Yarra River Tours

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The Yarra River winds its way through Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) plus a number of suburbs. In the city, bars, restaurants, and parks thrive along its banks, bringing locals and tourists together. Numerous festivals and sporting events take place on the Yarra, including the famous Moomba Festival and rowing regattas.

The Basics
The Yarra River boasts a number of activities for visitors to enjoy. There are tours for every type of traveler ranging from sightseeing cruises to cabaret dinner cruises to an adventurous kayak tour along the river. See riverside landmarks such as Crown Casino, Federation Square, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne Cricket Ground, and the Ian Potter Centre.

For those who want to stay on land, walking and bike tours explore the banks of the Yarra River at a leisurely pace. Walk or peddle along the Southbank Promenade or the Main Yarra Trail for a closer look at Melbourne’s green spaces, bike paths, and numerous shops and restaurants that grace the banks.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Wear comfortable shoes to walk along the Yarra’s long esplanade.
  • The area’s weather can change at any moment, so bring layers and an umbrella to be prepared. 
  • The river offers some of the most picturesque views in the city, so come prepared with your camera.

How to Get There
Set in the center of Melbourne, the Yarra can’t be missed. In addition to sightseeing cruises, visitors can navigate the river with hop-on hop-off cruises that offer many stops in between Williamstown and Abbotsford. Some notable stops along the route include Southgate, Federation Square, and the Docklands, so you can see as much of Melbourne as possible.

When to Get There
Visitors can access the best of the Yarra River year-round, but there are a few special occasions that are worth a visit: the Dragon Boat Festival in June, Christmas and New Year’s Events, the Moomba Festival in March, and numerous sporting events throughout the year. 

The River of Culture
Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital and that means the Yarra is full of history. Check out some of the art museums along its banks, learn about Aboriginal culture and heritage on a river walk, discover thousands of plant species at the Royal Botanic Gardens, or stroll by some Australia’s most famous sporting venues.
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Address: Australia
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Admission: Free
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29 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Half-Day Melbourne City Tour Including Yarra River Cruise From Melbourne

First time in Melbourne? See the city from all angles as you combine a comprehensive tour of Australia’s cultural capital with a scenic cruise down the Yarra River. Sail past waterfront landmarks like Melbourne Aquarium, Crown Casino and Southbank, then hop on a coach tour, passing famous sites like Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne Park and the Etihad Stadium. Jump off along the way to stroll around the Royal Botanic Gardens, browse the shops in lively St Kilda or snap photos of the colorful beach huts of Brighton Beach.
  • Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
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$71.24 USD
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  • Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
From
$71.24 USD

SPECIAL OFFER

Melbourne City and Williamstown Ferry Cruise

Cruise from Melbourne to the historic seaport city of Williamstown while soaking up the sights along the Yarra River. Spend as much time as you like in Williamstown, where you can browse art galleries, explore local seafaring history or enjoy a coffee or meal at one of the many charming cafés. Customize your cruise options and travel one-way in either direction or take a round-trip cruise for a delightful day trip.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$12.93 USD
$16.16 USD  $3.23 USD savings
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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$12.93 USD
$16.16 USD  $3.23 USD savings

Champagne & Seafood Brunch Cruise - A Decadent Spread at High Sea

Enjoy a scenic cruise along the Yarra River while feasting on a delicious seafood lunch. Watch the sights of central Melbourne go by as you relax on the spacious Melbourne Showboat, a beautifully renovated vintage ferry. Sip on a welcome glass of bubbly as you cruise away from Docklands, and then dine to your appetite’s delight on a fresh seafood buffet.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$58.76 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$58.76 USD

2.5-Hour Melbourne Sunset Kayak Tour

Experience Melbourne at sunset from the water on a 2.5-hour kayak tour on the Yarra River. Your guide takes you around Victoria Harbour and along Southbank where you pause to see the fire-ball display at Crown Casino. Enjoy an on-the-water dinner of fish and chips, then see downtown Melbourne before your tour ends next to Princess Bridge. Includes guide, use of equipment, light dinner, and kayak tour.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$72.71 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$72.71 USD

Melbourne Bike Tour with Coffee and Drinks Including Yarra River and Southbank

Discover the highlights of Melbourne on an informative 3-hour bike tour that reveals the best of the Victoria’s capital. Follow your experienced guide along bike paths and quiet streets to see landmarks including the Parliament and Treasury buildings, Old Melbourne Gaol, Federation Square and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. Learn about the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and cruise through Flagstaff Gardens, Southbank and the Docklands.  Expect to cover approximately 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) at a leisurely pace, stopping regularly for refreshments, including a complimentary drink, and photo ops.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$58.02 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$58.02 USD

4-Day Melbourne Tour: City Sightseeing, Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island

