Exploring the banks of the Yarra River

With the CoVid-19 restrictions that we have been living with for a few months now, our daily activity has been limited and our ways of living vastly different from what we have been used to in recent times. One of the things I am so thankful for, is despite the fact here in Australia what we can and cannot do has changed, we have always been allowed to be outside to exercise, unlike in other countries.

Though I am of two minds about living so close to the CBD one of the things I have savored a little bit more in recent months are my walks, bikes and runs along the banks of the Yarra River.

Historically known as the Yarra Yarra River, with various names in aboriginal eg. Berrern, Birrarung and Wongete, amongst others. The lower parts of the river are where Melbourne was established back in 1835. The river itself is 242 km long flowing through various parts and suburbs of Melbourne.

The river and its banks are a hub for a range of sports. The banks are used for running, cyclying and walking. In the river itself several people participate in rowing, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing and swimming where pollution levels are lower.

Despite being a beautiful place to walk along the banks of the Yarra are far from pristine! Major pollution problems include high levels of bacteria, grease, oils and heavy metals. Some industrial companies have used the river as dumping ground for many years. There are programs attempting to assist in decreasing the levels of pollution in the river and the beaches but there is a long way to go.

One thing that is top of my list of things to do is hire a boat with friends and have a picnic as we float along the river – a really fun summer activity!

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