Top 10 Photography Spots along Melbourne's Yarra River | Photo Walk

The best photography vantage points along Melbourne's Yarra River, with a Google Maps path all mapped out.

Although Melbourne lacks the majestic harbour of Sydney or the waters of Hong Kong, it does have the Yarra River, which is surprisingly photogenic. You'll be able to take photos of Victorian era bridges and the CBD, perfectly reflected in the river.

This is a fairly long walk best enjoyed in the evening during Autumn or Winter, when the weather is cool and the air is clear. It is a rewarding one, and I've selected the best photography spots along the river.

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    • Walk attributes
      • Length: 6.1 km
        Time: 2-3 hours
        Terrain: Flat, concrete path
        Tips: Check the wind speed first. If it's not a still night, you won't get the mirror-like reflections on the river. A dry winter night provides the best clarity.
        Safety: If walking this route at night, you will likely be the only one there. The usual city cautions apply.

The following map can be loaded into Google Maps on your smartphone, with the marked path intact. As of publication, Google's own walking instructions are unreliable as their map is not complete, which is why we have elected to use satellite view here.



Start: South Yarra Train Station

Take the train and get off at South Yarra Station, and towards Chapel Street towards the river.

Point 1: Church Street Bridge and Highway

Your first spot is the view of Church St Bridge and the City Link Toll road. The bridge was built in 1927 and is on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Point 2: Church St Bridge Second Vantage Point

Walking back towards the city, you'll pass by a bridge hosting railway tracks. You can get onto the bridge via stairs on the river side of the road and from up here you can take another shot of Church St Bridge.


Point 3: Nylex Plastics Factory

The Nylex Plastics factory is famous for it's clock and popularity among urban explorers. It also makes a great reflection in the river. There is a small pier named Punt Road Landing which you can step onto, and take a photo of the former factory, warts and all. Note that Google Maps doesn't show these landings in normal view, and they only turn up in satellite view.

Be quick though - approval has been given to redevelop the site and although the Nylex sign and clock are to be preserved, the factory building itself is likely to be demolished.




Point 4: View of Morell Bridge and the CBD

The middle of Hoddle Bridge provides a perfect vantage point for Morell Bridge. Constructed in 1899, the bridge has been closed to traffic and is now for pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge itself is beautiful, featuring Victorian style lights and dragon motifs.


Point 5: Floating Bike Trail looking back into the CBD

The next point is quite interesting, as it's located on a cycle-way which can go up and down with the tide and itself provides a very nice foreground to the city. Interestingly enough, a warning sign at the beginning of the cycle-way warms people not to use it if it is flooded.


Point 6: Morell Bridge

The cast iron railing of Morell Bridge makes an excellent foreground for the either the CBD or the Nylex Factory, and the Yarra River. If you come an hour before sunset on a clear, sunny day, the railing casts a shadow pattern across the bridge, making for a very interesting photo.






The bridge itself has intricate details , such as the dragon engravings on the side of the bridge. The lamp posts are also very Victorian in style.



Point 7: CBD Reflection 1

Using a zoom lens, you can capture the city perfectly reflected in the Yarra River. It does have to be a windless night though, as the reflection trick only works if the water is completely still.




Point 8: Traditional CBD Shot

You'll be able to take a full shot of the CBD on Swan Street Bridge. On another note,
Swan St Bridge is also the perfect vantage point to capture the Moomba Fireworks with the city in the background.


Point 9: CBD Reflection 2

You'll be able to get a shot of the CBD and Princes Bridge in one go.


Point 10: the City from Hamer Hall

One of Melbourne's best kept secrets, this spot is hidden in plain sight. It's possible to go onto Hamer Hall itself where there is a small garden and the perfect vantage point to capture key landmarks such as Flinders Street Station, Princes and Evan Walker Bridges, and St Paul's Cathedral. You need to approach the building from the back, where there is a small staircase up - follow the map if you can't find it.

Only a panorama can do it justice.




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Karn Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Top 10 Photography Spots along Melbourne's Yarra River | Photo Walk
Top 10 Photography Spots along Melbourne's Yarra River | Photo Walk
The best photography vantage points along Melbourne's Yarra River, with a Google Maps path all mapped out.
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Karn Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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