Does the Yarra River’s maritime heritage cut it?

Does the Yarra River’s maritime heritage cut it?

The Lower Yarra River has maritime history in spades, but how well is it presented and interpreted for the visitor?

The Yarra River Business Association (YRBA) wants to know the answers and has engaged Melbourne tourism branding company The Gaibo Agency to ask the hard questions.

YRBA executive officer Tim Bracher said that there had been a lot of “investment into the maritime heritage theme at South Wharf since 2010”, and there was about to be a lot more invested in the theme on North Wharf, but nobody has ever asked whether maritime “heritage has appeal to the younger and emerging visitor markets”.

“Fundamentally, we need to ask whether maritime heritage is just going to be a nice visual backdrop to a modern hospitality scene or is it worth properly presenting and interpreting items of interest, plus strongly branding the western end of the Yarra River as Melbourne’s maritime heritage hub,” Mr Bracher said. 

“There’s a push to present maritime heritage as part of the Melbourne visitor experience, but we want to know if it would have any cut-through in the very competitive visitor market.”

Well-known tourism identity Roger Grant from The Gaibo Agency will explore the topic as the guest speaker at YRBA’s final 2022 business luncheon on Friday, November 11.

Roger and a team of tourism professionals have been interviewing major stakeholders and interrogating key data to be able to present a clear path for the association and its stakeholders to follow.  

The November 11 South Wharf lunch will be the final piece of project consultation, where guests will not only hear about key findings from the best maritime heritage precincts around the world but will also be able to contribute ideas through a questions and answers session.

The two-course lunch with refreshments is available for any business or resident to attend, and can be booked at

For more information: Tim Bracher – 0412 502 931


Caption: Polly Woodside, South Wharf. Photo: Tarryn Myburgh.

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