Transforming Southbank

Southbank is the home of Melbourne’s arts precinct, a thriving business sector and is on the doorstep of the central city. It is also one of the most densely populated suburbs in Melbourne but it doesn’t have enough public space for people.

In 2018, the City of Melbourne will begin transforming Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street by shifting traffic to create 2.5 hectares of public space.

Southbank Boulevard roadworks commenced on Monday 16 July and will run until November 2018. This will involve closing Southbank Boulevard between Sturt Street and St Kilda Road to car traffic. Pedestrian, bike and tram access (No.1) will be maintained during this time (buses will be diverted). Detours for car traffic will be in place. All access to and from the Arts Centre Melbourne Car Park will be via Sturt Street.

Major Tram Works and Road Closures

15-22 September
On September 15, Sturt Street, between Grant Street and Kavanagh Street, will be closed to all traffic in preparation for major tram works. Sturt Street will be re-opened to traffic on 1 October 2018. The Route 1 tram will continue to operate during this period.

22-30 September
Major tram works will commence early in the morning on 22 September 2018. The Route 1 Tram will be diverted during this period. Replacement buses will operate in this section of Southbank Boulevard and Sturt Street.

Car Parks

If parking at Arts Centre Melbourne, use the top exit (closest to the NGV), turn left, cross Southbank Boulevard at the lights and then proceed down Southbank Boulevard. Signs will be in place to help guide your way. We do not recommend using the Ballet Centre Car Park during this period as the walk to the Centre is particularly long due to crossing closures. Click here to view a pedestrian and vehicle access map.

Pedestrian Access

Pedestrian access will be significantly affected during this period. Click here to view the pedestrian plan for detailed information and walk-arounds.


Drop-offs and pick-ups for those with accessibility needs are still possible, but please take note of the changing conditions before you begin your journey to the Centre. We recommend utilising Dodds St as a drop of zone, next door to Melbourne Theatre’s Company’s Sumner Theatre, as there are four disabled parking bays there. Please note, access to Dodds St from Southbank Boulevard is currently closed. We recommend access via Grant St. Click here for more information.

Route 1 Tram

Please note, the tram stop located directly in front of the Centre on the corner of Sturt St and Southbank Boulevard has closed. The nearest tram stops are now outside ABC Melbourne and Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) on Sturt St. See above for information on changes and diversions, particularly during the period 22 – 30 September.

If you have any questions about getting to the Centre, especially if you have access requirements, don’t hesitate to call us on (03) 9699 3333 for more information.

This project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to meet the public space needs of a rapidly growing population and create a series of unique public spaces. Click here to discover more on the City of Melbourne website.

Melbourne Recital Centre and Southbank Theatre and our bars and restaurants remain open for business throughout the works.