Melbourne’s Yarra River is a popular bike riding route for both locals and tourists both for it’s bike-ability and bush scenery. Head up the river for 10km and you’ll feel like you’re not even in the city anymore. As you wind your way up through Melbourne’s east, you’ll discover some hidden gems including multi-arts precinct, the Abbotsford Convent, Dights Falls and Studley Park Boathouse. This route covers 22km one way going as far as Fairfield Boathouse, however depending on your confidence on the streets, you could take more direct route coming back to the city that would only be around 8-9km.
The Yarra River is the most prominent river in Melbourne. From it’s source in the Yarra Ranges, the river runs west, snaking it’s way around Melbourne’s north eastern and cutting it’s way through the city center to it’s mouth at Port Philip Bay. The bike trail that runs along the river is a popular bike commute for many Melbournians. Sea and smell the Eucalypt trees as you head up the river and get a taste of the Aussie bush without leaving the city.
With it’s prime position on the Yarra River, the convent is an easy stop and must-do when completing the Capital City Trail. The convent is an ex-monastic site home to over 100 studios, two galleries, cafes, a radio station, a school, and an abundance of green open space. Next to the convent is the Collingwood Children’s Farm, featuring cow milking and guinea pig cuddling, it’s a great place for families.
At the next bend on from the convent is Dights Falls, an artificial weir built on a natural rock bar across the Yarra. The weir was built in the 1940’s to provide water for a flour mill. Prior to European settlement, the area was also very important for the indigenous people who used it as a river crossing and a place to trap migrating fish.
Studley Park Boathouse
The oldest public boathouse on the Yarra houses a restaurant and cafe and is the perfect place to stop and for a leisurely lunch on your way up the river trail. You can also hire out paddle boats and kayaks if you’re feeling like taking your active day to the next level.