7 Facts You Need To Know About The Yarra River In Melbourne

What You Need To Know About The Yarra River In Melbourne

Think the Yarra River is just an ordinary river that flows through Melbourne? Well, there’s a lot more to it.

Flowing 242 kilometres to Port Phillip Bay from Mount Baw Baw, it’s the home to a wide range of fish, birds, animals and spectacular indigenous plants. Furthermore, it is a crucial source to our economic and social well-being as it constitutes 70% of the drinking water in Melbourne, provides recreational opportunities and supports productive agriculture.

In this article, we have mentioned seven facts that one should know about the river so that you have no problem exploring it in the future. Now, without further ado, let’s get started.


7 Facts You Need To Know About The Yarra River In Melbourne


Here are some facts about the Yarra River in Melbourne that you ought to know:


1. Culturally Rich

The iconic Yarra River has a rich culture, and that is a fact. You may be surprised to know thatundjeri people have had a strong connection to the river as it provided them with resources and places for communal activity. There are still a lot of cultural simany cultural sitese Scar tree and the Yarra Flats Dreaming.

Also, did you know that the river came to be known as “Yarra” only in 1830? Yes, that’s right, it was originally referred to as “Birrarung.”


2. Home To Different Species Of Frogs

With large areas of wetlands to feed and breed, several parts of the river are ideal for frog habitat. Some of the most famous species are the dwarf tree frog, southern toadlet, Peron’s tree frog and the eastern froglet.


3. Supports 38 Species Of Mammals

Yes, you read that right. About 38 species of mammals live around 50 meters from the river, with many of them making their homes on the tree hollows lining the river. A few examples of such mammals are bandicoots, gliders, bats, eastern grey kangaroos and koalas. Also, did you know that 1/3 of the animal species in Victoria can be found around the Yarra River?


4. Has Lots Of Reptiles

Thanks to adequate amounts of water supply and native plants, the surroundings of the Yarra River are home to reptiles, such as lizards, snakes, turtles and skinks. They are mostly found sheltering among logs, rocks, grasses and leaf litter.

You will also find the eastern long-necked turtle in water bodies like billabongs and lakes.


5. Rediscovery Of Platypuses

You will be pleased to know that habitat loss has decreased over the past few years because of the revegetation project. Plus, animals that had disappeared have been rediscovered, like platypuses.


6. Travels Across A Vast Array Of Habitats

Another interesting fact about the Yarra River is that it travels across a massive range of habitats. The upper Yarra and its major tributaries flow through hilly and forested areas that have been preserved for more than a century to protect the drinking water quality.

On the other hand, the lower and middle sections have mostly been cleared for industrial and agricultural development, which has eroded the clay soil, making its color muddy. Lastly, the lowest part of the river is an estuary, where salt water flows upstream from Port Phillip Bay for around 10 kilometers.

Apart from that, it is also worth knowing that the river stretch between Warrandyte and Warburton is called the Victorian Heritage River.


7. Attracts Millions Of Visitors Every Year

Over the years, there have been a lot of developments around the banks of Yarra River. Today, it is a crucial part of the lives of Victorians. Plus, every year, it attracts many visitors from across the country who camp, fish, row, wide and walk along the river banks.

You will find many parks in this region, including:

  • Yarra Bend Park – one of the largest bushland parks in Melbourne
  • Westerfolds Park – 120-hectare metropolitan park
  • Warrandyte State Park – the closest state park in Melbourne
  • Domain Parklands – sports top destinations
  • Birrarung Marr – Yarra River’s journey begins here, hosts big festivals and events

What You Need To Know About The Yarra River In Melbourne




With that, we have come to the end of our informational article. And we hope we were able to put forth some unique facts about the Yarra River in Melbourne. As you can see, the Yarra River is so much more than just a stream of water flowing through the city.

You can enjoy several recreational opportunities such as picnicking, bird watching, fishing and boat cruises around the river, so we strongly recommend visiting here once.

On that note, it’s time for us to wind up. Until next time, take care!

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