Perched on a coastal plain on the edge of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is one of Australia’s largest cities—and one of its most scenic. With its waterfront vistas, incredible food and iconic architecture, the city seems tailor-made for photo ops, whether you’re a photography pro or simply ‘gramming your vacation. Here are five of our favourites.
1. Luna Park
Luna Park is a vintage amusement park—open since 1912, in fact—that still thrills Melbourne’s young and young at heart. It’s situated in the neighbourhood of St. Kilda by the bay, and is known for its ornate carousel and the oldest continuously operating roller coaster in the world. Most visitors can’t resist snapping a pic in front of the larger-than-life clown face at the park’s entrance before heading inside.
2. The Abbotsford Convent
The century-old Abbotsford Convent is located in the bend of the Yarra River and is a haven of tranquillity in the heart of the city. The nuns may be long gone, but the convent is now where you’ll find more than 100 artist studios, 11 historic buildings and many gardens spread across 16 acres. Thanks to its diversity of settings—ranging from the formal Heritage Gardens to distressed industrial buildings—the convent has been the site of numerous films, fashion shoots and art projects over the years. Explore the grounds, and scout out your own photo shoot location.
3. Degraves Street
With eclectic shops and restaurants tucked away distinctive corners, Melbourne’s charming laneways are a unique part of the local culture—and Degraves Street is arguably its most famous. Giving off an undeniable European vibe (or something more akin to Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, depending on whom you ask), this is the place to find galleries, boutiques and sidewalk cafes that are perfect for people watching. It’s also a great place to snap some portraits in front of a colourful mural painted by one of Melbourne’s talented street artists.
4. Brighton Beach Boxes
The colourful row of Beach Boxes have stood watch over the bay since Victorian times. Originally built to preserve bathers’ modesty, they’re now a highly sought-after slice of real estate in Melbourne. Despite not having electricity or running water, the sheds can fetch upwards of $300,000 (Australian) apiece. Luckily, you don’t have to own one to take a picture of it—so snap away.
5. State Library of Victoria
Another historic Melbourne site, the State Library of Victoria is home to millions of books, manuscripts, maps, photographs and artifacts. Stop in to browse the rotating exhibits focused on Victoria’s culture and history, or just find a quiet corner and enjoy the free Wi-Fi. Before you go, be sure to snap a picture of the domed La Trobe Reading Room. The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, red and blue rotundas, and courtyards are also worth seeking out.
No matter where you go in Melbourne, you’re sure to head home with a phone or camera full of stunning photos—and memories to match.