Around and About in Williamstown
Owner and chief guide of Around and About Travel, Walter Edgar, has lived in the Williamstown area since he started his tourism and travel planning company in his home office 17 years ago. A passionate sailor, he loves to live near the water and close to Williamstown’s yacht clubs. Williamstown has one of the best views of Melbourne, straight across the bay, says Walter. When fireworks are set off in the city, he and his family head to the foreshore to see the display.
Walter loves the nautical village feel of Williamstown and its many cafes, pubs and cake shops. Williamstown is not a thoroughfare so anyone who’s in the area is there to enjoy it.
Walter’s favourite Around and About tour is the Great Ocean Road two day tour. There is always something beautiful to see and lots of things to learn about and do. From the wineries of the Bellarine to the treetops of the Otways, there is such beauty in nature. All along the way there are animals to see, extraordinary ocean views and historical gems to uncover.
Walter enjoys the Yarra Valley winery tours too. “When people have a glass of wine in their hands, they’re generally happy people,” he says. The Yarra Valley has some of the best wines in Australia and there are art galleries, gin distilleries and wildlife sanctuaries on the agenda too.
The most popular trip with travellers this year is the Phillip Island Penguin Parade Tour. Visitors get to see the animals in the Wildlife Park during the day, then spend the dusk hour spotting penguins as they race out of the water and to their burrows for the evening.
Where to eat in Williamstown
Recently opened, Grazeland Melbourne is an outdoor dining experience for foodies in nearby Spotswood. Close to the train station, this is a dining destination for anyone who loves to experiment with different cuisines and flavours. From Argentinian BBQ, to Sri Lankan Street food and Japanese souffle pancakes, this is the place to fill your tummy.
With stunning views out onto Williamstown Beach, Sebastian is a modern Spanish seafood restaurant that makes the crossing of the Westgate Bridge worthwhile. Share anchovy or oyster pintxos with your friends or family, order ceviche and authentic Basque plates for the table then follow up with traditional Spanish desserts like miguelitos or cheesecake.
For a unique dining experience with a nautical theme book in for a show at the Titanic theatre restaurant. Check out the pub menu in the dining room if you just want to see the Titanic memorabilia without the full entertainment.
Walter’s Tip: Buy seafood on the pier, right off the boat, on a Saturday and Sunday morning.
Where to drink in Williamstown
For a sophisticated location for date night, slip into the Lower West Side Wine Bar. Enjoy a good drop, a cocktail or a beer. The Steam Packet Hotel offers a range of beers, if you’re more into brews, and , of course, gin, single malt whiskey or cognac for those who need a nip before they sing a sea shanty.
Walter’s tip: One of Williamstown’s best kept secrets is Ye Olde Pirates Tavern (sometimes known to locals as Jolly Rogers Tavern). Only open on weekends, this little pub is a local favourite where punters (and pirates) can enjoy live music on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.
Where to stay in the west
Williamstown is home to two sets of Quest serviced apartments. Punt Hill also has an offering here. You’ll find bed and breakfast accommodation in this seaside suburb too.
Walter’s Tip: Check out the many Airbnb options in the area.
What to do in Williamstown
Williamstown is an excellent place for a beach stroll or a wander through the Botanical Gardens. Dog parks abound and locals and visitors alike can enjoy the natural environment. The village has a lot of shopping options for those who love books, candles and homewares.
Seaworks Maritime Museum will enthrall anyone with a love of history and maritime artefacts and paraphernalia. See photographs and models and learn about Melbourne’s rich maritime history.
Walter’s Tip: Instead of the train, catch a ferry from Williamstown to St Kilda, or to the city.
Do you have a favourite place in Williamstown?
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