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The 12 Unmissable Photo Opportunities in Melbourne

Whether you share them on Instagram, send them to your mum or hang them all over your bedroom walls, these are the best photos to take in Melbourne.

1. Hosier Lane
Melbourne CBD

Hosier Lane is the centre of Melbourne’s urban art scene and by far the best photo spot in the city.

Featuring street art from local and international artists, the cobbled lane near Federation Square is a photographer’s paradise.

From murals of cultural icons to anime stencil work and powerful political art, a wander down Hosier Lane promises equal measures of mayhem & inspiration.

Whilst you’re there, a detour down Rutledge Lane (the ‘sister gallery’) is mandatory to check out the art covering every surface possible, including the wheelie bins.

Make sure you also check out Melbourne’s other street art hot spots including AC/DC Lane, Duckboard Place & Croft Alley.

2. Brighton Bathing Boxes

About 12km south of Melbourne city centre you’ll find Brighton Beach, home to 82 brightly coloured wooden beach huts dating back to the early 1900s.

Built in the Victorian era when seaside bathing was the biggest craze, the Brighton Bathing Boxes are a unique historical landmark and one of the most photographed spots in the Melbourne area.

Each hut has been individually designed, so chose your favourite, run up those timber steps and let the photoshoot begin.

3. Coop’s Shot Tower
Melbourne CBD

Coop's Shot Tower in Melbourne Central
Coop’s Shot Tower in Melbourne Central

Coop’s Shot Tower is one of the most instagrammable spots in the city, spurred on by the fact that it’s actually found in the middle of a huge modern shopping centre.

Built in the 19th century, Coop’s Shot Tower was the tallest building in Melbourne until the 1940s, which seems crazy now that ultra-tall skyscrapers dominate the city skyline.

The factory manufactured lead pellets for firearms before shutting down in the 1960s, remaining abandoned until it was incorporated into the Melbourne Central development in the 1990s and encased by a giant cone of steel and glass.

4. Luna Park
St Kilda

Luna Park St Kilda Melbourne

Luna Park is a historical amusement park on the St Kilda foreshore that has been open for over 100 years, making it the oldest theme park in Australia.

It’s also the only theme park in the world which is completely enclosed by a roller coaster, the Great Scenic Railway.

Add palm trees, sunshine and a warm sea breeze into the mix and Luna Park becomes the perfect place to spend a Saturday.

Inspired by the amusement parks of Coney Island in New York, the famous mouth entrance is reminiscent of the previous century and a unique photo opportunity for tourists.

5. Princes Bridge
Melbourne CBD

View of the Melbourne city skyline from Princes Bridge

You’ll always get the best views of the Melbourne skyline from the south bank of the River Yarra, and the view from the edge of Princes Bridge is pretty damn special.

Built in the 1880s and inspired by Blackfriars Bridge in London, the arch bridge is found on the site of the oldest river crossing in Melbourne.

To this day, it forms a gateway to the city centre from the south neighbourhoods and it’s a wonderful spot to get your camera out.

Wish you could have a permanent souvenir of these beautiful Melbourne views? Custom enamel pins are such a good shout. Whether you fell in love with a landmark historical building or a stunning sunset, these photos can be made into enamel pins. Custom enamel pins not only add a cool vibe to your clothes, hats or bag, but they can also be collected as travel memories or gifted to friends and family.

6. Chinatown (Little Bourke St)
Melbourne CBD

To capture Chinatown in all its glory you have to visit at night time, when the Chinese lanterns glow a deep red and hungry Melburnians queue in the street for dumplings.

Four traditional archways mark the different entrances to the historical area, which is located at the eastern end of Little Bourke St in Melbourne CBD.

In Chinatown, traditional Chinese architecture from the Australian gold rush era blends with urban street art to create perfect photo opportunities.

Many visitors also wander down the main strip to watch cooks make fresh dumplings & dim sum through big glass windows at the front of the restaurants.

7. Albert Park Lake
Albert Park

Albert Park Lake drone shot Melbourne

Albert Park is a 560 acre park south of Melbourne city centre with a huge lake in the middle.

Photographers love capturing the city skyline from the edge of the lake, especially at sunset when the glass skyscrapers reflect the golden rays of the sun.

Using a drone is a great way to capture pictures of the lake and the palm tree-lined boulevards surrounding the water (but keep your drone at home when the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit takes over the park!).

8. The Royal Exhibition Building at Carlton Gardens

Royal Exhibition Centre in Carlton Gardens Melbourne

Built in 1879, the Royal Exhibition Building is a World-Heritage listed building in Carlton Gardens, just north of Melbourne city centre.

The central dome was modeled on Florence Cathedral and the building also draws inspiration from French renaissance architecture, making it a popular spot for photos.

Originally built to host the Melbourne World Exhibition in the late 19th century, the building now hosts cultural events in collaboration with the Melbourne Museum.

9. Princes Pier
Port Melbourne

Princes Pier Port Melbourne

Princes Pier in Port Melbourne might look like a newly built modern pier on early inspection, but head to the seaward end of the pier and you’ll find a piece of important history.

The wooden piles sticking out of the water are all that remain of the original pier that was built over 100 years ago to welcome incoming migrants to Melbourne.

The preservation of these piles has turned them into a sculptural centrepiece that’s just screaming to be captured on film.

Head down at sunset, use a wide-angle lens and set up a time-lapse for best results.

10. State Library of Victoria
Melbourne CBD

Victoria State Library Melbourne

Photos of the State Library of Victoria are all over social media, probably because the neoclassical architecture sits in stark contrast to the rest of urban Melbourne.

Nevertheless, the grandeur you see in photos online is even more apparent in real life and as the oldest public library in Australia, the SLV is definitely worth a visit.

Head up to one of the top floors for the best shots of La Trobe Reading Room below, which is a prime example of Edwardian Splendour (and great for people watching).

11. Sunset at Elwood Beach

Sunset at Elwood Beach

In case you hadn’t guessed already, I love sunsets, and sunsets at Elwood Beach are the best in Melbourne.

At the inner city beaches like St Kilda & South Melbourne, the ugly cranes and cargo of the Port of Melbourne often ruin your perfect sunset shot.

But further south at Elwood Beach the sun sets slap bang in the centre of Port Phillip Bay, offering uninterrupted views of the deep purple sky reflected on the ocean.

12. The City Circle Tram
Melbourne CBD

The City Circle Tram (route 35) Melbourne

The tram system in Melbourne dates back to the early 1900s and the City Circle Tram (route 35) provides the opportunity to travel just like Melburnians did over a hundred years ago.

Whilst the tram system in Melbourne now consists of ultra-sleek modern vehicles, the route 35 trams are the original electric trams from the previous century, complete with single carriages and colonial features.

You’ll see the free City Circle Trams trawling around the perimeter of Melbourne city centre multiple times a day, and snapping a photo of the iconic old tram must be on your Melbourne bucket list.

I hope you enjoyed my article about the best photos to take in Melbourne. Don’t miss my guide to the most beautiful beaches in Victoria and the best photos to take in Tasmania