10 Surprising Things About GoBoat Melbourne

GoBoat Melbourne are a sustainable electric picnic boat hire service based on the Yarra River in Melbourne. You can hire a GoBoat all year round with no boating licence or experience required and have up to 8 people on board.

1. The Serenity

GoBoating on the Yarra River, you wouldn’t know you are in the middle of a city with a population of 4.5 million people. The electric motor is close enough to silent, leaving plenty of room for conversation to flow over your picnic.

Outside of the odd river ferry cruising past and the occasional rower or kayaker, the waterway lacks any congestion.

There’s plenty of pedestrians and cyclists on the banks of the river and cars and trams bustling over bridges, but out on the water you feel a world away from the scurry of the city.

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2. The Backdrop

Sailing at just over a walking pace really allows you to soak up Melbourne. The CBD skyline, the way the light hits the buildings at different times of day, the beauty of the riverside parks and the sight of the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the distance.

You get a front row look at many of Melbourne’s most iconic locations. In the heart of the CBD you’re close up with Federation Square, Flinders Street Station, Crown Casino, SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, South Wharf and numerous iconic bridges including the Evan Walker Bridge that connects Southgate to Flinders Street Station.

Then as you head back towards Richmond, you’re met with the green surrounds of Birrarung Marr, Alexandra Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the AAMI Park & Tennis Centre precinct.

Heading in the other direction and into Docklands, you’re right up close with the Bolte Bridge, Marvel Stadium and Melbourne Star Observation Wheel.

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3. Intimate Social Experience

There’s no distractions and you’re drawn together around the central picnic table. A GoBoat picnic with friends is really similar to an intimate dinner party or being around a campfire.

There is no urge to check your social media feeds or respond to texts. It is all about conversing with your friends, the food, the drink, soaking up the experience and enjoying everyone’s company.

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4. The Simplicity

GoBoats have a sleek Scandinavian design and are surprisingly spacious. Even with 8 people are on board with all their belongings and picnic supplies.

No boat licence or boating experience is required in order to skipper a GoBoat. The motor and steering are very easy to get used to, with only a short safety briefing, navigational pointers and operational demonstration required before you get going.

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5. Affordability

From $14 a head for an hour or $24 per person for two hours, renting a GoBoat fits within most budgets. The ability to bring your own food along and the proximity to public transport and other popular activities also helps keep costs down if travelling in from the suburbs or exploring more of Melbourne afterwards.

6. Freedom to Picnic

You have full licence to cater for and style your GoBoat picnic. You can put together a simple cheese platter from home, order one in, get Uber Eats, go all out with potluck of platters and everything in between.

You’re even allowed to BYO a limited amount of alcohol on board and enjoy your favourite beverage. You can hire and esky with ice from the GoBoat team to keep everything cool.

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7. Dog Friendly

If you think your dog would enjoy a boat trip (and most do) then it’s an amazing dog friendly activity. Remember to bring a lead and something for them to drink out of.

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8. You’ll Want More

Time flies when you are out on the water and chances are that you will want to extend your boat rental (sometimes possible) or be back for more. You’ll want to show your out of town visitors, a different set of friends, go as a family or take your colleagues for some team building.

GoBoat is other cities as well! Domestically you can GoBoat on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra. If you’re headed to Europe for the summer you can GoBoat in Copenhagen or London!

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9. Kids Love It

From spotting local wildlife to helping Mum or Dad steer the boat. The novelty of being in your own private boat doesn’t wear off and they will be engaged and sit surprisingly still throughout the trip.

Dressing up as pirates is encouraged as is bringing plenty of kid friendly picnic snacks!

GoBoat provide life jackets (a legal requirement for children) for 10kgs and above. Therefore, GoBoating comes highly recommended for kids one year old and older!

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10. How Friendly Everyone Is

On a boat it’s astounding how many people want to say hello! You’ll do your fair share of waving to other GoBoats, walkers, joggers, cyclists and people peering off bridges to get a closer look at you.

The GoBoat staff are pretty friendly and helpful too!