Perched right on Port Phillip Bay, this green suburb is a fine place to spend the day exploring the great outdoors.
Industry played an important role in the development of Newport. Here, first contact with the local Yalukit Willam people was made by European sealers. Much later, it was where the Newport Railway Workshops and the Newport Power Station were established. The chimney of Newport D, still in operation, dominates the skyline, but lower your eyes to see the suburb’s best.
The waterfront in Newport is where the bay meets the mouth of the Yarra River. Swathes of lawn make up a string of parks and reserves — Greenwich Reserve, Newport Park and Newport Riverside Park — where local sporting clubs are based. Along their edges, the Bay Trail, a path shared by cyclists and pedestrians, offers amazing views of the West Gate Bridge and to Melbourne’s CBD.
Away from the waterfront, The Pint of Milk is a cafe inside a transformed milk bar. Its warm, welcoming vibe is popular with the neighbours, who come for breakfast dishes like fruit salad with peppermint panna cotta and bean and chorizo cassoulet with poached eggs.
Before you wander too far, check out some of the shops in the suburb. There’s a concentration near the train station on Melbourne Road and Hall Street. Wander west to Challis Street to find Wilde Interiors, a temple to style, selling men’s and women’s fashion, beautiful homewares and luxe bath and body products. Anyone who thrives on retro inspiration, should check out One in a Mill. This warehouse is stocked with refurbished and untouched industrial-style and vintage furniture, as well as lighting, glassware and home accessories.
If you want to find a pocket of bushland in the ’burbs, head to Newport Lakes Reserve. Within its 33 hectares, you can wander around the lakes, look for some of the 185 species of birds that have been spotted here, or take a picnic and spread it out on the grass. Forget to bring the fixings for lunch? Nearby Dough! is the spot for takeaway burgers, pizza and fish and chips.
Culture vultures should check out The Substation, an arts venue located in a century-old industrial building. There’s often art on show in the space, creative musical events to see and innovative productions encompassing a variety of genres. Each year in July, the Newport Folk Festival sees affordable gigs take place in four venues over the course of a weekend.
When you need to chill out for a while, find a table at the Junction Beer Hall and Wine Bar. This stylish spot, with polished concrete floors, white walls, the occasional mural and a nice courtyard, has an excellent selection of craft beers, a tasty menu of pub grub (the 3 Little Pigs bun is a pork burger with crispy crackling, bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese and onions) and a list of boutique wines. It certainly makes a change from the building’s previous incarnation as the rather shady Junction Hotel.