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Yarra River Tours

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Yarra River
The Yarra River winds its way through Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) plus a number of suburbs. In the city, bars, restaurants, and parks thrive along its banks, bringing locals and tourists together. Numerous festivals and sporting events take place on the Yarra, including the famous Moomba Festival and rowing regattas.

The Basics
The Yarra River boasts a number of activities for visitors to enjoy. There are tours for every type of traveler ranging from sightseeing cruises to cabaret dinner cruises to an adventurous kayak tour along the river. See riverside landmarks such as Crown Casino, Federation Square, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne Cricket Ground, and the Ian Potter Centre.

For those who want to stay on land, walking and bike tours explore the banks of the Yarra River at a leisurely pace. Walk or peddle along the Southbank Promenade or the Main Yarra Trail for a closer look at Melbourne’s green spaces, bike paths, and numerous shops and restaurants that grace the banks.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Wear comfortable shoes to walk along the Yarra’s long esplanade.
  • The area’s weather can change at any moment, so bring layers and an umbrella to be prepared. 
  • The river offers some of the most picturesque views in the city, so come prepared with your camera.

How to Get There
Set in the center of Melbourne, the Yarra can’t be missed. In addition to sightseeing cruises, visitors can navigate the river with hop-on hop-off cruises that offer many stops in between Williamstown and Abbotsford. Some notable stops along the route include Southgate, Federation Square, and the Docklands, so you can see as much of Melbourne as possible.

When to Get There
Visitors can access the best of the Yarra River year-round, but there are a few special occasions that are worth a visit: the Dragon Boat Festival in June, Christmas and New Year’s Events, the Moomba Festival in March, and numerous sporting events throughout the year. 

The River of Culture
Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital and that means the Yarra is full of history. Check out some of the art museums along its banks, learn about Aboriginal culture and heritage on a river walk, discover thousands of plant species at the Royal Botanic Gardens, or stroll by some Australia’s most famous sporting venues.
Address: Australia
Admission: Free
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32 Tours and Activities to Experience Yarra River

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Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise

Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise

star-4
Spend an evening on the Yarra River during this Melbourne dinner cruise. As you admire the twinkling city lights reflecting on the water, enjoy a 4-course gourmet meal inclusive of beverages. This fine dining experience includes beer, wine, and spirits, as well as coffee, tea, dessert, port, and a cheese plate. Cruise past attractions like Federation Square and the Royal Botanic Gardens while soaking up the elegant and relaxing atmosphere of the boat.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$105.41
From
$105.41
Taking safety measures

River Gardens Melbourne Sightseeing Cruise

River Gardens Melbourne Sightseeing Cruise

star-3.5
Take in a bounty of Melbourne’s highlights along the scenic Yarra River on this narrated sightseeing cruise. Spend a delightful hour aboard a riverboat as you glide under the Princes Bridge and past beautiful river gardens, Herring Island, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and other top cultural attractions.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$19.63
From
$19.63
Taking safety measures

Highlights of Melbourne Cruise

Highlights of Melbourne Cruise

star-3.5
Discover Melbourne’s history and highlights on this guided Yarra River cruise. Float past the city’s towering skyscrapers and lovely urban gardens while learning about the transformation of this vibrant city from 19th-century port town to a modern cultural capital. Your sightseeing cruise takes you upriver and downriver for a scenic overview of attractions on both banks.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$28.35
From
$28.35
Taking safety measures

Yarra River Christmas Cruise

Yarra River Christmas Cruise

Stunning views and scenery with our Melbourne river cruise service. Fancy something a little different? How about a party on the Yarra River? Why not try one of our Christmas boat cruises around Melbourne? Impress your friends and colleagues with the best Yarra River cruise for a unique night out that they’ll never forget.
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  • 4 hours
From
$90.87
From
$90.87

2-Hour Self-Drive Boat Hire on the Yarra River

2-Hour Self-Drive Boat Hire on the Yarra River

star-5
Enjoy a private 2-hour cruise on the Yarra River with this self-drive boat rental in Melbourne. No license is required to drive this vessel, which has a fully enclosed cabin option if needed. Bring up to 10 friends and family members on board for a relaxing and scenic cruise. Create your own sightseeing tour by passing top attractions such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Southbank, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Federation Square and the Docklands. You can even disembark at Herring Island Park to walk around its outdoor sculpture park.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$217.37
per group
From
$217.37
per group

Luxury Private 90min Wine and Cheese Yarra River Cruise

Luxury Private 90min Wine and Cheese Yarra River Cruise

star-5
Get the ultimate luxury boating experience on this 90-minute private cruise on the Yarra River. With a dedicated skipper to navigate and provide engaging commentary on the sights, you'll depart from the Docklands and sail past Melbourne's riverside attractions. Take great photos from your vantage point on the water, sip a bottle of wine, and dig in to the provided cheese plate featuring local products. This private tour for just you and your party ensures personalized attention and plenty of chance to ask questions.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$319.87
per group
From
$319.87
per group

