Walks 101's

Boating Picnic Eco Tour

Get a guided tour of the markets as you shop for a picnic aboard a boat in the Royal Botanic Gardens!

5/5 Stars Based on 58+ Reviews

Departs Daily
Start Time: 11am
Starting Point: See Below
Languages: English

Half of the proceeds from this tour go to the Port Phillip Eco Centre

Quick Look

  • Tour the markets and meet farmers using sustainable growing methods to develop their products
  • Hop aboard a small, human-powered boat to get up close and personal with the animals
  • Conduct citizen science experiments to assess the current health of the eco system
  • Contribute to keeping the river clean — a portion of proceeds go to the Port Phillip Eco Centre, who help keep the Yarra clean
  • Sample locally-sourced foods fresh from the Queen Victoria Markets
  • Find nests, dugouts and signs of wildlife in the heart of the city

Boating Picnic Eco Tour Tour Overview

Spot local wildlife and learn how their survival is challenged by the ever-changing urban landscape. Conduct tests to diagnose the health of our ecosystem. Finish your tour on a serene human-powered boat ride in the Royal Botanic Gardens as you get up close and personal to birds, ducks, plants in an old billabong from the Yarra River.

Melbourne Eco Adventure Tour Full Description

After meeting your guide (look for the blue umbrella!) and group at the Gordon Reserve, get together for an introduction and begin to take a journey through millions of years of history.

Start by hopping on one of Melbourne’s iconic trams toward toward the Queen Victoria Markets, where your guide will take you on a guided shopping trip. Once we’re stocked up, we’ll make our way to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

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Along the way, we’ll make your way down to the beautiful Yarra River. While marvelling at the beautiful view, you’ll check out the Yarra RiverKeeper systems in place to clean the river and how they work.

After crossing over the Yarra, you’ll make your way right down to the waterline. Your guide will show you how to use a special turbidity tube, which you will then use to test the water.

Next, you’ll take a 15 minute walk through the gardens, stopping by the Fern Gully before arriving at the Ornamental Lake.

You’ll greet your boating crew who will give a brief safety talk, then off you go! Spend 30 minutes getting up close and personal with Aussie flora and fauna, all while eating fresh from the markets.

Your tour will finish when you return to shore, where you can spend as long as you like exploring the 150 acres in of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

First we will see some sculptures reminiscent of the ‘megafauna’ animals that were present on this land millions of years ago – when Australia and Asia were connected.

Understand how animals have evolved separately here, then make your way to the Treasury Gardens to see what they are like currently. Take a closer look at the role of certain species of trees in the urban environment, and how the government plays a role in maintaining biodiversity.

Highlights

Test Yarra River Water + Learn How it is Kept Clean

Meet stall-owners at the Queen Victoria Markets

Learn About the Botanic Garden Ecosystems from a Punt Boat Ride

What To Bring on Your Boating Picnic Eco Tour

  • Warm/Weather Appropriate Clothing: Melbourne is the city of four seasons in one day, after all, so it’s important at all times of year to have a jacket if it suddenly falls cold (which is almost a guarantee for 3pm tours outside of summer!). In any case, make sure to check the forecast for the full day’s weather and bring clothing accordingly.
  • Your Camera: If you’d like to take photos and make memories all over our amazing city – which we highly recommend!
  • Water – It would be a good idea to bring a water bottle with you on the tour, especially on warmer days. There will be a place to fill it up near our start point, too.
  • Comfortable Shoes/Clothing: It’s called a walking tour for a reason! Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and shoes, in preparation to be on your feet for a few hours as we weave our way through the city and parks.
  • Sun Protection: Our Australian sun is VERY strong, and walking around the city for 2-3 hours will definitely expose you to some sun. We recommend putting on sunscreen and bringing sunglasses and a hat to stay protected and comfortable.

Starting Point

Your tour begins at Gordon Reserve (74-108 Spring St) – this is a park with a fountain and is located between the Parliament and Old Treasury Buildings.

Reviews

Melbourne Eco-Adventure Urban Wilderness Tour FAQs

Where will the Boating Picnic Eco Tour tour finish?

The tour ends with a serene boat ride around the Royal Botanic Gardens’ Lake. You’ll finish up near The Terrace cafe at the Punting on the Lake dock.

What does the tour include?

The tour includes 3 hours with a guide exploring Melbourne’s urban wilderness and learning what it takes to maintain it, light food samples from the markets, and a punt boat ride on the lake.

Can I bring my kids?

Of course – we encourage it! They will however need to wear a life jacket on the boat ride for safety.

What food is included?

Your guide will choose a selection of indicative foods at the market to sample — if you would like heartier portions or additional food, you’re welcome to purchase food at the markets at your expense.

View All FAQs

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