See Melbourne by kayak

Having kayaked since he was a child, Kent Cuthbert knows a special spot when he sees it.

‘Victoria Harbour is a really special place to paddle around,’ Kent smiles. ‘You get these really great views with the yachts in the marina and the big stadium. But probably the most spectacular thing, because it’s all open, is the sunset. The sky just lights up… It can be pretty unbelievable.’

A man standing, holding an oar, smiles at the camera. He stands in front of a row of orange kayaks on a wharf.

Kent Cuthbert leads kayak tours on the river at sunset

For the past five years, Kent has run Kayak Melbourne, a tour company offering kayak tours along Melbourne’s waterways. The Moonlight Tour is his favourite, treating visitors to some of Melbourne’s most iconic sights from the water. The tour winds past the Bolte Bridge and the Crown Casino (timed to coincide with the fireball display) and there’s even an on-board dinner to keep everyone’s energy up.

‘We tie up at NewQuay marina where the guests actually stay put in the boats and are served fish and chips from the Fish Bar,’ Kent explains. ‘It’s a unique on-the-water dining experience’.

A group of kayakers on the water under a large bridge.

The Bolte Bridge holds a commanding presence over the water

Something for the locals

Despite thinking they know the city inside out, locals seem to be the ones most impressed by their journey along Melbourne’s waterways. ‘I get a bigger reaction from the locals than I do from overseas tourists,’ says Kent. ‘If you’re a pedestrian or driving in Melbourne you might not have the time or the luxury to sit back, look up and enjoy where you are. I find, on the water, you have the time and space to soak it all in.’

A group of kayakers on the water with the city in the background.

A great way to break up the day

A spectacular view

What’s the view that gets the most gasps? ‘It’s that view when we turn from the Bolte Bridge as we leave Docklands. You get a view of the skyline that is really striking, especially as the sunlight reflects off the high-rise buildings. It’s a real “wow” moment.’

The Boatbuilders Yard pub next to the water with the city in the background.

The Boatbuilders Yard on the Waterfront is a popular spot

Visit for: The sunset – while you paddle the calm waters – and then an evening of waterfront food and fun at The Wharf Hotel, with its open air garden decks or The Boatbuilders Yard for a beer and a burger.

Stay for: S’mores at The General Assembly, followed by a tipple at The Common Man for their January Canadian Club specials and summer punchbowl cocktails.

While you’re there: Indulge in a little sweet treat at Southgate‘s new dessert café, Damon Bradley. For a bit more sustenance, The Deck Restaurant at Southbank will keep you satisfied, or take a stroll down the South Wharf Promenade for other exciting dining options. Finish your evening with a drink and dance at Alumbra.

Two men play table tennis at an outdoor table while a girl skateboards by.

All sorts of activities are welcome along the waterfront

Please drink responsibly.