MELBOURNE BY NIGHT: THE BEST NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY SPOTS IN MELBOURNE – AUSTRALIA

Best night photography spots in Melbourne

Melbourne by night – The best night photography spots in Melbourne. A guide to our favourite inner city night photography locations.

Living in Southbank, Melbourne, we are fortunate to be surrounded by some lovely places for an evening stroll right on our doorstep. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to night photography spots. Although we both generally prefer getting a little off track, hiking and photographing wildlife outside of the city, it can also be very rewarding exploring Melbourne by night. We especially love those still nights along the Yarra River and around Docklands. And we love trying to capture those beautiful moments. Here’s just a small selection of some our favourite spots, that we consider to be the best inner-city Melbourne night photography locations.

Princes Bridge

View from Princes Bridge - Best night photography spots in Melbourne

A nice and popular one to start. From the middle of one of the oldest river crossings in the city, the Princes Bridge offers great views down the Yarra River. It’s also a good spot for sunset.

Checkout our Best sunset photography spots in inner-city Melbourne for some other sunset ideas.

Victoria Harbour Promenade – North Wharf, Docklands

View from Victoria Harbour Promenade - Best night photography spots in Melbourne

This has to be one of the best night photography spots in Melbourne! Head down to Docklands and walk around Victoria Harbour Promenade towards the Bolte Bridge. There’s usually boats docked in the harbour, but there’s gaps to photograph through. The further you head down the Promenade, the more you can fit it the frame.

Opposite Birrarung Marr

Yarra River - Best night photography spots in Melbourne

We love the section of the Yarra from Swan Street Bridge down to Princes Bridge. It’s a nice quiet section at night and the area opposite Birrarung Marr provides one of the best night photography spots in Melbourne in our opinion.

Webb Bridge

Webb Bridge - Night Photography

The Webb Bridge links the Docklands on the north side to the residential developments to the south. The new bridge design fused the decommissioned Webb Dock Rail Bridge with a new curved 80m long ramped link. And this new modern structure, said to be inspired by Koori fishing traps, is a really interesting night photography subject from all angles.

Central Pier in Docklands

Central Pier in Docklands - Night Photography

On a still night, the Central Pier in Dockland is a great place to come for some photos. With the colourful Bolte Bridge in the distance and the white domed pier pillars in the foreground, there’s plenty of reflections to play with.

West Gate Freeway Archways

Best night photography spots in Melbourne

It’s not all about Yarra River and its reflections! Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital and there is ‘art’ everywhere, including the freeways. At the back of the South Wharf DFO, you can take some interesting long exposures of one of these pieces of art. We love the effect of the traffic passing through the ‘blue-zones’ of the two West Gate Freeway Archways.

Swan Street Bridge

Night views from Swan Street Bridge

This is a great bridge to head to early evening, as it can be an awesome spot for sunset. Watch the sun drop behind the city, as Melbourne CBD lights up as the colourful sky behind turns to night.

Checkout our Best sunset photography spots in inner-city Melbourne for some other sunset ideas.

Spencer Street Bridge

Crown Melbourne’s Gas Brigade evening show

Hourly at night the 8 towers along Melbourne’s Southbank shoot the ‘world’s largest fireballs’ into the night’s sky. And the Spencer Street Bridge is a great spot to watch Melbourne’s Crown Casino Gas Brigade’s evening shows from. Check HERE for timings, as it varies throughout the year.

d’Albora Victoria Harbour Docklands

Docklands Night Photography

Similar to the Victoria Harbour Promenade location, this is a little closer to the action, with a slightly different perspective from out on the water. There’s a variety of harbour sections to choose from just wander around to see which ones you have access to.

Pony Fish Island & the Evan Walker Bridge

Pony Fish Island & the Evan Walker Bridge night photography

The Evan Walker Pedestrian Bridge which links Flinders Street Station to Southbank is a night photography favourite of ours. It’s nice from both near and far and never more so than on still night on the Yarra.

Yarra’s Edge Marina

Yarra's Edge Marina night photography

The Yarra’s Edge Marina was on our ‘Covid Walk’ route during Metro Melbourne lockdown, so we got to know it well. Much quieter than the Marina in the main docklands area this is a nice calming area to explore with plenty of night photography spots.

Underneath Swan Street Bridge

Best night photography spots in Melbourne - Underneath Swan Street Bridge

This is something a bit different. On a still night the colourful reflections make for an interesting shot. So if you’re wandering around the Swan Street Bridge on a rare calm night, make sure you check it out.

Flinders Street Station

Best night photography spots in Melbourne - Flinders Street Station

Arguably Melbourne’s most iconic building, Flinders Street Station is photo-worthy from all angles. Playing with some long exposures as it lights up at night can make for some cool shots.

Broken Pier by Southbank Promenade

Broken Pier by Southbank Promenade

Head down to the lower section of the promenade by the Broken Pier for some nice angles of the city. This whole stretch of lower promenade gives lovely views of the Evan Walker Bridge, Flinders Street Station and the high rises beyond.

In front of the Rowing Clubs on Boathouse Drive

Princes Bridge - Best night photography spots in Melbourne

On a still night, this is without doubt one of the best night photography spots in Melbourne. The reflections really make it. People don’t really seem to head out along the Yarra past Princes Bridge at night, preferring to stick to busy areas to its east. But if you like your night photography, we think it is definitely worth it!

Swan Street Landing

Swan Street Bridge - Best night photography spots in Melbourne

The colourful Swan Street Bridge really is photogenic. With a city backdrop the Swan Street Landing and Public Berth just off the main Yarra Trail is a beautiful place for a colourful night shot.

Shrine of Remembrance – World War Two Memorial Forecourt

World War Two Memorial Forecourt

One of those lovely peaceful places to watch day turn to night. Coming here early evening for sunset and then waiting as the twilight colours fade into the night sky is both beautiful and poignant. ‘Lest we forget’ the significance of this place. The World War Two Memorial Forecourt which includes the Eternal Flame and Cenotaph commemorates the service and sacrifice of the brave Victorians in the Second World War (1939–45).

Checkout our Best sunset photography spots in inner-city Melbourne for some other sunset ideas.

Yarra Promenade – by Kings Street Bridge

Night photography - Crown Melbourne’s Gas Brigade evening

Same same, but different. Another angle of the ever popular Crown Casino’s Gas Brigade evening shows. Get a good spot along the Kings Street Bridge or the area of Promenade just in front of it for views of the fireballs with a Spencer Street Bridge, Melbourne Exhibition Centre and Crown Plaza backdrop.

In Summary

So there it is, Melbourne by night – Our guide to the best night photography spots in inner city Melbourne. We hope it helps anyone wanting to get out and about and photograph the picturesque city at night. All of the above locations are free, easily accessible and walking distance from central Melbourne.

Tips and Tricks

We are certainly not experts, but here are a few things to consider that have helped us improve our night photography:

  • Pick your nights. It may sound obvious, but if you want those reflections don’t bother going out on wet and windy night. If the Yarra River is choppy you won’t get what you’re looking for.
  • Play with shutter speed. Slow shutter speeds can make photographs really interesting. Whether it be flattening out the ripples on the river with a longer exposure or creating motion blur. Or use faster shutter speeds to eliminate movement. Trust us, there are a lot of boats on the Yarra and it’s never flat or calm for long.
  • Use a tripod, especially when using slower shutter speeds.
  • If the weather isn’t playing ball, lookout for puddles to create different reflections. They are often a lot stiller than larger bodies of water.

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