11 Unconventional ways to explore the Yarra River | Yarra River Cruises

Running throughout Victoria, Australia, the Yarra River is 246km long and is one of the most iconic features in Melbourne. The Yarra River is the source of around 70% of Melbourne’s drinking water, and the river and its bank provide many opportunities for recreational activities, which we share with you below.

Exploring the Yarra River is a regular activity for many locals, and a hotspot for tourists due to the natural, scenic beauty it provides. The Yarra River stretches from mountainous, forested areas right into the heart of the suburbs of Melbourne.

1. A Bottomless Brunch Cruise

There are many cruises available across the Yarra River, but this two and a half-hour long adventure on the water is a must for a fun day out with your friends. Board the cruise and explore the river with a refreshing, boozy drink in hand and some delicious brunch favourites.

A perfect activity for celebrating milestone birthdays, hen parties and other special occasions, this cruise is a great way to enjoy the Yarra River and make some incredible, unforgettable memories! For more information about our Bottomless Brunch Cruise, visit this page.

2. Picnicking

Why not explore the bankside of the Yarra River with a family-friendly picnic? With many suitable, designated sites for picnicking, including Brimbank Park, Cardinia Reservoir Park and Greenvale Reservoir Park, amongst others, you’re sure to find the idyllic picnic spot to soak up the sun and spend some quality time outdoors. For more information about picnic locations along the Yarra River, visit this page.

3. Rowing

A great water activity that’s popular on the Yarra River is rowing! Whether you’re part of a team or want to take a solo kayak out onto the water, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. A great way to spend some time in the sun and immerse yourself in the outdoors, you can hire a canoe, a kayak or even a rowboat for yourself and the whole family to enjoy. To view some of the available boats for hire on the Yarra River, visit this page.

4. Biking and walking

Another great way to explore the Yarra River is to cycle along the bankside, which provides a stunning view of the river. Biking alongside the Yarra River is a popular activity with many Melbourne locals, as well as tourists, which is why there are designated bike trails to use for maximum enjoyment and safety along the water’s edge.

You can bike and hike along the Dandenong Creek Trail and the Capital City Trail as well as many more that have been outlined specifically for these purposes. For more information about these designated biking trails, and a map of where they lead, you can visit this page.

5. Bird watching

Another exciting way to explore the Yarra River is to immerse yourself in the wonderful wildlife that surrounds it. There is an endless amount of native plants and a diverse array of wildlife to look out for when you’re exploring. One of the most popular ways to learn about the wildlife around the Yarra River is by bird watching, as there are over 190 species of birds that nest and feed along the river.

The most popular birds that are seen quite frequently along the Yarra River are the laughing kookaburra, the Nankeen Night Heron as well as the White-faced Heron. One of Victoria’s most popular birdwatching destinations is the Western Treatment Plant, but you’ll need to apply for a permit first here.

6. Fishing

Another popular activity across the Yarra River is fishing, which is another good way to explore the wildlife here. The Yarra River is a high-quality habitat that protects and supports a diverse community of fish, with many native species still present amongst the varieties that have been introduced later on. To be permitted to fish along the Yarra River, you need to have a Recreational Fishing License and you must fish responsibly in order to protect and maintain the environment. For more information about the fishing requirements here, visit this page.

We hope that you have found some inspiration from our list of the many unique ways to explore the beautiful Yarra River, which is a real highlight across Melbourne. For more guidance on what to do around the Yarra River, or for more information about the available cruises that we run at Yarra River Cruises, contact a member of our team today. We’re more than happy to talk to you about all the options available.

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