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Yarra River

Yarra River: Our most recommended tours and activities

Melbourne: 2-Hour City Highlights River Cruise

1. Melbourne: 2-Hour City Highlights River Cruise

Climb aboard a pleasure boat with a sundeck for a cruise along the Yarra River in Melbourne for a narrated tour. Glide past landmarks including the Polly Woodside, West Gate Bridge, Southgate, Princes Bridge, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Olympic Park, Herring Island, Botanic Gardens, and more. Cruise past beautiful buildings, skyscrapers, bars, and parks. Catch some sun on the sundeck or enjoy the views from the inside cabin. Enjoy a round-trip journey that allows you to really enhance your knowledge of what is known as one of the "most livable cities in the world." Travel both down river and up river to see highlights such as the Docklands Crown Entertainment Complex, West Gate Bridge, a 19th-century sailing ship, the Polly Woodside, Southgate Arts and Leisure Precinct, and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center. Admire up river landmarks, such as Princes Bridge, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Government House, Olympic Park, Herring Island, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Arts Centre Melbourne, and National Tennis Center where the Australian Open is played.

Melbourne: 2-Hour Bottomless Brunch Cruise

2. Melbourne: 2-Hour Bottomless Brunch Cruise

Enjoy this 2-hour cruise along the Yarra River and pamper yourself with indulgent brunch options that will be sure to cater to your appetite. The drinks selection has as much personality as the food selection. Indulge in a bottomless selection of premium beer, wine, and Prosecco mimosas throughout your brunch float. Surround yourself with the majestic views of Melbourne’s cityscape views on the renowned Yarra River. Depart from Southgate on the Spirit of Melbourne, a vessel that offers encompassing glass viewing areas as you dine away and pass Melbourne’s parks, gardens and sport’s stadiums and more. A sophisticated way to enjoy a brunch experience and relax before you go on about the rest of your day.

Melbourne: City and Williamstown Ferry Cruise

3. Melbourne: City and Williamstown Ferry Cruise

Embark on a sightseeing cruise along Port Philip Bay to Williamstown. Take in the views of the Melbourne skyline and enjoy insightful audio commentary on board as you sail down the Yarra River. Admire the skyline of Melbourne from a different perspective as you listen to the informative audio commentary. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city center and soak up the sun on the sun deck. Upon arrival in Williamstown, get the choice to take a break in Williamsport and visit the historic seaport, or stay on board and return to Melbourne. Linger in one of the cafés or galleries of Williamstown, known for its heritage buildings such as Customs House. If you choose to take the round-trip option, then just sit back and relax on one of the finest bay cruises on the return journey to Southbank.  

Melbourne: 1-Hour Gardens and Sporting Precinct River Cruise

4. Melbourne: 1-Hour Gardens and Sporting Precinct River Cruise

Discover Melbourne’s highlights while cruising along the breathtaking Yarra River. Cruise through downtown Melbourne on this sightseeing tour and listen to the on board commentary that will point out passing attractions and provide interesting tidbits of Melbourne’s history. Enjoy an hour aboard the riverboat as you cruise under the Princes Bridge and past top cultural attractions. Marvel at the magnificent riverbank gardens from the outside sun deck or through the panoramic windows from the inside cabin. On this tour you will also see Herring Island, Princes Bridge, the governor's residence, the Victorian Arts Center, Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Olympic Park, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the National Tennis Center. Enjoy complimentary coffee and tea while relaxing and taking in the beautiful city sites. 

Melbourne: Electric Picnic Boat Rental on the Yarra River

5. Melbourne: Electric Picnic Boat Rental on the Yarra River

Rent an electric boat in Melbourne and captain your own private cruise along the Yarra River. Discover the city from the river and set your own pace as you explore the river. Cruise along Melbourne's iconic Yarra River, the heart of the city. Follow the famous waterway, choosing your own route and schedule for maximum flexibility. Bring along an esky (cooler) of cold drinks or a picnic basket. Pirate hats and eye patches are always welcome. The Danish-designed picnic boats are constructed from fiberglass which uses recycled PET bottles instead of virgin glass and is powered by a state-of-the-art electric motor direct from Germany. These unique boats are electric, meaning you tread lightly on the environment. GoBoat contributes to improving the local waterways by regularly patrolling and collecting rubbish from the area.

