Located some four kilometres south-east of the Melbourne Central Business District (about 5.4 kilometres, or 15 minutes, by road) , South Yarra is one of several suburbs in the thriving city of Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria. This moderately large suburb, which occupies a total land area of roughly five square kilometres, has an estimated population of well over 17,900 residents. It is named after the Yarra River, which forms part of its northern boundary.
Formerly part of the City of Prahran, South Yarra is now within the Local Government Areas of the Cities of Melbourne and Stonnington. The suburb remains part of the State District of Prahran (one of several electoral districts in the Legislative Assembly of Victoria) and the Federal Division of Higgins (one of several Australian Electoral Divisions). Its surrounding suburbs are Armadale, Cremorne, Melbourne, Prahran, Richmond, Saint Kilda, and Toorak.
According to the report titled Liveable Melbourne, which was commissioned by The Age (a broadsheet newspaper published daily in Melbourne), South Yarra ranked as Melbourne's most liveable suburb in 2005. This was largely due to its close proximity to the Central Business District and other institutions, its quick access to public transportation, and the abundance of open spaces and "green locales".
Residents and tourists alike have much to appreciate in South Yarra thanks in part to its artistic, cultural, and historic heritage. Some of the best sites to experience these include Chapel Street, Como Historic House and Garden, Fawkner Park, Gould Galleries, Herring Island Environmental Sculpture Park, Jam Factory, Prahran Market, and Toorak Road. Also, two of the most interesting activities to engage in are hot air balloon flights over Melbourne and the sightseeing cruise along the Yarra River.