25 Nov 2018
What a way to hit the water! If you like an adrenaline rush or are simply keen to try something new, kite surfing could be for you. Both Go Kite and Kite Republic on St Kilda Beach can get you set up with everything you need for an exhilarating experience on the water. Everyone from beginners to enthusiasts are catered for, with equipment, lessons and guidance to get you in, on and above the water.
See Melbourne from the Yarra River as you glide across the water with Sea Kayak Australia. This is a unique way to combine a summer experience with a little sightseeing from a different perspective. After an instructional briefing, the tour takes off along the Yarra at a leisurely pace. You'll hear Melbourne's vibrant music and sounds, whilst watching waterbirds and the taking in the sunset.
If you’d rather let someone else do the paddling, head for Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria – Melbourne Gardens, where you’ll find Punting on the Lake. Take your seat aboard the elegant wooden punt, sit back, relax and enjoy the passing scenery around the ornamental lake, home to waterbirds and other wildlife, which your guide can tell you about. It’s beautiful during the day, and even more spectacular at sunset. If romance is on your mind, evening punting tours are possible by prior arrangement.
You don’t need to leave the CBD to enjoy the water. Since 1860, the Melbourne City Baths has provided shade seekers with reprieve from the summer sun. The building itself is one of the most recognised in Melbourne’s cityscape, with the redesigned structure dating back to 1904. This is the place to enjoy a swim in the largest pool in Melbourne’s CBD, in an historic building full of character.
Guests of Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands can enjoy a luxury experience high above the city. The seventh level of the hotel is home to a 25-metre heated outdoor lap pool, and it’s an impressive vantage point from where to take in sweeping views of the bay below. Appointed with stylish outdoor furniture, the poolside area is a great place to relax with a beverage and contemplate the Melbourne vistas that surround you.
Pool or beach? Decisions, decisions…Why not both? Located right on St Kilda Beach, the St Kilda Sea Baths is the ultimate location to enjoy the best of both worlds. The 25-metre seawater pool allows you to enjoy the pleasure of swimming in the ocean without the discomfort of sand depositing itself in undesirable places! The pool draws water direct from the ocean, which is then heated to a temperature perfect for relaxing. As you swim indoors, you can take in ocean views framed by enormous windows. Of course, with the sea so temptingly close, you can always head on out if you fancy a dip in the waves.
A day on the water in Melbourne comes with the excitement of a boat cruise, when you take the one-hour ferry ride across the bay to Williamstown. Williamstown Ferries goes through Southbank, Docklands and Port of Melbourne, and under the Westgate Bridge, to the historic seaport surrounded by water on three sides. Take your time discovering Williamstown’s cafes, boutiques and restaurants, or simply stay on board for the return trip to the city.
Cruising the Yarra River not only gives you great access to the river as it snakes in and out of the city, but also offers one of the best vantage points from where to view the Melbourne skyline. Melbourne River Cruises offers a range of different options to experience the contrasting scenery of the ports and Docklands, riverside gardens and Melbourne’s world-class sports stadiums. During the summer months, the Twilight River Cruise offers views with the changing colours of the dusk sky.
Fancy an exclusive boat trip for your family or with that someone special? When you hire a Melbourne Water Taxi, you’ll get just that, your own personal taxi service, on the water. If you’re heading to the MCG for the cricket or Docklands for a spot of shopping, arrive in style. The taxis have both indoor and outdoor spaces so you can get the best views and the best pictures. It’s a little bit of luxury and an indulgent way to see the city from the water.
Wander along the river for a quintessentially Melbourne walk. Behind Federation Square, Birrarung Marr hugs the banks of the Yarra. The name means ‘river of mists’ and ‘river bank’ in the Wurundjeri language. On weekdays you’ll see suited types slowing their pace to enjoy lunch by the river, while on weekends families stroll along the banks between the MCG and the CBD. Walking through Birrarung Mar is an easy and accessible river walk that lets you enjoy the serenity of the river with the backdrop of the city. Don’t miss Federation Bells, a public art installation of 39 bronze bells that plays various tunes during the day.
Walking along the Yarra isn’t just about the best city views. At Southbank, it’s also about dining, shopping and the arts. Take in picture-perfect river views as you enjoy a meal from the many cafes and restaurants, like La Camera, with its authentic Italian cuisine. Stop at Southgate shopping centre for a retail experience that covers everything from boutique stores to everyday needs, or take in a show at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Hamer Hall.
If you love being, on, near or around the water, you can do it all at Yarra Bend Park. Canoeing, boating, riverbank walking, waterfall viewing, river view dining are all on offer. It’s all waiting for you just outside the city. Yarra Bend Park is the largest area of natural bushland close to Melbourne’s CBD. Inside the park, Studley Park Boathouse overlooks the Yarra River, offering boat and canoe hire and picturesque river views from its cafe. The park is also home to the diminutive Dight Falls, a small waterfall that spans the Yarra River near Trennery Crescent in Abbottsford.