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Blackbird Cruises

Home > Melbourne > Boating | Cruises | Outdoor | Tours
Published January 14th 2018
take the river less travelled

'It's a love affair,' says Blackbird Skipper Peter Somerville of his 38 years leading tours of the other Melbourne River, the Maribyrnong.

Once an industrial drain, the Maribyrnong now hosts dolphins, eagles and fisherfolk, all testament to its 21st-century revival. Peter and co-skipper son, Warwick, love the river. From their mooring in Footscray, you can take one cruise, or both cruises, in the same afternoon.

Cruise, Maribyrnong, city
Docklands vista


The Blackbird takes just 30 people. Upstream is a 2 hour round trip past Flemington racecourse, old industrial sites, modern apartments, joggers and rowers and the magnificent Temple of the Heavenly Queen. We motor under bridges and around bends. It is easy to imagine its pre-settlement allure as a quiet tidal river teeming with fish.

Peter has an extensive knowledge of the river and local history. On the downstream trip, one hour return, he shows us where the Yarra once flowed, before it was diverted and filled in to form the docks of Australia's busiest container port. The city skyline seen from the deck of the plucky Blackbird is a gem.

Upstream $20 for 2 hours, downstream $10, one hour. A short history of the river and its people is included on the website, along with days and times for each cruise.

Usual days are Tuesday, Thursday and weekends, 1pm upstream, 4 pm downstream.
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Why? Cruise with views and news
When: Tues, Thurs, Sat and Sun 1pm and 4 pm
Phone: 96896431
Where: 1 Maribyrnong Street Footscray cnr Saltriver place
Cost: $20 upstream, $10downstream
Your Comment
I've done these trips on the Yarra but had no idea about this. It's very rationally priced too.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|6230) 507 days ago
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