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The picturesque Yarra River is the focal point around which Melbourne flourishes. Enjoy the river's beaches, try out a watersport or take a boat tour to one of the scenic islands.
Go shopping at the Southgate complex which is situated along the river’s banks. Find upmarket shops, entertainment and restaurants here. Climb aboard a boat at Southgate or Princes Walk for a trip down the river.
To the east, you’ll find a more rural setting. Take a stroll around the Royal Botanic Gardens and stop at one of the many picnic and barbecue facilities. Visit Herring Island Park in the summer months by taking a Parks Victoria ferry and walk around the sculpture parks. This area is remarkably tranquil considering it is in the center of a busy city. Take photos of the Melbourne skyline at sunset.
Cycle along any of the many cycling routes or go kayaking along the waterways. Swim at one of the river’s many beaches, manned by lifesavers in the summer months.
If you are brave enough, take a dip during the chilly winter months. If that seems a bit too cold, visit one of the numerous heated pools and centers. The annual Moomba Festival celebrates the cultural significance of the Yarra River to Melbourne. It takes place over Labor Day weekend on the first Friday of March. Head to the river then for firework displays and live music.
Before the arrival of Europeans, the river was used as a main meeting point for the indigenous people of Australia. As Europeans began to settle, they forced the indigenous population away from the river and gradually the city was built along the banks.
The river runs from the Yarra Ranges down through the center of Melbourne and into Hobsons Bay. The main attractions around it are focused within a 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) section but parks and recreational attractions spread out for miles along its banks.
Travelling isn't just about destinations and plush hotels. It's about the experiences you embrace and the wonderful memories you collect on the way!
Comtemplating what to put first on your must-do list? Why not think about trying out a Melbourne City Sunset Kayak Tour?
For a complete guide to activities, head to our Yarra Riverfront things to do page.
Located in Melbourne Central Business District, this apartment building is steps away from Collins Street and Rialto Towers.
Located in Melbourne Central Business District, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Flagstaff Gardens, Queen Victoria Market and Melbourne Central. Emporium Melbourne and Festival Hall are also within 15 minutes. Flagstaff Station is only a 3-minute walk and Melbourne Central Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Melbourne Central Business District, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of Marvel Stadium, Melbourne Central and Queen Victoria Market. Bourke Street Mall and Melbourne Cricket Ground are also within 3 mi (5 km). Flagstaff Station is 6 minutes by foot and Spencer Street Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Melbourne Central Business District, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Melbourne Central, Queen Victoria Market, and Bourke Street Mall. RMIT University and Old Melbourne Gaol are also within 10 minutes. Melbourne Central Station is only a 3-minute walk and Flagstaff Station is 8 minutes.
Located in the heart of Melbourne, this family-friendly aparthotel is within walking distance of Collins Street, SEA LIFE Melbourne and Royal Arcade. Also nearby are Flinders Lane and Hardware Lane.
This luxury aparthotel is located in Melbourne (Melbourne Central Business District), close to Flagstaff Gardens, Hardware Lane and Melbourne Central. Also nearby are Queen Victoria Market and Emporium Melbourne.
Located in Melbourne Central Business District, this aparthotel is steps away from Yarra Riverfront and SEA LIFE Melbourne. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and Flinders Lane are also within 10 minutes. Spencer Street Station is 8 minutes by foot and Flagstaff Station is 15 minutes.
Located in Melbourne Central Business District, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Yarra Riverfront and SEA LIFE Melbourne. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and Flinders Lane are also within 10 minutes. Spencer Street Station is only a 5-minute walk and Flagstaff Station is 15 minutes.