Best sunset photography spots in inner-city Melbourne. Our guide to the best and most easily accessible sunset locations around Melbourne’s CBD.
Being CBD based, right on the Yarra River, we are lucky enough to be treated to some stunning Melbourne sunsets when mother nature puts on a show. And we love strolling along the Yarra River, around Docklands and beyond on those warm (and not so warm) Melbourne evenings. Whether it be the beautiful golden hour light before sunset, the sunset itself or the twilight afterglow once the sun has dropped below the horizon, there are no end of places to enjoy it from. So here’s just a small selection of some of our favourite locations in or very close to Melbourne’s CBD that we consider to be the best inner-city Melbourne sunset photography spots.
1. Princes Bridge
One of the more popular spots is from one of the oldest river crossings in the city – Princes Bridge. If you happen to be crossing on a pleasant evening, you can’t help but stop to admire the sunset views along the Yarra as it drops below the high-rises in the distance.
Tip: This is a great spot to hang around for some night photography too. Checkout our Melbourne by night – The best night photography spots in Melbourne for more.
2. St Kilda Pier
The area around St Kilda Pier has to be one of the top places to be in city on a warm and still evening. It’s certainly one of the nicest sunset photography spots in inner-city Melbourne.
Tip: Watch the sunset over Port Phillip Bay on a clear evening then head further down the pier to the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron Marina to watch the skyline light up. See #12 below. Or, coincide your visit with one of the free viewing sessions of the Little Penguins at St Kilda Pier and Breakwater. For more info and booking options checkout our Where to find wildlife in Victoria – Australia.
3. On the waterfront of WTC Wharf
Very close by for us, the area around WTC Wharf and opposite South Wharf was an area we got very well acquainted with during the Metro Melbourne covid lockdown. With the impressive Seafarers Bridge in the foreground this lovely quiet spot is one of our quick and easy go-to’s for a Melbourne sunset.
4. Flinders Street Station
A great spot for some creative pic’s anytime, night or day. But on those amazing evenings when the setting sun really lights up the clouds, the colourful sky can add even more to your Flinders Street Station photos.
5. Princes Pier – Port Melbourne
The old historic Princes Pier in Port Melbourne is both a fisherman’s and photographers favourite early evening spot. With the sunsetting to the west, (right as you lookout to Port Phillip Bay), the golden hour light just before sunset is an ideal time to be here.
6. Swan Street Bridge
We both love and hate this spot! As the sunsets behind the city, we wait patiently on those still nights for a beautiful sunset reflection on the river, only to have it stirred up by the rowers and self-drive hire boats every time. But we don’t blame them, what better time to be on the Yarra?! Regardless of the river traffic this a fantastic sunset spot.
Tip: This is bridge is also one of our favourites for some night photography. Checkout our Melbourne by night – The best night photography spots in Melbourne for some of our photo’s both from it and of it lit up.
7. Yarra’s Edge
Our go-to for Covid lockdown walks, down along South Wharf and Yarra’s Edge, coinciding with sunset where we could. Yarra’s Edge is the only Docklands precinct south of the Yarra River and is great spot for reflections, due to its sheltered position. With the Webb Bridge and the boats of Yarra’s Edge Marina there’s always some interesting photo opportunities, making it one of the top sunset photography spots in Melbourne in our opinion.
8. Albert Park Lake
Popular with joggers and dog walkers, Albert Park Lake is a lovely place for a golden hour stroll. From the far end of the lake (furthest away from the city) there is a really nice view of the skyline. As the sun starts to set it bathes the city in golden light.
Tip: A walk around in Autumn can be particularly colourful. With the autumnal leaves and eye-catching parrots in the flowering gum trees there are plenty of other photo opportunities. And usually even a few cute cygnets about too. For more info checkout Our favourite parks of inner city Melbourne blog.
9. Central Pier in Docklands
Maybe our favourite twilight and night photography spot in Melbourne! On a still night, the Central Pier in Docklands is an amazing place to be with camera in hand just after the sun has set. With a good reflection, the white domed pier pillars in the foreground and the colourful Bolte Bridge in the distance seem to float.
