Improving canoe and kayak access to the Yarra River

Improvements have been made to canoe and kayak access to the Yarra River at Westerfolds Park, Templestowe. 

Working with our partners

New mudstone steps have been installed to improve canoe and kayak access beneath Fitzsimons Lane Bridge. Formalised seating areas adjacent to the bridge will host spectators and judges when competitions are held and revegetation works will create a green and improved space for people to enjoy.

Melbourne Water, Manningham City Council and Parks Victoria in consultation with Paddling Victoria have partnered to improve the natural amenity and liveability of the area and to ensure the needs of paddlers were considered and understood. 

Mudstone steps on the Yarra River
Mudstone steps on the Yarra River provide easier and safer access. Credit: Andrew Mellor


“A great facility for paddlers. I have also taken the time to exit the water at the steps, taking my kayak with me. All easy and all good and certainly safer than clambering over the rocks and up the river bank” 

Ian Beasley, Canoe Polo Victoria


Improving access is safer for everyone

Waterways provide popular spaces for recreation and connection to nature. With increased interest in paddling (canoeing and kayaking) across Melbourne, public agencies need to provide the community with safe access at appropriate locations. We also need to ensure the experience of accessing our waterways is suitable for a diverse range of users, such as people with mobility limitations. This is particularly important as Melbourne’s population increases in size and density.

This site has been identified as a priority location to improve access in our Improving access to the Yarra River project report, developed in 2018, and these works will contribute towards achieving the strategic objectives and vision of the Regional Paddle Sports Centre. 

Plaque commemorating the improved access project
The new mudstone steps, formalised judging and seating areas and revegetation works provide a great example of organisations working together to improve access, natural amenity and liveability of the area. Credit: Andrew Mellor


“There are a number of senior paddlers who paddle there regularly. They have been very appreciative of the works, as it provides easier and safer access” 

Chris Runting, Victorian Slalom Committee


More to come

The next step for works at the Regional Paddle Sports Centre is upgrading the main canoe launch facility with all access infrastructure to encourage people with disabilities to access the river.

Find out more about this exciting collaborative project >>

Melbourne Water, DELWP, Parks Victoria and Wyndham City Council are also working together on future plans to design and deliver new and improved on-water access structures on the Werribee River.

Links to the Healthy Waterways Strategy – Yarra catchment

This project supports the key social values of Recreation, Community Connection and Amenity through the construction and improvement of facilities that support access in the Yarra River Lower sub-catchment. The work of Melbourne Water, Manningham City Council and Parks Victoria in consultation with Paddling Victoria is an excellent example of co-delivery to support the needs of the community and the key values in the strategy.