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Yarra River

Centuries ago, settlers developed Melbourne around this river. Today it is the heart of the city with bars, shops and restaurants lining its banks.

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.


Guide to Exploring Yarra Riverfront


Map

Top Yarra Riverfront Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 3,451 properties near Yarra Riverfront
Oaks Melbourne on Collins Hotel NZ$101
Oaks Melbourne on Collins Hotel

Oaks Melbourne on Collins Hotel

480 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Melbourne Central Business District, this apartment building is steps away from Collins Street and Rialto Towers.

    Pegasus Apart'Hotel NZ$118
    Pegasus Apart'Hotel

    Pegasus Apart'Hotel

    206 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne, VIC
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      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.

      Atlantis Hotel, Melbourne NZ$85
      Atlantis Hotel, Melbourne

      Atlantis Hotel, Melbourne

      300 Spencer Street, Melbourne, VIC
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        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.

        Avani Melbourne Central Residences NZ$177
        Avani Melbourne Central Residences

        Avani Melbourne Central Residences

        60 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne, VIC
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          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.

          Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel NZ$105
          Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel

          Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel

          60 Market Street, Melbourne, VIC
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            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.

            Oaks Melbourne on William Suites NZ$144
            Oaks Melbourne on William Suites

            Oaks Melbourne on William Suites

            350 William Street, Melbourne, VIC
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              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.

              Aura on Flinders Serviced Apartments NZ$117
              Aura on Flinders Serviced Apartments

              Aura on Flinders Serviced Apartments

              707/534 Flinders st, (Enter via 7 Katherine Pl), Melbourne, VIC
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                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.

                Great Southern Hotel Melbourne NZ$74
                Great Southern Hotel Melbourne

                Great Southern Hotel Melbourne

                44 Spencer Street, Melbourne, VIC
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  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.