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 in the area
Bushwalking, four-wheel driving, horse riding, kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking are just some of the many activities you can experience in Victoria's parks.
If you want to try something new or meet some like-minded people on your next visit to a park, contact a licensed tour operator.
Parks Victoria licenses tour operators who are experts in these activities and more. They will help you get the most out of your visit.
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.
Notices Affecting Multiple Parks
Notice to river users - river closures, works, and eventsAs Waterway Manager under the Marine Safety Act 2010 Parks Victoria wishes to advise these waterway closures and activities (PDF) on the Yarra River, Maribyrnong River and Victoria Harbour.
Attachments: notice-to-river-users-29-04-2021 (263KB)