Melbourne: Sunset Kayak Tour with Dinner

6. Melbourne: Sunset Kayak Tour with Dinner

Experience the sights of Melbourne from a unique water level perspective. Melbourne’s Yarra River is an excellent location for new paddlers to experience kayaking for the first time, or for experienced kayakers to enjoy a stunning paddle through the scenic waterways. No kayaking experience is needed to enjoy the tour, as patient guides will be with you every step of the way. Make use of a fleet of fibreglass sea kayaks, which are extremely stable and easy to operate. The tour meets just before sunset in Victoria Harbor, part of the modern Docklands precinct in the west end of the city. After a short safety briefing and paddling technique session on dry land, set off for an exploration of the sights in Victoria Harbor before tying up to a dock in a beautiful marina. Stay seated in your boats to be served fish and chips for a very special on-the-water dining experience.  After your meal continue your tour upstream, under the Bolte Bridge and through to Melbourne’s lively downtown. Kayaking past the Crown Casino and alongside stylish Southbank, continue past Flinders Street Railway Station and beneath historic Princes Bridge before arriving at the approach to Melbourne’s sporting precinct. Enjoy the sights and sounds from your unique vantage point as the sun goes down and the city comes to life. Your tour ends at the boat landing area at the Rowing Sheds, right in the heart of Melbourne, and directly across the river from Federation Square.

Spirit of Melbourne 4-Course Cruise with Drinks

7. Spirit of Melbourne 4-Course Cruise with Drinks

Board your fully enclosed boat at Southbank Promenade to start your dinner cruise along the Yarra River. While aboard the floating restaurant, take in views of the lit-up city skyline, and pass by waterfront sights such as Federation Square, Flinders Station, Rod Laver Arena, Riverside Park, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Relax with a beer, liquor, or red, white or sparkling wine, and enjoy the romantic atmosphere on the boat. Your dinner is prepared by talented chefs and served by attentive staff. It will also be paired with premium Australian wines. After a tasting platter, main course, dessert platter, and cheese platter, your luxurious meal culminates with a coffee or tea and a glass of port or liqueur. You’ll be full and relaxed by the time you return to the Southbank Promenade to end your cruise.  Sample menu (subject to change): Entrée Tasting Platter - comes with ALL 3 ITEMS listed • Lamb Kofta served with minted yoghurt (GF) • Peking Duck on a bed of garden salad (GF) • Seafood cocktail dressed in a creamy seafood sauce (GF) Main Course (1 choice per guest) •  Chargrilled chicken breast with a porcini mushroom cream sauce, served with potato and seasonal vegetables (GF) •  Baked barramundi fillet, cooked with ginger and lime, dressed in a curried coconut veloute  •  Chargrilled beef eye fillet cooked “medium” with a port wine jus, served with potato and seasonal vegetables (GF) •  Portuguese lamb shank served on mashed potatoes with a confit of vegetables (GF) Vegetarian Option — Entrée • Ratatouille filo parcel, served with goat cheese and salad (V) Vegetarian Option — Main Course • Whole baby pumpkin filled with a stir fry of seasonal vegetables and quinoa, topped with melted cheese (V) (GF) OR Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Lasagna with a bechamel sauce served with potato gratin & seasoned vegetables (V) Dessert Platter • Selection of mini desserts Cheese Tasting Platter • Australian cheeses, dried fruit, and nuts served with crackers Tea, Coffee & Chocolate • Port or liqueur (available upon request during tea & coffee service) Beverages • Premium selection of red, white & sparkling wines • Selection of beers & a range of spirits • Soft drinks & orange juice We operate under strict RSA laws when serving alcohol. NOTE: Main course menu selections are to be provided at the time of booking.

