Walks 101's

Melbourne Eco-Adventure Urban Wilderness Tour

At under 200 years old, the City of Melbourne is a recent addition to the local ecosystem. Uncover the hidden wildlife at the doorstep of this metropolis.

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

  • Use a “turbidity tube” to test the clarity of the water, and learn what you can do to keep the water clean
  • 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
  • Take home a sustainable coffee cup, filled with a classic Melbourne coffee
  • Find nests, dugouts and signs of wildlife in the heart of the city

Melbourne Eco-Adventure Urban Wilderness 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.

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.

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Next, try your very own cup of Melbourne coffee from a local cafe, and learn about the impact of the reusable cup it will come in (which is yours to keep!). Help save single-use cup waste and the cup exchange program designed to eliminate it.

You’ll then make your way down to the beautiful Yarra River, warm drink in hand. While marveling 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 cross through some more green parks and make your way up through the King’s Domain on the way to the Royal Botanic Gardens. The King’s domain is Melbourne’s secret garden, and the perfect example of a microclimate within the big city.

Once inside the botanic gardens, you will stop at the LaTrobe memorial and learn a bit more about aboriginal Australians, who have been inhabiting the area through lots of the time periods we have learnt about.

As you walk through the Botanic Gardens, the group will marvel at the amount of different flora and fauna from all over the world and learn about some significant verdant landmarks growing in the area.

Of course, we have saved the best for last! To wrap up the tour, we will take a punt boat ride the Botanic Gardens’ lake. This entails shading ourselves with parasols as we are expertly navigated around the lake in a cushioned old-style billabong boat. The guide, Wesley, will take it from here, and tell us all about the birds, turtles, reclaimed plastic islands, and ecosystem of the gardens during a serene boat ride.


Test Yarra River Water + Learn How it is Kept Clean

Drink Classic Melbourne Coffee From a Reusable Cup

Learn About the Botanic Garden Ecosystems from a Punt Boat Ride

What To Bring on Your Melbourne Eco-Adventure 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.


Melbourne Eco-Adventure Urban Wilderness Tour FAQs

Where will the Melbourne Eco Adventure 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, a reusable coffee cup, 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.

Do we get to keep the reusable cup?

Indeed, you do – we would love for you to make use of it! The “Retainr” cups are fully compostable and made from bamboo. 

View All FAQs

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