Yarra River Project

In 2010, the City of Stonnington started one of the biggest regeneration projects in the Yarra River’s recent history – the Yarra River Biodiversity Project.

To date, Council has invested more than $8.4 million to increase habitat connectivity, improve water quality, grow the urban forest and provide recreational and educational opportunities for the community to interact with Melbourne’s landmark river.

The Yarra River Biodiversity Project won the 2018 Keep Victoria Beautiful Sustainable Cities Awards for Protection of the Environment - ‘Engaging our community and improving wildlife corridors. The Keep Victoria Beautiful Sustainable Cities Awards recognise and celebrate positive actions taken by communities and local governments in urban areas to protect and enhance their local environments.

The Yarra River acts as a wildlife corridor (also known as ‘green freeway’) for many different animal species. Riding your bike or walking along the Yarra River you may hear and see a noisy flock of Rainbow lorikeets travelling from tree to tree.

 The new bike and pedestrian path along the edge of the Yarra River, between Williams Road and Grange Road, Toorak has reopened. The proposed planting for Stage 6 will be complete end of January 2019.

Discover more about the history and ecological value of the Yarra River and Tune into our new Audio Tour on your next walk or bike ride along the Yarra and learn all about Melbourne’s landmark river.

 Yarra River Biodiversity Project 2016 crop.jpg

Yarra River Biodiversity Project summary

  • Indigenous riparian revegetation works
  • construction of an ephemeral wetland system
  • realignment and upgrade of bicycle path
  • construction of pedestrian boardwalk
  • planned installation of educational signage. 

Stage 1 - completed

Yarra-River-Biodiversity-Linkages-Project-photo-2.pngAn ephemeral wetland system was constructed during Stage 1 of the Yarra River Biodiversity Project to treat stormwater run-off from the Toorak Village catchment. The wetlands remove sediment and filter pollutants from stormwater including nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen. Vegetation in the wetland also helps to treat the water before it is discharged into the Yarra River, as well as providing habitat for birds, animals and fish.

The bicycle path has been upgraded and a pedestrian boardwalk has been installed, winding through the newly planted indigenous vegetation.

Stages 2 and 3 - completed

Bioretention Pond Stage 2 included the construction of a series of bioretention ponds with integrated walkways; realignment and widening of the cycle path, and improved seating to help people interact with the surrounding environment.  

Stage 2 and 3 included improved shared pathways, seating and viewing sites as well as increasing levels of biodiversity with indigenous native revegetation works. 

Stages 4 and 5 - completed

Yarra Shared Path

Key design elements included the construction of rest areas with bicycle lock-ups and seating; a new three metre-wide shared path, retaining walls and handrails. 

Stages 4 and 5 also included improved access to the bus stop and native revegetation works.



Stage 6 - path open and planting underway

Yarra River Biodiversity 2016

Key elements of Stage 6 will include removal of invasive species and native revegetation planting to increase habitat for local wildlife. 

Recreational improvements included a new three meter wide shared path, seating and drinking fountain and the replacement of handrails and new retaining walls.

The path has reopened. Proposed planting completion: end of January 2019