Port of Melbourne & Docklands Cruise with Coffee & Tea

8. Port of Melbourne & Docklands Cruise with Coffee & Tea

The history of Melbourne centers on its strategic location where the Yarra River empties into Port Phillip Bay. Learn about Melbourne’s early settlement and its evolution from a 19th-century boomtown to the largest port in the Southern Hemisphere on this leisurely, 1-hour river cruise. Relax as you cruise downriver past ultramodern skyscrapers and the active Docklands area, taking in the sights from an outside sundeck or through panoramic windows inside the cabin. During this cruise, you'll get stunning views of Melbourne city center, as well as float past some amazing points of interest, like the Southgate Arts and Leisure Precinct, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the 19th century sailing ship "Polly Woodside", the World Congress and Trade center, and more - don't forget to bring your cameras!

Melbourne: Iconic City Sights Kayak Experience

9. Melbourne: Iconic City Sights Kayak Experience

After a quick briefing and paddling lesson, begin this Melbourne kayak tour by heading downriver under the Princes Bridge and into the heart of Melbourne. Continue to glide along the Yarra, past Flinders Station and up to the legendary Polly Woodside Tallship, before entering the Docklands precinct and the beautiful Yarra's Edge Marina. Have a little break, where you can rest whilst your guide fills you in on some local stories. Next, journey onwards on this Melbourne tour back upstream past Crown Casino and the lively South Bank district. Along the way, soak up the views and discover the tales behind these famous Melbourne landmarks. The tour will finish up back at Boathouse Drive. No paddling experience is necessary for kayaking in Melbourne, as the waters are very gentle. Experienced guides will be with you every step of the way, and there to help if you have any concerns.  With a fleet of extremely stable sea kayaks, the experience will be even easier for first-time paddlers.

Yarra Valley: Hot Air Balloon Flight & Champagne Breakfast

10. Yarra Valley: Hot Air Balloon Flight & Champagne Breakfast

Experience the thrill of ascending over a changing landscape at sunrise, suspended in a basket, floating under a spectacular hot air balloon. The cold air hits your cheeks, clouds floating past, the hot flames above warm you up under the morning sky… as you take flight… up, up, and float away. Join a spectacular hot air balloon experience with a bird's eye view of the picturesque Yarra Valley (located an hour’s drive from Melbourne) – Victoria’s renowned wine region. Operating 364 days of the year (weather permitting) this once-in-a-lifetime tour experience provides an entirely different perspective of the Yarra Valley, beyond the typical tourist itinerary. Take off on a beautiful hot air balloon flight over the Yarra Valley at sunrise. The Yarra Valley is home to 90 vineyards and 35 wineries, many of which hold a reputation for creating world-class wines. See it from an entirely new perspective as you breeze over the picture postcard landscape. Meet your pilot approximately one hour before sunrise (you will be advised of the exact time and location when you phone the duty pilot the night before your flight). Your pilot will give you a short briefing before being transported to the launch site where you may help with the launch or stand back and take photos of the balloon as it is inflated. Then, climb aboard, and away you go gently floating over the Yarra Valley as if you were a cloud. It is truly one of the most magnificently tranquil, picturesque, and dream-like experiences you can do. Afterward, make a final landing, pack the balloon away, and have a champagne breakfast.

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What people are saying about Yarra River

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 1,152 reviews

Matt was an amazing tour leader and was full of fun facts about Melbourne in addition to the history of the city. He was very safety conscious and kept track of our group. Lunch spot was fun and everyone enjoyed it. Made just the right amount of stops and each one was very interesting! We loved it!

Absolutely the highlight of my trip to Melbourne! I loved the perspective from the river. The guides were the perfect combination of interesting, competent, relaxed and passionate. Highly recommend!

the servers were lovely, and were very generous with the amount of drinks served. the food was very filling with a wonderful variety, and the scenery of the cruise itself was wonderful.

Guides, food and views were unreal! Would do again over and over if it wasn’t so expensive. Top notch

Loved everything! Food and service is fantastic! Boat and cruise was awesome!