Private Yarra River Lunch Cruise

Private Yarra River Lunch Cruise

star-5
Indulge and enjoy a private lunch cruise on Melbourne's spectacular Yarra River for you and your partner. This is a private cruise for two only.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$439.18
per group
From
$439.18
per group

Melbourne City and Williamstown Ferry Cruise

Melbourne City and Williamstown Ferry Cruise

star-3.5
Cruise from Melbourne to the historic seaport city of Williamstown while soaking up the sights along the Yarra River. Spend as much time as you like in Williamstown, where you can browse art galleries, explore local seafaring history or enjoy a coffee or meal at one of the many charming cafés. Customize your cruise options and travel one-way in either direction or take a round-trip cruise for a delightful day trip.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$17.45
From
$17.45

Melbourne City River Trails

Melbourne City River Trails

Although Melbourne is situated on the shores of one of the largest bays on the Australian coast, the city's main water feature is the Yarra River. That's because the city grew from the banks of the Yarra and even today the focus for the city is still very much on a one-kilometre section of the river.. The Yarra River precinct is a wonderful place for tailor made, short interesting walks covering the arts, maritime history and fabulous gardens. This precinct is the hub of Melbourne's artistic and cultural scene, with generous examples of public art and exciting architecture. This precinct includes the significant green spaces of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Birrarung Marr as well as smaller parks, gardens, reserves and Southbank.
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  • 4 hours
From
$200.47
per group
From
$200.47
per group

Melbourne City River Trails

Melbourne City River Trails

Although Melbourne is situated on the shores of one of the largest bays on the Australian coast, the city's main water feature is the Yarra River. That's because the city grew from the banks of the Yarra and even today the focus for the city is still very much on a one-kilometre section of the river.. The Yarra River precinct is a wonderful place for tailor made, short interesting walks covering the arts, maritime history and fabulous gardens. This precinct is the hub of Melbourne's artistic and cultural scene, with generous examples of public art and exciting architecture. This precinct includes the significant green spaces of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Birrarung Marr as well as smaller parks, gardens, reserves and Southbank.
More
  • 4 hours
From
$200.47
per group
From
$200.47
per group

Central Melbourne Walking Tour

Central Melbourne Walking Tour

star-5
Get the inside scoop on Melbourne’s history and highlights on this entertaining walking tour. Learn about Melbourne’s early settlers and how the city transitioned from a 19th-century port town to Victoria’s modern capital. Your local guide leads you through central Melbourne’s iconic laneways and arcades and fills you in on landmarks like Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, and Hosier Lane.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$36.35
From
$36.35

Melbourne Balloon Flight at Sunrise

Melbourne Balloon Flight at Sunrise

star-5
Get an enchanting new perspective on Melbourne aboard a hot air balloon flight over the city at sunrise. Soar over modern skyscrapers, urban parks, famous sporting arenas, and the Yarra River as early morning light bathes the skyline in a rosy glow. After your unforgettable flight, toast the new day with an optional champagne breakfast.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$359.86
From
$359.86
Taking safety measures

Port of Melbourne and Docklands Sightseeing Cruise

Port of Melbourne and Docklands Sightseeing Cruise

star-3.5
Enjoy a new perspective of Melbourne’s port and Docklands area as you cruise down the Yarra River toward Hobson’s Bay. Learn about Melbourne’s history as a 19th-century port town while watching the sights go by on this narrated tour.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$19.63
From
$19.63
Taking safety measures

Melbourne New Year's Eve Party Cruise

Melbourne New Year's Eve Party Cruise

star-3
Celebrate the New Year in style with a Yarra River party Cruise! Dine on appetizers and a cocktail finger food dinner and enjoy free-flowing drinks throughout the night. An onboard DJ provides dance-worthy tunes to keep the party going as the clock ticks toward midnight and beyond. Raise a glass to new beginnings and enjoy a fantastic view of downtown Melbourne’s fireworks display from the river. Choose from two different cruises tailored to a certain age group for a fun and social scene.
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  • 4 hours
From
$174.48
From
$174.48

Melbourne Laneways, Arcades and City Morning Tour with Optional Yarra Cruise

Melbourne Laneways, Arcades and City Morning Tour with Optional Yarra Cruise

star-4
Spend a delightful morning exploring top Melbourne sights from aboard a comfortable coach. Learn about the city’s fascinating history from your informative driver and guide as you explore highlights such as Queen Victoria Market, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Parliament House, and Cook’s Cottage. To extend your sightseeing, upgrade for an optional cruise along the scenic Yarra River.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$42.89
From
$42.89
Taking safety measures

