The Yarra River flows west for more than 240 km (148 miles) from its source in the Yarra Ranges, through rural and suburban Melbourne to the city center and Docklands, where it empties into Port Phillip Bay. Transport and pedestrian bridges cross the river, and you’ll find some of Melbourne’s most popular golf courses and parklands along its length.

Melbourne was established on the banks of the Yarra River in 1835, and it was a vital source of water and transport for the city's settlers. Today the Yarra River flows past the pedestrian Yarra Promenade and Flinders Street Station in the heart of Melbourne.

Rowers stroke past from the nearby Royal Botanic Gardens, and pleasure boats cruise up and down the river. Cycling and walking trails also mirror its path, and there are popular picnic grounds on the suburban fringe at Yarra Bend and Warrandyte.

Practical Info

The best way to see the Yarra River is on the water itself. If sculling a rowing boat doesn't appeal, catch one of the cruise boats moored near Federation Square.

Tours & Tickets

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Melbourne City Sights Morning Tour with Optional Yarra Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 200 Reviews

Discover the best of Melbourne on a morning sightseeing tour that includes an optional boat cruise along the Yarra River. First travel by comfortable coach to ...  Read more

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 4 to 5 hours

From USD $47.59

Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 592 Reviews

What could be a more memorable way to enjoy a meal in Melbourne than a gourmet dinner cruise along the Yarra River? Watch the city light up during this 3-hour ...  Read more

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $95.19

Highlights of Melbourne Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 187 Reviews

Cruise the Yarra river and admire Melbourne's spectacular skyline on a two hour narrated city cruise. Your cruise includes both the down and up river routes, ...  Read more

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $21.23

Melbourne Kayak Tours

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 27 Reviews

See Melbourne from a unique perspective as you kayak along the Yarra River on this small group tour with no more than 12 participants. Your guide will provide ...  Read more

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: Varies

From USD $60.04

2-Day Combo: Melbourne City Tour, Yarra River Cruise and Great Ocean Road Day Trip

4.5 star rating: Recommended 29 Reviews

See Melbourne's best attractions, cruise on the Yarra River and take a trip down the Great Ocean Road over two days within a seven day period. Spend a day ...  Read more

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: Valid for 2 days over a 7 day period.

From USD $146.44
$187.45 Save $41.01

Melbourne Seafood Lunch Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

Gain a fresh perspective on Melbourne during a 3-hour Yarra River cruise that features a delicious seafood lunch on the double-decker Melbourne Showboat that ...  Read more

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $58.58

River Gardens Melbourne Sightseeing Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 29 Reviews

Cruise up Melbourne's famous Yarra River and enjoy the sights of Melbourne's scenic gardens, parklands and famous sporting arenas. This one-hour sightseeing ...  Read more

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $16.84

Port of Melbourne and Docklands Sightseeing Cruise

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 17 Reviews

Spend a leisurely hour or so cruising down Melbourne's famous Yarra River. Learn about the historical Victoria Docks and the landings of the early settlers on ...  Read more

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $16.84

2-Hour Self-Drive Boat Hire on the Yarra River

Hop aboard the Harvey A private vessel and self-drive with up to 10-people down the Yarra River. With no boat license required, choose between a morning, lunch ...  Read more

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $218.93

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