Escape the city without leaving town in this large area of native bushland flanking the river, about 5km northeast of the city centre. It's an area cherished by runners, rowers, cyclists, picnickers and strollers. You can hire rowing boats, canoes and kayaks from the Studley Park Boathouse, which has a kiosk, cafe and restaurant, and BBQ facilities nearby.

From the boathouse, Kane's suspension footbridge takes you across the river, where it’s about a 20-minute walk to Dights Falls, at the meeting of the Yarra River and Merri Creek. You can also walk to the falls along the southern riverbank.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Melbourne attractions

1. Abbotsford Convent


This former convent, dating back to 1863, is a rambling collection of ecclesiastical architecture that's home to a thriving arts community of galleries,…

2. Collingwood Children's Farm

0.37 MILES

The inner city melts away at this rustic riverside retreat that’s much beloved, and not just by children. There are frolicking farm animals that kids can…

3. Collingwood Farmers Market

0.37 MILES

This monthly farmers market, held right by the river, has everything from organic wild mushrooms and roses to freshly baked sourdough and tempting cheese…

4. Carlton Brewhouse

0.72 MILES

Foster’s beer-brewing empire runs 1½-hour tours of its Abbotsford operations, where you’ll encounter enormous 30m-wide vats of beer and a superfast…

5. Keith Haring Mural

0.84 MILES

Anyone with an interest in street art will want to check out this Keith Haring mural, painted by the late New York artist on his visit in 1984. It adorns…

6. Backwoods Gallery

0.87 MILES

Set up in 2010 by a team of Melbourne street artists, Backwoods Gallery promotes and exhibits works by mostly Australian artists – with a focus on urban…

7. Gertrude Glasshouse

0.92 MILES

Satellite of the Gertrude Contemporary gallery in Preston, this architecturally designed, versatile project space gives artists undertaking the gallery's…

8. Centre for Contemporary Photography

1.09 MILES

This not-for-profit centre exhibits contemporary photography across five gallery spaces. Shows traverse traditional techniques and the highly conceptual,…