Tip: Head down pre-sunset and find a good place on the Harbour Lights Landing (#13) to watch the sun go down.
10. South Wharf Promenade – Exhibition Landing
One of Melbournes best sunset photography spots if you want to be down at water level. Just walk on to Exhibition Landing on the South Wharf Promenade and you’re out on the water for a different angle for sunset.
Tip: If you actually want to get out on the water for sunset why not hire an eco-friendly self-drive boat from On A Boat.
11. King Street Bridge
A nice spot for those slightly cloudy nights when the sky really lights up. Hang around too for Crown Casino’s Gas Brigade evening shows as the towers along Melbourne’s Southbank shoot the ‘world’s largest fireballs’ into the night’s sky. Check HERE for timings, as it varies throughout the year.
Tip: This is a nice spot for sunrise too, looking out in the opposite direction. Checkout our Best sunrise photography spots in Melbourne.
12. Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron Marina – St Kilda
For those of us who don’t own a yacht, this is the next best place to be for a perfect twilight spot to watch Melbourne’s skyline light up after the sunset. Head down the pier and then along the boardwalks to the Marina and find quiet jetty to sit and watch day turn to night.
Tip: Book ahead and coincide your visit with one of the free viewing sessions with the Little Penguins at St Kilda Pier and Breakwater. For more info and booking options checkout our Where to find wildlife in Victoria – Australia.
13. Harbour Lights Landing – Docklands
Wandering around Docklands at sunset is our favourite time here. Never too busy, but always a nice vibe. From over on the Harbour Lights Landing there’s numerous benches to sit on to watch the sun drop.
Tip: After sunset head round to Central Pier (#9) for some awesome twilight photo opportunities. And checkout our Melbourne by night – The best night photography spots in Melbourne for some ideas for photo’s around Dockland once darkness has set in.
14. The Arts Centre Melbourne
This is one of those spots which only really works when there is some cloud in the sky to light up. With the sunsetting to the far left, when conditions are right the colours in the sky over Flinders Street Station, St Paul’s Cathedral and high rises beyond can be spectacular.
15. Yarra’s Edge Marina – Visitor Birthing Area
Want to get out on the water without a boat? Then head down to Yarra’s Edge Marina and you can walk down the Visitor Birthing Area for some different shots down at almost water level. Its protected position from the traffic on the Yarra River often provides some perfect conditions for reflections in both directions.
16. The Shrine of Remembrance
A peaceful spot to come to for sunset and twilight. Lookout north-westerly down the Ceremonial Avenue back toward the CBD as the light fades and the sun drops to the west and the twilight colours briefly fill the sky. Can you see someone staring back at you? It’s the face of William Barak on the ‘Portrait Building’. As the last traditional elder of the Indigenous Wurundjeri-Willam clan he was instrumental in bridging the gulf between black and white cultures and Aboriginal social justice.
17. Spencer Street Bridge
Crossing this bridge daily on the walk to and from work over the years, we’ve seen some truly amazing sunsets (and sunrises) from the Spencer Street Bridge. On a clear night when the walk home coincides we always stop and stare down the Yarra and watch the sun drop and the golden colours emanate from behind the buildings in the distance. Not a bad way to finish the working day!
18. Norris Reserve
Just off Yarra Boulevard (marked as Melbourne City Sunset View on Google Maps) there’s a little opening with a small bench, that we are stumbled upon by chance when exploring Yarra Bend Park. This is a really lovely little spot to watch Melbourne light up as the daylight fades. With the sunsetting slightly to the right of the city as you lookout, when there’s just the right amount of cloud you’ll get some lovely colours over the city.
Tip: Hang around after sunset, not only for some great night shots of the city, but to see the Flying Foxes fill the night sky. Just after sunset watch the unique spectacle as thousands (up to 50,000 in the hotter months) of Grey-Headed Flying Foxes (Fruit Bats) fly out en-mass from Yarra Bend Park. For more info checkout Our favourite parks of inner city Melbourne blog.
Like this post? Then pin it! Checkout our Best sunrise photography spots in Melbourne and our Melbourne by night – The best night photography spots in Melbourne blogs for more.
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