Melbourne Bike Tour with Coffee and Drinks Including Yarra River and Southbank

Melbourne Bike Tour with Coffee and Drinks Including Yarra River and Southbank

star-5
Discover the highlights of Melbourne on an informative bike tour that reveals the best of Victoria’s capital. Follow your experienced guide along bike paths and quiet streets to see landmarks including the Parliament and Treasury buildings, Old Melbourne Gaol, Federation Square, and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building. Learn about the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and cruise through Flagstaff Gardens, Southbank, and the Docklands. Pedal at a leisurely pace, stopping regularly for refreshments, including a complimentary drink, and photo ops.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.70
From
$64.70

Melbourne Complete Walking Tour

Melbourne Complete Walking Tour

star-5
Join our tour guides for a walk through Australia’s culture capital and learn what makes this city great and so much more. When you arrive, you'll explore Melbourne with a local who can share the history of the city as well as point out things to do after your walking tour is done. Walks 101 tour guides want to show you the real Melbourne – the city we know and love. Your tour will stop for a coffee and conclude near the Old Melbourne Gaol, where you learn about Australia’s most infamous bush ranger. After your tour is finished, your guide will brings the group to a classic Australian pub where you can experience traditional Aussie food.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$50.16
From
$50.16

2-Hour Boat Rental in Melbourne

2-Hour Boat Rental in Melbourne

star-5
Hire your own electric boat and cruise down the Yarra River to get a different view of Melbourne. Each boat can fit up to nine passengers, so grab your friends, family, and even your dog for a relaxing session on the river. Sail through the Docklands, past Flinders Street and the Crown, and much more over the course of your excursion.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$181.02
per group
From
$181.02
per group
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Melbourne City Discovery

Private Tour: Melbourne City Discovery

star-5
Explore vibrant, multi-cultural Melbourne with a private guide and an itinerary customised to suit your interests. Admire architectural landmarks like the Town Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and Parliament House; learn about the city’s fascinating colonial history; or stroll around the idyllic botanical gardens. Alternatively, visit beachside St Kilda, browse the shops of the Block Arcade or Chapel Street, or discover ‘Little Italy’ in the Carlton district. This 4-hour tour includes hotel pick-up and morning tea.
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  • 4 hours
From
$193.38
Price varies by group size
From
$193.38
Price varies by group size

1.5-Hour Boat Rental in Melbourne

1.5-Hour Boat Rental in Melbourne

star-5
Price is per boat, fits up to 9 people. You don't need to have a boat licence or be an old salty to skipper yourself and explore Melbourne's spectacular Yarra River in our easy-to-operate electric boats. Get your crew of up to 9 people and see Melbourne from amazing new perspective. • No boat licence required  • Up to 9 people • Bring your own snacks & drinks • Suitable for all ages • Dog friendly!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$151.94
per group
From
$151.94
per group
Taking safety measures

Melbourne Sports Experience + Free MCG Tour

Melbourne Sports Experience + Free MCG Tour

star-5
Starting from the heart of the city we walk along the Yarra River into Melbourne's world famous sporting precinct exploring over 150 years of sports history ranging from the Olympics, cricket, Australian football, rugby, tennis through to horseracing, F1, surfing and golf. We finish with a guided tour inside the MCG, visiting behind the scenes locations such as the players change rooms, the famous Long Room and the media centre.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$76.77
From
$76.77
Taking safety measures

Melbourne Sunset Kayaking Experience with Dinner

Melbourne Sunset Kayaking Experience with Dinner

star-5
Experience Melbourne at sunset from the water on a 2.5-hour kayak tour on the Yarra River. Your guide takes you around Victoria Harbour and along Southbank where you pause to see the fire-ball display at Crown Casino. Enjoy an on-the-water dinner of fish and chips, then see downtown Melbourne before your tour ends next to Princess Bridge. Includes guide, use of equipment, light dinner, and kayak tour.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$71.97
From
$71.97

Private Romantic Melbourne Dinner Cruise for 2

Private Romantic Melbourne Dinner Cruise for 2

Indulge and enjoy a private dinner cruise on Melbourne's spectacular Yarra River for you and your partner.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$439.18
per group
From
$439.18
per group

A Full Day In Melbourne With A Local: Private & Personalized

A Full Day In Melbourne With A Local: Private & Personalized

star-4
Kickstart your time in Melbourne with a personalized sightseeing experience that allows you to customize your itinerary according to your interests. Rather than following a set schedule, you’ll work alongside your guide to create an itinerary that features only the sights that interest you. Plus, your guide provides tailored recommendations to last your entire trip.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$169.75
Price varies by group size
From
$169.75
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Yarra River?