The Yarra River is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape that includes traditional Country of the Wurundjeri People. Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country.
The Yarra River’s journey begins on the southern slopes of the Great Dividing Range and twists through the forested valleys of the Yarra Ranges and its quaint regional towns before concluding its journey on the muddy flats of Port Phillip Bay.
Elemental to Melbourne’s identity, the Yarra River is one of Victoria’s iconic waterways. It has spiritual and cultural significance for Aboriginal communities. To the Wurundjeri people the river, known as Birrarung, was the life source and an important meeting place. And, to many locals, where happy memories of personal pilgrimages, peaceful summer evenings, and days exploring were made.
Board one of the river cruises from Southbank to explore the lower reaches of the Yarra, follow the Capital City Trail on foot or bike, canoe or kayak all or part of its 240-kilometre expanse, or set up for a scenic sunset barbecue or picnic on the banks of the river.
Join in on the rich events calendar – from the famous Moomba Festival to regattas and rowing races, the Dragon Boat Festival and an endless array of community events. The Yarra has something for everyone!
As rivers, lakes and reservoirs are natural environments, you may encounter hazards. Follow our water safety advice to make sure your day out at Yarra River is a safe and enjoyable one.
Things to do in the area
Canoeists and kayakers can enjoy under-the-radar spots along short river trips such as Jumping Creek to Warrandyte and Sweeneys lane to Westerfolds.
Tours and adventure experiences in parks
One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.
There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.
Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more.
Licensed Tour Operators know the all best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.
How to get there
Need to know
Change of Conditions
Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.
Banana Alley Wharf- closed to all berthingFrom 26 April 2022, Banana Alley timber wharf will be closed to ALL berthing. Essential commercial pick up/drop off will no longer be permitted. The timber wharf will be closed to all berthing ongoing. The wharf is undergoing construction activities and pedestrian access is restricted to authorised personnel only. Once works are completed, pedestrian access will be given to the landing.Further updates and changes to conditions will be provided as needed.
Lower Yarra River Maintenance Dredging - CBD and Docklands - March to October 2022Maintenance dredging is conducted in the Lower Yarra River as part a dedicated four-year dredging program to ensure safe boating access. The third phase of the program is currently being undertaken and targets sites in the CBD and Docklands area. The campaign is scheduled to be completed end of October 2022.See attached River User Update for more information and the current Notice to River Users for detailed information on safe navigation and exclusion zones related to the works.
Attachments: Edition 4_River User Update Yarra Maintenance Dredging Program_ June 2022 (892KB)
Restricted access Victorian Rowing Association (VRA) Landing due to dredgingDredging will take place at the VRA Landing and the areas immediately upstream and downstream of the landing in June -August 2022. The dredging will improve safe access and navigability. During the works, sections of the VRA Landing will be closed and an exclusion zone will be active on the river.Please see attached document for further information on how access to the VRA landing will be restricted.
Attachments: InfoSheet_VRA_Maintenance Dredging Works_June 2022 (710KB)
Notices Affecting Multiple Sites
Herring Island Southern Landing - closedHerring Island Southern landing is closed to berthing and pedestrian access for repair works.
Shallow waters - Herring Island Environmental Sculpture ParkThe Herring Island meander on the Yarra River has reduced water depth as a result of built up sediments. Please ensure that you navigate this area with caution as certain sections have encroached into the main section of the river (near Como and Wesley Rowing landing).Further updates and changes to conditions will be provided as needed.