Known by the Bunurong and Wurundjeri people as the Birrarung, ‘river of mists’, Melbourne's waterfront is a vibrant mix of hospitality, arts and recreation.
From gold rush boom buildings to Gothic gargoyles and modernist art hubs, this walk will take you on a tour of the best of Melbourne's Yarra River attractions.
This walk is approximately 2km and takes around 1 hour.
Inspired by the character from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, 'Ophelia' (1992) is a cousin to Halpern’s two-headed 'Angel', now at Birrarung Marr.
2. Southgate Precinct
Enjoy three levels of restaurants and boutique shopping alongside the Yarra River.
There’s a range of eateries, bars and cafes to discover. The licensed riverside food court suits every taste and budget and offers casual dining with spectacular views.Discover more about Southgate Precinct
3. Evan Walker Bridge
Evan Walker Bridge is named after Professor Walker, Melbourne’s former planning minister and architect, who drove the transformation of the Southbank precinct.
4. Ponyfish Island
On Evan Walker Bridge, keep your eyes peeled for a hidden stairway down to this bar and restaurant.
This tiny floating bar offers fresh Asian-inspired dishes and fantastic views over Melbourne's Yarra River.Discover more about Ponyfish Island
5. Arbory Bar and Eatery
Enjoy uninterrupted river frontage at this hotspot bar and eatery next to Flinders Street Station.
Running alongside Flinders Street Station is outdoor bar and restaurant Arbory. It spans the length of the station, with uninterrupted river frontage.
Sister venue Arbory Afloat, open during the warmer months, is Melbourne’s largest outdoor floating cocktail bar.Discover more about Arbory Bar and Eatery
6. Sandridge Bridge
The ten 'Travellers' sculptures across the bridge represent the meeting of cultures in Melbourne over generations.
7. Banana Alley Vaults
Dating back to 1891-92, the Banana Alley Vaults earned their enduring moniker from these early decades as a warehouse for wholesale fruit and produce.
8. The Falls
Underneath Queen’s Bridge there was once a basalt ridge, creating cascading falls that separated the freshwater river from the saltwater bay.
The Falls were a crossing point near an Eastern Kulin meeting place, now known as Enterprize Park. ‘Yarra River’ derives from a local Aboriginal word used to describe the Falls, Yarro Yarro meaning ‘it flows’.
9. Enterprize Park
This park is named after the ship Enterprize, which moored near here in 1835.
Enterprize Wharf, and the adjacent Enterprize Park, are named after the ship Enterprize.
Led by John Pascoe Fawkner, his syndicate of Van Diemen’s Land sheep farmers first moored near here in 1835.Discover more about Enterprize Park
'Constellation' (1996) is an artwork of five stainless-steel, copper and Cyprus-pine figureheads on Enterprize Wharf.
The forms reference the history of figurehead carving and suggest maritime sails and instruments.
11. Scar – A Stolen Vision
'Scar – A Stolen Vision' (2001) is a collaborative artwork by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
Made from wharf poles recycled from Queens Bridge, the sculptures evoke the Aboriginal cultural tradition of scarred or culturally modified trees.
Each carved pole represents an aspect of Aboriginal life, history or mythology and, like the trees they came from, are a testament of endurance.
12. Yarra Turning Basin
During the gold rush, the shipping trade grew quickly, making Melbourne an increasingly busy port. Ships unloaded at Customs House and could then turn around here.
13. Immigration Museum
Formerly Customs House, this museum is the place to explore Australia’s migrant history.
14. SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
Inside the aquarium you'll find a myriad of close up encounters with underwater creatures.
15. Batman Park
Shady eucalypts adorn this park, established in 1982 and named after Melbourne pioneer John Batman.
More to explore
Jump on Yarra River Cruises from Federation Wharf for a guided tour of Melbourne’s waterways or head for Melbourne City Marina in Docklands for harbour views.
On a Boat
You’ve walked along the Yarra, now try sailing up it in an easy to use (and quiet) electric hire boat.
South Wharf Promenade
Library at The Dock
Pull up a deckchair and take in the unique views of Melbourne's riverfront.
Download this walk
Download the Yarra River discovery walk (PDF 522KB)
Walks and itineraries
These self-guided walks and itineraries will help you discover Melbourne's best sights.
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