Best Melbourne Landscape Sunrise and Sunset Photography Spots

Photo Guides

Welcome to my photo guide for the best photography spots in Melbourne to take photos of. As a full time landscape photographer when I go to locations that are away from home I need to get the shot that will give me a financial return, so when I have visited Melbourne below is my list of great locations to shoot.

Melbourne is a city that is totally different to that of Sydney in terms of the type of locations to shoot. It’s doesn’t really have any iconic landmarks like the Sydney Opera House or the Harbour Bridge. No beaches surrounded by sandstone cliffs or ocean baths. But this is what I love about shooting in Melbourne, everything is nice and close. It is a great city to shoot with your wide angle lens. I remember going there for a shoot and I decided to pack another panoramic film camera instead of taking my Canon 17-40mm lens. It was the worst decision. Shooting along the Yarra the widest lens I had was my Canon 24-70mm I made it work, but a wider angle lens would have been much better.

When I want to shoot in and around the city of Melbourne I find an all day parking spot in the Southbank area.

To check the angle of the sun, along with sunrise and sunset times I can’t promote enough the Phone App called The Photographer’s Ephemeris, it is also available for your desktop computer as well (Free), but having it on you all the time is essential.

Brighton Beach Boxes Photos

Brighton Beach Boxes

Brighton Beach is so well known for it’s iconic wooden bathing boxes. It is a must go to location for anyone visiting Melbourne.

Location: Esplanade, Brighton. Between Wellington Street and Dendy Street.
How to get here: You can catch a Tram to Middle Brighton and walk, car, bus. There is a carpark right at the Beach boxes and it is Pay and Display parking.
Whats worth shooting nearby: I’d walk up and down the beach and shoot the baths from a range of locations and also the back of them as well. Shoot textures and some of the artwork on the boxes themselves.
Shooting Tips: Great location to shoot at sunrise or sunset. But the best light that falls on the baths is at sunset with the warm light falling onto the boxes.

Flinders Street Station Landscape Photos

Flinders Street Station

This is such an amazing location. I have always wanted this shot, I have seen photos from here before and they are nice but never really capture the whole scene and that is what I went out and captured. The above image is a wide angle panoramic stitch of 6 images.

Location: Finders Street x St Kilda Road
How to get here: Easy walk from all public transport.
Whats worth shooting nearby: Soundbank is a great location either on sunrise and sunset.
Shooting Tips: This is a location that is very tight with a standard 24mm lens. If you have a wide angle lens then this is a location where you will appreciate the extra width. Play around with your shutter speed for movement of the traffic that will be coming in all kinds of directions. A lot of fun.

St Kilda Pier

St Kilda is a well known location in Melbourne and I always shoot here every time I visit. I have some nice shots but nothing crazy, I want that beautiful sunrise or sunset light over the Pier that makes you go “Wow”.

Location: Pier Road, St Kilda
How to get here: Publis transport and buses. You can find some local parking that is pay and display but on sunrise you can find a quick park close by.
Whats worth shooting nearby: A quick walk is Luna Park and it’s unique face. I have spoken about it below.
Shooting Tips: The pier has there beautiful curing over lights that run along it. My only advice here is put some thought into your composition and frame it well with these elements as getting it wrong can detract from the shot.

Brighton Beach Boxes

Just like our first image that is in colour, Brighton Beach is full of different angles and opportunities to get unique images. Your just got to look and think outside of the box.

Location: Esplanade, Brighton. Between Wellington Street and Dendy Street.
How to get here: You can catch a Tram to Middle Brighton and walk, car, bus. There is a carpark right at the Beach boxes and it is Pay and Display parking.
Whats worth shooting nearby: I’d walk up and down the beach and shoot the baths from a range of locations and also the back of them as well. Shoot textures and some of the artwork on the boxes themselves.
Shooting Tips: Great location to shoot at sunrise or sunset. But the best light that falls on the baths is at sunset with the warm light falling onto the boxes.

Melbourne City

This is my favorite view of Melbourne City and an advantage point that is a must go to if your in Melbourne even for just a day or two this has to be on your list. The view of the city is as iconic as standing at Milsons Point in Sydney and looking over the city with the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge on your right. Classic.

Location: Olympic Blvd x Batman Ave as it crosses the Yarra River.
How to get here: Drive and park in one of the local side streets. Bus.
Whats worth shooting nearby: Not much other than this view. But boy it is one hell of a view.
Shooting Tips: Best shot on sunrise as the rising sun will be behind you and the light will fall into the scene. During the morning you will have rowers going up and down the Yarra River. A good wide angle lens will give you a great view, nothing smaller than 24mm. Great location for a panorama so maybe think of stitching some images together. A wide angle lens will make the city push back and look further away than it is. So keep this in mind.

Melbourne City Down The Yarra Photos

Melbourne's Yarra River

Looking straight down Lower Fort Street as you stand on the grass at Observatory Hill this view is a must for anyone visiting Sydney, even if you don’t have a camera or not into taking photos it is a location that will make your jaw drop.

The only negative if there is any about shooting here is the New Years Eve light show structure left on the side of the bridge. Can be distracting, especially at other angles. Usually isn’t dismantled until March in the year and then gets re built in November.

Location: William Street as it crosses the Yarra at Southbank.
How to get here: Easy walk from all public transport. You can find back street parking with a bit of a walk. Mostly pay and display in the area for drivers.
Whats worth shooting nearby: Heaps, your will have no shortage of locations and angles to shoot from in this area. Nearby Flinders Street Station, different angles up and down the Yarra.
Shooting Tips: When I first shot here I didn’t bring my wide angle lens and only had 24mm as my widest lens and I regretted it. With so much around you it is nice to have the option of a wide angle when you need it. Shooting on sunset you will have the light falling on the scene, can be harsh if the sun is still up with light reflecting in all the windows, but when it drops the scene is amazing.