Discover Australia’s cultural capital, take a thrilling road trip along the Great Ocean Road and spot wildlife on Phillip Island with this action-pack 4-day tour, including accommodation. Explore Melbourne on a 3.5-hour sightseeing tour; see koalas, kangaroos and Tasmanian Devils at Maru Animal Park; and watch the evening Penguin Parade on Phillip Island. Then, set out along the Great Ocean Road, stopping to snap photos of the Twelve Apostles and Apollo Bay, and learn the legends of the Shipwreck Coast.
  • Duration: 4 days
From
$554.50 USD
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  • Duration: 4 days
From
$554.50 USD

Melbourne Cup Carnival: Spring Racing Day Cruise Package

Travel to Flemington Racecourse in style with a festive river cruise from Melbourne! You’ll be well taken care of as you make your way to and from the Spring Racing Carnival, with morning and afternoon tea, a gourmet buffet lunch and unlimited premium wine and beer. Beat the traffic and crowds and simply relax on the sundeck as you cruise along the Yarra River. Enjoy onboard entertainment on the return cruise to Melbourne’s Victoria Harbor.
  • Duration: 9 hours
From
$197.56 USD
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  • Duration: 9 hours
From
$197.56 USD

Melbourne Burlesque Showboat Cruise

Enjoy a unique, naughty night out aboard the vintage Melbourne Showboat, complete with the entertaining antics of a burlesque show. Cruise down the Yarra River while savoring delicious canapés and a complimentary glass of bubbly. The evening’s onboard entertainment comes courtesy of a professional burlesque troupe, decked out in outlandish outfits that have a way of disappearing. After the boisterous, 1-hour burlesque and cabaret show, take in the riverside scenery as you cruise all the way to the historic port of Williamstown.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$50.68 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$50.68 USD

Half-Day Melbourne Kayak Tour

Enjoy a 2.5-hour kayak tour on the Yarra River with an expert guide who shows you Melbourne from the water. You can either head downstream into the heart of the city to see sites such as the Old Customs House, Turning Basin, Melbourne Maritime Museum and the Crown Casino. Or venture upstream to paddle past the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Herring Island, which features sculptures by native Australian and international artists. Your tour includes informative commentary and light refreshments, with afternoon or evening departures.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$65.37 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$65.37 USD

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

Enjoy a private 2-hour cruise on the Yarra River with this self-drive boat rental in Melbourne. No license is required to drive this vessel, which has a fully enclosed cabin option if needed. Bring up to 10 friends and family members on board for a relaxing and scenic cruise. Create your own sightseeing tour by passing top attractions such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Southbank, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Federation Square and the Docklands. You can even disembark at Herring Island Park to walk around its outdoor sculpture park.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$219.60 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$219.60 USD

Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise

Spend an evening on the Yarra River during this Melbourne dinner cruise. As you admire the twinkling city lights reflecting on the water, enjoy a 4-course gourmet meal of dishes like smoked lamb and pork loin. This fine dining experience includes beer, wine and spirits, as well as coffee, tea, dessert, port and a cheese plate. Cruise past attractions like Federation Square and the Royal Botanic Gardens while soaking up the elegant and relaxing atmosphere of the boat.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$102.82 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$102.82 USD

Melbourne Balloon Flight at Sunrise

Get an enchanting new perspective on Melbourne with a hot air balloon flight over the city at sunrise! Soar over modern skyscrapers, urban parks, famous sporting arenas and the Yarra River as early morning light bathes the skyline in a rosy glow. After your unforgettable 1-hour flight, toast the new day with an optional champagne breakfast.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$352.53 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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$352.53 USD

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel Admission

Take a spin around the Melbourne Star for breathtaking views of Melbourne and surrounds. From a height of almost 400 feet (120 meters), gaze down on urban landmarks as you circle the observation wheel in a comfortable passenger pod. By day, look for Port Phillip Bay and the Dandenong Ranges in the distance. Ride at night to enjoy sparkling city lights and the dazzling effect of millions of LED bulbs on the wheel itself. Upgrade to an encore package to experience both!
  • Duration: 8 hours
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$26.44 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$26.44 USD

Central Melbourne Walking Tour

Get the inside scoop on Melbourne’s history and highlights with this entertaining, 3-hour walking tour. Learn about Melbourne’s early settlers and how the city transitioned from a 19th-century port town to Victoria’s modern capital. Your local guide will lead you through central Melbourne’s iconic laneways and arcades and fill you in on landmarks like Flinders Street Station, Federation Square and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$36.72 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$36.72 USD

