The Yarra River – Melbourne

The Yarra River – Melbourne

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 05/04/2015

Reading time: 3 mins

A Melbourne icon, the Yarra River weaves through the city center right next to spectacular landmarks and a multitude of picturesque settings!

Melbourne is one of Australia’s most cosmopolitan cities, with shopping, dining, buzzing nightlife and entertainment, this city has become an international destination that pleases all senses. It’s continuously on everyone’s list as ‘the best of’ for food, lifestyle, and shopping. It’s rare to hear anyone mention Melbourne without saying they loved it and can’t wait to go back. Of all the great buildings and architecture that makes Melbourne a beautiful and unique destination, the Yarra River is what completes it.

The History of the Yarra Valley

The Yarra River has been the main source of food, transportation, water sport, and logging in all the years civilisation has been living on it. Aboriginal tribes used it the main source for food, while English settlers who founded the city in 1858 used the river for logging and transportation. It was then that bridges were formed, using the river as a divider between the city’s neighbourhoods.

The Events Held Here

The Yarra River is celebrated every year during the Moomba Festival, held down at the river to celebrate its importance and cultural impact to the city of Melbourne. Water sports and competitions are held throughout the four days, including waterskiing and rowing. In recent years the Yarra River has been used for a multitude of water activities and tours. It’s not uncommon to see the river busy with kayakers, rowers, swimmers, and stand-up paddleboarders. The river has also become one of the main attractions of the city. Located along the shores are countless restaurants, clubs, hotels, museums, and parks. The river plays a big role in attracting visitors, making the waterfront the best place to be in the city. One of the biggest draws to the river every year is the Australian Open. This tennis competition brings millions to the city, all wanting to be a part of the action. Melbourne Park, where the tennis matches are held, are located just off the Yarra. This close proximity to the river allows for those visiting to enjoy the walk from the city centre to the park along the waterfront. Events are held throughout the city during this time, many being congregated around Federation Square which is located by the one and only, Yarra River.

What You can do Here

Visitors can take a stroll along the water at night and enjoy the lights from the Crown Casino, enjoy a drink or beautiful dinner on one of the many restaurant patios, or walk further down to the rowing sheds and rent a kayak. If you prefer setting off straight from the river, you can take a Yarra River cruise, which lets you slowly drift through the city centre, while enjoying a delicious lunch or dinner and sparkling wine!

If you have the chance to visit Melbourne, your first trip should be to visit the river that has given the city its life.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.