Melbourne Docklands Images

Melbourne's Yarra River

Another stunning view and angle of the city especially on sunset with the light falling onto the city. Shooting across the water into the sports stadium and Melbourn’s Docklands.

Location: N Wharf Road (at the end) runs of Collins Street.
How to get here: Drive and park.
Whats worth shooting nearby: This is pretty much it. If you turn around you have a good vantage point of the Bolt Bridge, so you might be able to grab a nice shot of that depending on the light.
Shooting Tips: A good place for a panoramic image, so thing about stitching something together. There is nothing really in the foreground other than water so unless there is something really interesting your not going to want to shoot with a wide angle lens.

Luna Park Melbourne Photos

Melbourne's Luna Park

Looking straight down Lower Fort Street as you stand on the grass at Observatory Hill this view is a must for anyone visiting Sydney, even if you don’t have a camera or not into taking photos it is a location that will make your jaw drop.

The only negative if there is any about shooting here is the New Years Eve light show structure left on the side of the bridge. Can be distracting, especially at other angles. Usually isn’t dismantled until March in the year and then gets re built in November.

Location: Cavell Street, St Kilda x of the Esplanade
How to get here: Easy walk from public transport, trams, buses. Local street parking is easy to get depending on when you go.
Whats worth shooting nearby: You have St Kilda Pier which is a great location with many angles of the Pier itself or the city from it’s jetty.
Shooting Tips: This face has so much character so an up close wide angle shot like this one works well. I have seen great shots of the face lit up at night, reflected in puddles. Just depends on when you are there.

Melbourne City

This is a location that is value for money if you can get the shot. When I checked in Melbourne was all doom and gloom. It was raining and overcast. After paying $800 for the night my heart sank when I went to bed thinking it was all over. At 5 am I woke to the start of what turned out to be an amazing sunrise over the city.

Location: Langham Hotel, Southbank.
How to get here: Easy walk from public transport, trams, buses. Local street parking is easy to get depending on when you go.
Whats worth shooting nearby: Depending on the room you have there are heaps of smaller scenes you can shoot directionally down over the city or into the city.
Shooting Tips: Shooting from the hotel is not as easy as it seams, with the room I had I shot from the open balcony, but due to safety they had a 2 meter high tinted glass wall in front of me. To get my camera over the top so I was set up and standing on out door table. Would have been quite the sight.

Bolte Bridge

This is a nice location to shoot Melbourne’s version of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (lol).

Location: Harbour Esplanade, Docklands
How to get here: Easy walk from public transport, trams, buses. Local street parking is easy to get depending on when you go.
Whats worth shooting nearby: The Docklands has heaps of random art in the area and if you invest some time walking around and exploring you will see heaps of things that can catch your eye.
Shooting Tips: A good location for a panoramic, or if there is a strong sky with interesting features. The sun will set in front of you so if you want the lights falling into the water without having a hard to control sky then early morning would be best here.

Sir Alfred Nicholson Gardens (Antique Boathouse)

The antique boathouse within the Sir Alfred Nicholson Gardens is the jewel. But if you get there at the right time of year there are so many other gems you can find. The garden is full of trees that turn those beautiful autumn colours that bring the location to life. For further details, opening times etc this is the Parks Victoria website.

Location: 1A Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke
How to get here: Public Transport or drive yourself and park locally or on the grounds.
Whats worth shooting nearby: The gardens will keep you busy all day.
Shooting Tips: Great location to visit during autumn, an overcast day where the lighting will be even, mid week to avoid the crowds.

Crown Casino on the Yarra

This is a top spot and one of the first photos I took of Melbourne many years ago. It was shot on film but any digital camera will do the same. At 9pm everynight the Crown Casino fires up these pillars down the Yarra and it is an amazing sight

Location: Yarra River outside of the Melbourne Aquarium.
How to get here: Public Transport. Local pay and display parking. Easy walk from all areas.
Whats worth shooting nearby: Like with the other locations on the Yarra and Southbank you will find a lot to shoot.
Shooting Tips: When the flames go it will be easy for the flames to over expose on your shot, so think about exposure bracketing a few shots to blend them in if needed. The flames will only go a few times so you need to be on the ball so you dont miss what you need to get the shot. Make sure you have all your exposure settings and composition ready before it begins.

Southbank

Looking straight down the Yarra river in the pre morning light, Southbank never looked to good. Such a great location with so much to fill your lens.

Location: St Kilda Road, Melbourne.
How to get here: Public Transport. Local pay and display parking. Easy walk from all areas.
Whats worth shooting nearby: Again it is Southbank, so much to shoot. Play around with your exposure with the moving trams, makes for a different kind of shot.
Shooting Tips: Shooting in the morning light means you have good control over the lighting here as using graduated filters will ruin your shot with the tall buildings with will fill most of the sky. If you have troubles with exposure it is a good place to think of exposure blending.

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I hope you have liked this guide. I’m a full time professional landscape photographer with my own gallery in Newcastle. I also own and run my own professional photo lab “Still Creations Photo Lab” where they do all my work like canvas printing and stretching, acrylic face mounting, Aluminum printing, bamboo and picture framing. Our lab is open to the public and we cater for amateur and professional photographers looking to get the best from their images.

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