Melbourne New Year's Eve Party Cruise

Celebrate the New Year in style with a Yarra River party Cruise! Dine on appetizers and a cocktail finger food dinner and enjoy free-flowing drinks throughout the night. An onboard DJ provides dance-worthy tunes to keep the party going as the clock ticks toward midnight and beyond. Raise a glass to new beginnings and enjoy a fantastic view of downtown Melbourne’s fireworks display from the river. Choose from two different cruises tailored to a certain age group for a fun and social scene.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$172.59 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$172.59 USD

Melbourne City Sights Morning Tour with Optional Yarra Cruise

Spend a delightful morning exploring top Melbourne sights from aboard a comfortable coach. Learn about the city’s fascinating history from your informative driver and guide as you explore highlights such as the Queen Victoria Market, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Parliament House and Cook’s Cottage. To extend your sightseeing, upgrade to an optional 1-hour cruise along the scenic Yarra River.
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
$40.39 USD
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  • Duration: 5 hours
From
$40.39 USD

Highlights of Melbourne Cruise

Discover Melbourne’s history and highlights on this guided Yarra River cruise. Float past the city’s towering skyscrapers and lovely urban gardens while learning about the transformation of this vibrant city from 19th-century port town to a modern cultural capital. Your sightseeing cruise will take you upriver and downriver for a scenic overview of attractions on both banks.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$25.71 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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$25.71 USD

River Gardens Melbourne Sightseeing Cruise

Take in a bounty of Melbourne’s highlights along the scenic Yarra River on this narrated sightseeing cruise. Spend a delightful hour aboard a riverboat as you glide under the Princes Bridge and past beautiful river gardens, Herring Island, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and other top cultural attractions.
  • Duration: 1 hour
From
$18.36 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour
From
$18.36 USD

Port of Melbourne and Docklands Sightseeing Cruise

Enjoy a new perspective of Melbourne’s port and Docklands area as you cruise down the Yarra River toward Hobson’s Bay. Learn about Melbourne’s history as a 19th-century port town while watching the sights go by on this 1-hour, narrated tour.
  • Duration: 1 hour
From
$18.36 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour
From
$18.36 USD

Australia Day Afternoon or Sunset Cruise from Melbourne

Celebrate Australia Day with a 2.5-hour cruise aboard an atmospheric Melbourne Showboat. Travel through the harbor from the Yarra River to Port Phillip Bay, passing the Docklands, Williamstown, Port Melbourne and St Kilda Beach. Choose from either the daytime or sunset tour according to your preference.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$29.38 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$29.38 USD

Garden Highlights Tour

Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage tour of Melbourne’s lovely gardens and CBD. On this 30-minute ride, pass historic sights like the Princess Bridge, Victorian Arts Center, Queen Victoria Gardens, Walker Fountain, King Domain Gardens, and the Shrine of Remembrance. Your driver will take a photo of you in the carriage and you’re welcome to take pictures as you ride.  
  • Duration: 30 minutes
From
$84.46 USD
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  • Duration: 30 minutes
From
$84.46 USD

Best of Melbourne City Tour with Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Dinner

Get a great introduction to Melbourne with this full-day tour that combines three unique types of city transport. Cruise down the Yarra River for a glimpse of Melbourne’s aquatic attractions, then hop aboard a coach for a sightseeing tour of the city’s athletic and cultural highlights. End the day with a delicious three-course dinner aboard a historic tramcar while the ‘restaurant on wheels’ rolls through Melbourne’s charming suburbs.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
$157.91 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
$157.91 USD

SPECIAL OFFER

Melbourne Combo: Great Ocean Road plus Healesville Sanctuary and Puffing Billy and Melbourne Attraction Pass

Get acquainted with Melbourne's top attractions with this super saver combo. Take a full-day road trip on Australia's famous Great Ocean Road, then spend a full day exploring Healesville Sanctuary, Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy. With your Melbourne Attractions Pass, get entrance to two of four Melbourne's premier attractions - Melbourne Zoo and Melbourne Star Observation Wheel OR  Eureka Skydeck 88 and the Melbourne Aquarium. Take your day tours within a 7-day period; the attractions pass is to be used at your leisure. 
  • Duration: Flexible
From
$215.93 USD
$268.81 USD  $52.88 USD savings
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  • Duration: Flexible
From
$215.93 USD
$268.81 USD  $52.88 USD savings

Private Tour: Melbourne City Discovery

Explore vibrant, multi-cultural Melbourne with a private guide and an itinerary customised to suit your interests. Admire architectural landmarks like the Town Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and Parliament House; learn about the city’s fascinating colonial history; or stroll around the idyllic botanical gardens. Alternatively, visit beachside St Kilda, browse the shops of the Block Arcade or Chapel Street, or discover ‘Little Italy’ in the Carlton district. This 4-hour tour includes hotel pick-up and morning tea.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$55.82 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$55.82 USD


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