower 1.3 km

Your Hidden Gems Itinerary

  1. Start your day at Ponyfish Island.
  2. Walk to Fed Square, a cultural hub where you can experience art, events, and the lively atmosphere of Melbourne.
  3. Proceed to the Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Walk, immersing yourself in the rich Indigenous culture of Australia.
  4. Explore the nearby Hosier Lane, famous for its vibrant street art that captures the city’s artistic spirit.
  5. Next, go to Presgrave Place, a hidden laneway known for its street art and unique cafes, providing a quieter and artsy ambiance.
  6. Conclude your day by strolling to Coop’s Shot Tower, an iconic historical landmark showcasing Melbourne’s industrial history.

Melbourne’s hidden gems provide a diverse and authentic experience, from street art and cultural walks to historical landmarks and unique riverside settings. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or simply soaking in the local atmosphere, Melbourne’s hidden gems offer a day of discovery and connection with the city’s unique character.

Best Eateries To Review Around The Location

Enjoy a meal at these highly recommended restaurants around the place:

Arbory Eatery & Bar by the river with tree branches on the foreground Source: https://openverse.org/image/36c8e52c-e362-4f0a-96b0-f7077ba14b36

Arbory Bar & Eatery

Arbory Bar & Eatery is a vibrant, riverside dining spot offering a diverse menu of delicious food and drinks with stunning views of the river and the city skyline.

The Meat & Wine Co.

The Meat & Wine Co. is a renowned upscale restaurant known for its premium steaks, extensive wine selection, and chic, contemporary ambiance.

Entry Price

There is no entry fee. However, Ponyfish cocktails start at $19 and $12 for beers.

Final Thoughts

The place offers a unique blend of scenic views, rich history, and eclectic cuisine, making it an unforgettable experience in Australia’s vibrant urban landscape.

Experience the beauty of the city. Join Melbourne Scavenger Hunts by Adventure Clues and reveal the city’s secret gems.

Ponyfish Island Restaurant FAQs

Find answers to questions about the unique experience at the restaurant.

1. What is the Ponyfish Island?

Ponyfish Island is a unique venue in Melbourne, Australia. The concept of Ponyfish Island is a floating bar and restaurant above the Yarra River. It is anchored under the Southbank Pedestrian Bridge, and offers an unparalleled waterside experience. Ponyfish Island is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

2. Why is it named Ponyfish Island?

Ponyfish Island takes its name from the ponyfish, Often seen swimming in the Yarra River. The owners found the name fitting for their unique establishment.

3. How can I get there?

To get to Ponyfish Island, you would need to find the stairs descending from the pedestrian bridge that connects Southbank to Flinders Street Station. It’s an easily accessible location right in the middle of the Yarra River.

4. What is the atmosphere like at the Ponyfish Island?

The atmosphere at Ponyfish Island is very relaxed and welcoming. It offers an impressive view of the city’s skyline. The bar on the Yarra provides a unique perspective to appreciate the stunning cityscape.

5. What kind of drinks do they serve?

They have an extensive drink and cocktail menu featuring all your favourite beverages, with an emphasis on local beers and spirits. They also serve great coffee for those looking for a caffeine boost.

6. Do they serve food?

Yes, they serve food ranging from waffles to smashed avocado on toast, providing numerous options for those looking to enjoy a snack with their drink.

7. Is it family-friendly?

The location of Ponyfish Island makes it intriguing for all ages. However, as it is a bar, it tends to be more suited for adults, especially during evening hours.

Sources

https://www.ponyfishisland.com.au/

https://whatson.melbourne.vic.gov.au/eat-and-drink/ponyfish-island

https://moovitapp.com/index/en-gb/public_transportation-Southbank_Pedestrian_Bridge-Melbourne-site_27145866-2803

https://www.parkopedia.com.au/parking/restaurant/ponyfish-island/

https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/building-and-development/shaping-the-city/city-projects/Pages/southbank-promenade.aspx

https://arbory.com.au/

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