Where to shoot the Melbourne Skyline

Melbourne's Skyline is one of the most impressive in the world. With 100 buildings over 100m and 30 of those designated as skyscrapers, indeed twice the number of London, it makes it one of the world's top 25 tallest cities. This is comparable with Abu Dhabi, Houston, Miami and Moscow. Melbourne's population is set to reach 8 million by 2050. 

Melbourne is spectacular from many angles. From across the bay you can introduce interesting foreground to compliment the skyline. In the city, you can use the Yarra river as a base for your backdrop. Whether it is up close or from afar, we've collated our favourite spots to shoot the skyline. 

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - Nikkor 14-24Mm f/2.8 @ 14mm - F/10 - 8 SECONDS - ISO 100

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - Nikkor 14-24Mm f/2.8 @ 14mm - F/10 - 8 SECONDS - ISO 100

From Princess Bridge - dusk

Looking west from the Princess Bridge along the Yarra and over the Ponyfish Island. Flinders Street on the right on the image, Eureka tower and Southbank of the left.


PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 80-200MM F/2.8 @ 112mm - F/22 - 5 SECONDS - ISO 100

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 80-200MM F/2.8 @ 112mm - F/22 - 5 SECONDS - ISO 100

From Dendy Beach, Brighton - dusk

Looking north from the Esplinade, over Dendy Beach. It is a little tricky to find a spot where the trees part way to give an unobstructed view of the Brighton Bathing Boxes and the city in the background.


PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8 @ 24mm - F/8 - 1/125 - ISO 200

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8 @ 24mm - F/8 - 1/125 - ISO 200

From Birrarung Marr - late afternoon

Looking west from the bridge in the centre of Birrarung Marr park where people have gathered for the Night Noodle Market. The addition of people in the sun adds a human element to a series usually devoid of people. 


PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8 @ 32mm - F/8 - 1/125 - ISO 200

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8 @ 32mm - F/8 - 1/125 - ISO 200

From Swan Street Bridge - late afternoon

Looking west from the Swan Street Bridge means the Yarra River acts as a leading line into the skyscrapers in the eastern part of the Central Business District (CBD). 


PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 80-200MM F/2.8 @ 125mm - F/5 - 1/500 - ISO 100

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 80-200MM F/2.8 @ 125mm - F/5 - 1/500 - ISO 100

From Beveridge - afternoon

Close to where notorious Bushranger Ned Kelly was born, some 35kms (20m) north of Melbourne. Beveridge allows us to place Melbourne in a greater Australian countryside setting.


PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 14-24MM F/2.8 @ 18mm - F/22 - 13 SECONDS - ISO 100

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 14-24MM F/2.8 @ 18mm - F/22 - 13 SECONDS - ISO 100

From the Concert Hall - dusk

From the balcony on the side of the Concert Hall, this view takes in Federation Square and the skyline of the eastern part of the CBD and highlights Saint Paul's Cathedral, which adds a nice mix of heritage and modern development to the shot.


PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8 @ 32mm - F/8 - 1/125 - ISO 200

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8 @ 32mm - F/8 - 1/125 - ISO 200

From Williamstown - dusk

This view from Williamstown encompasses many boats to deliver a layering of distance in the shot. I used a fast shutter speed to make sure the masts in the water weren't blurry. 


PHOTOGRAPHY : Sung Khuu - NIKON D200 - NIKKOR 50mm F/1.4 @ F/8 - 1/60 - ISO 200

PHOTOGRAPHY : Sung Khuu - NIKON D200 - NIKKOR 50mm F/1.4 @ F/8 - 1/60 - ISO 200

From the Shrine of Remembrance - day

The Shrine of Remembrance lies directly at the southern end of Swanston Street, one of the main north-south axes of the Hoddle Grid. The park at the foreground adds symmetry and depth to the image. Can you see the 31-story portrait of indigenious leader William Barak in the centre? 


PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8 @ 26mm - F/8 - 15 SECONDS - ISO 100

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8 @ 26mm - F/8 - 15 SECONDS - ISO 100

From Batman Avenue Bridge - night

Named after the founder of Melbourne, John Batman, Batman Avenue is pronounced Bat-min, and sadly not like the comic book hero. This view elegantly captures the Arts Centre Spire, and isolates the tallest building in Melbourne, the Eureka tower. 


PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 @ F/11 - 13 SECONDS - ISO 100

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 @ F/11 - 13 SECONDS - ISO 100

From Northcote - sunset

From the southern end of High Street, Northcote, this view of Melbourne is a perfect place to capture the full unobstructed breadth of the skyscraper district of Melbourne. 


PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8 @ 27mm - F/8 - 30 SECONDS - ISO 100

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D7000 - NIKKOR 24-70MM F/2.8 @ 27mm - F/8 30 SECONDS - ISO 100

From the Docklands - night

The docklands is the fastest developing tall building district in Melbourne and with the opportunity to shoot around the former docks, it provides many possibilities for striking reflections on milky water with long exposures. 


PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D200 - NIKKOR 80-200MM F/2.8 @ F/2.8 - 1/80 - ISO 200

PHOTOGRAPHY : ALEXANDER J.E. BRADLEY - NIKON D200 - NIKKOR 80-200MM F/2.8 @ F/2.8 - 1/80 - ISO 200

From St. Kilda - sunset

Similar to the view from Williamstown, but from the other side of the mouth of the Yarra, the boats moored at St. Kilda pier adds depth to the image. Take a thermos, it can get chilly with the wind at the end of the pier. 


Melbourne's breathtaking skyline is just the starting point of the many photographic opportunities the city offers. If you want to capture Melbourne's best side, join a professional photographer and take a Melbourne Photo Tour with Aperture Tours.

What do you think is the best view of Melbourne's Skyline? Did we leave something out? Let us know in the comments below. Or post a photo to your favourite location to capture Melbourne's Skyline.


Author : Alexander J.E. Bradley

Alexander is the founder of Aperture Tours which run tours in Melbourne and across the globe. A professional photographer for over a decade, Alexander enjoys shooting the surreal by mixing dreamlike qualities into his conceptual images.