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Melbourne’s Top 5 Riverside Walking Tracks Around the Yarra

Melbourne City Yarra River Sunset

Melbourne, what’s better than a walk along the Yarra River?

Melbourne’s Yarra River is home to a plethora of breathtaking walking tracks and trails, each one exhibiting its own natural beauty.  

The iconic waterway holds strong spiritual and cultural significance to Aboriginal communities. To the Wurundjeri people, the Yarra River was originally named birrarung, meaning a ‘river of mists and shadows’ and was an important meeting place and fishing ground. 

Today, we continue to enjoy the Yarra River’s tranquil scenery and surrounding flora and fauna. And to do so, here are the five best scenic tracks and trails along Melbourne’s Yarra River – perfect for a casual stroll, bike ride, or your next picnic.

<strong>Main Yarra Trail</strong>
Photographed by Roberto Seba. Image via Visit Victoria.

Main Yarra Trail

The Main Yarra Trail is the quintessential Melbourne walking track – it’s your best friend if you’re wanting to get a good sense of Melbourne’s north-eastern suburbs. The trail spans 33-kilometres in total and includes a shared path for cyclists, joggers and dog walkers alike. The best way to tackle Melbourne’s Main Yarra Trail in its entirety is by cycling. Start from Westerfolds Park in Templestowe and follow the path along the river. You can take a lunch break at the charming Collingwood Children’s Farm or Abbotsford Convent and continue on until you reach Southbank.

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Melbourne, VIC
<strong>Capital City Trail</strong>
Photographed by Josie Withers. Image via Visit Victoria.

Capital City Trail

The Capital City Trail is another treasured Melbourne activity any Victorian must complete once in their lifetime. This scenic trail – 29-kilometres in length – will take you past some of the cities’ most important cultural and entertainment hubs. A common starting point is from Princes Bridge near Flinders Street Station. Follow the path east towards Docklands for a leisurely bike ride. This track winds along the banks of the Yarra River, passing Melbourne icons such as the Victorian Arts Centre, Royal Botanic Gardens, and of course the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Better yet, if you head west from Princes Bridge, you can then connect straight on to the Main Yarra Trail.

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St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3000
<strong>Dights Falls Loop Trail</strong>
Image supplied.

Dights Falls Loop Trail

We don’t blame you if you fall in love with this trail, just like we did. This easy, near five-kilometre walk starts from Kanes Bridge near Studley Park Boathouse and follows the Yarra River until you reach the spectacular Dights Falls Lookout. An alternative, yet equally scenic route starts from Trenerry Crescent, connecting onto the Main Yarra Trail. This route takes you past an impressive mural that pays respect to traditional Wurundjeri stories that was painted in collaboration with the local Indigenous people and Melbourne-based artist Tom Civil.

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112A Trenerry Cres, Abbotsford VIC 3067
<strong>Merri Creek Trail</strong>
Photographed by Adam Calaitzis. Image via Shutterstock.

Merri Creek Trail

After exploring the Dights Falls, check out the natural offerings of Merri Creek Trail. This trail spans 21-kilometres and boasts both spectacular views of the CBD as well as native bushland that immerses you in the best that Melbourne’s nature has to offer. We recommend starting at Dights falls and following the path towards Merri Creek. Take a quick pit stop at Ramsden Street Reserve for an awe-inspiring view of the Melbourne CBD skyline. Alternatively, follow the Main Yarra Trail to arrive at Snakes Lookout, an elevated view of the Merri creek with a backdrop of the city.

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112A Trenerry Cres, Abbotsford VIC 3067
<strong>Yarra Bend Park Walk</strong>
Photographed by Alanna W. Image via Shutterstock.

Yarra Bend Park Walk

The Bushland Circuit Trail is just one of the many walks around Yarra Bend Park. This quick and easy trail just 950-metres in length is perfect for a laid back stroll for when you’re wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This scenic trail starts left of Kanes Bridge in Kew, Victoria and is abundant with native bushland and wildlife. While you’re there, visit the historic Studley Park Boathouse for an ice-cream or set up camp for the perfect picnic lunch in the sun.

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Yarra Bend Rd, Fairfield VIC 3078

Can’t get enough of mother nature? Indulge the senses with the 10 Best Lavender Farms to Visit around Australia or salivate thinking about the Best Fruit Picking Farms around Australia.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land mentioned in our article, the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation, and we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Feature image: Photographed by Rob Blackburn. Image via Visit Victoria.