Revitalised offer for Lower Yarra River
Friday 31 May, 2019
New Southgate Wharf berths among those to be utilised with new mix of operators
The Lower Yarra River is set to have a revitalised visitor offer following the conclusion of an expression of interest process seeking proposals for commercial berthing operators.
Launched in November 2018, the EOI has finished with seven proponents appointed across 11 berths at four locations, each with commitments to ongoing improvements in product, eco-credentials and visitor experience.
Visitors will experience a winning combination of operators with both a long history on the Yarra River, together with newer experiences such as self-skippered vessels which have increased in popularity in recent years.
The appointed operators offer great diversity and an optimum mix in guided river touring, commercial vessel operations, charter passenger boat services, water taxis, cruising dining venues, private functions, sightseeing and Yarra River self-skippered experiences.
Of the seven appointments, four will take up the newly built floating berths at Southgate Wharf which were completed in November 2018 following a $2 million investment from the Victorian Government. These berths are Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant and provide a much more visitor friendly experience linking the upper and lower promenades to maximise access and exposure to visitors.
Click here for a map of operator berthing allocations. The appointed proponents and their offer are:
- Go Boat; Self Skippered hire Vessels (Banana Alley)
- Melbourne Boat Hire; Small scale tours and charter services, and self-skippered hire vessels (South Wharf)
- Melbourne Cruising Restaurant; Cruising restaurant, private functions (Southgate Wharf)
- Melbourne River Cruises; Large scale sightseeing tours year-round, private functions and fine dining (Federation Wharf and Southgate Wharf)
- Classic Steamboat Cruises; Small heritage vessel tours (Southgate Wharf)
- Yarra River Cruises; Large scale sightseeing tours (Federation Wharf)
- Melbourne Water Taxis; Melbourne’s only dedicated water taxi service (Southgate Wharf)
The concurrently launched two-stage Yarra River activation EOI has closed and stage one proposals have been assessed. Short listed applicants have been provided three months to develop their stage two proposals.
Quotes, attributable to Simon Talbot, Chief Operation Officer, Parks Victoria:
“New 10-year commercial berthing licences will ensure the standard of offer along the Lower Yarra River continues to be world class and meets high standards in tourism, eco-credentials and product offer.”
“We’re thrilled to be extending relationships with key partners that will continue to add to the development of the Yarra River’s facilities and activities supporting Melbourne’s role as a leading world city.
“Investment in Yarra River infrastructure helps to make these experiences more accessible, getting more people out enjoying the river safely.”