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Melbourne sunset skyline
Photograph: Flickr/jhlau

The best sunset and sunrise spots in Melbourne

Sit back and enjoy the view at some of these picturesque spots near Melbourne

By Time Out editors
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There's something mystically calming about watching the sun rise or set. While it's magical to watch the daily light show anywhere, there's no arguing the fact that some locations really enhance the experience. The next time you're looking to watch the natural phenomenon, head to one of these Victorian locations ideal for watching the sunrise or sunset. And remember what the Flaming Lips said: "the sun doesn't go down; it's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round."

While you're outdoors, why not try one of Victoria's best day hikes or kick about for a picnic?

The best sunrise spots in Melbourne

The shrine of remebrance at sunrise
The shrine of remebrance at sunrise
Photograph: Visit Victoria / Mark Chew

The Shrine of Remembrance

Museums Melbourne

Thousands attend the Shrine's ANZAC and Remembrance Day ceremonies, but on other days it's eerily quiet. Sitting on the steps as the sun rises, with the Eternal Flame for company, is a truly poignant experience.

Walking the 1,000 Steps

Sport and fitness Tremont

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walk is a place of pilgrimage for those determined to prove (or improve) their fitness. It's a 2.8-kilometre trek to the One Tree Hill lookout point, so arrive early and set a good pace.

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Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Photograph: Carmen Zammit

Royal Botanic Gardens

Things to do Melbourne

This inner-city oasis never disappoints when it comes to scoping out the sunrise. Wear comfy shoes and walk the Tan along the Yarra River back from the Swan Street bridge (keep a look out for the friendly family of swans who call the bridge home).

A hot air balloon over Melbourne's CBD
A hot air balloon over Melbourne's CBD
Photograph: Supplied / Visit Victoria

From a hot air balloon

Things to do Richmond

For those special occasion sunrises, there's nothing that will come close to the view from a hot air balloon gently floating 3,000 feet above Melbourne. We should know: we tried it.

The best sunset spots in Melbourne

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel sunset
Melbourne Star Observation Wheel sunset
Photograph: Craig Miles

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel

Attractions Docklands

One of the most popular times to visit the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel is at sunset and it's not hard to see why. This 40 storey high observation wheel offers stunning views out over Melbourne's west, perfect for watching the sunset. You can even book private cabins, which are well frequented by those wanting to pop with a romantic sunset.

The Boatbuilder's Yard at sunset
The Boatbuilder's Yard at sunset
Photograph: Visit Victoria

The Boatbuilders Yard

Bars South Wharf

Nestled in South Wharf, The Boatbuilder's Yard doesn't suffer from a lack of passing foot traffic. Watching the sunset from the expansive timber decks along the Yarra (with a bevvy in hand) offers instant wow factor.

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St Kilda Beach Piere
St Kilda Beach Piere
Photograph: Graham Denholm

St Kilda Pier

Things to do St Kilda

An oldie but a goodie. Perch yourself on the weathered footbridge, dangle your feet into Port Phillip Bay, cast out as the sun sets and stick around to catch the post-dusk little penguin parade.

Dining at Eureka 89
Dining at Eureka 89
Photograph: Supplied

Eureka Skydeck 88

Things to do Southbank

Where better to watch the sun set than from the city's highest viewing platform? Eureka Skydeck features floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing a 360-degree view from 88 floors above street level.

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Flagstaff Gardens
Flagstaff Gardens
Photograph: Two Stripe Photography

Flagstaff Gardens

Things to do West Melbourne

Melbourne's first public garden was established in the 1860s, and once had views to Port Phillip Bay. These days, the former pioneer burial site is a lovely spot to chill and share the sunset with the possums.

Transit Rooftop Bar
Transit Rooftop Bar
Photograph: Supplied

Transit Rooftop Bar

Bars Melbourne

From its lofty Fed Square digs Transit Rooftop Bar is ideal for watching the Yarra after a long day with a cocktail in hand. The bar knows they’re in prime viewing position and they make good use of it. Transit has a big outdoor deck, all the better for you to idly watch the river, city and sunset over the city skyline. 

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A shot of people lining up at the bar at Rooftop Bar
A shot of people lining up at the bar at Rooftop Bar
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Rooftop Bar

Bars Melbourne

Complete with AstroTurf, candy-striped deckchairs, an outdoor cinema and a well-stocked bar, this is a great place to feel like you're in the middle of the action as you watch the sun set over the skyscrapers.

Sofitel Melbourne
Sofitel Melbourne
Photograph: Booking.com

Atrium Bar on 35

Bars Melbourne

Level 35 of the Sofitel is home to sophisticated wine bar Atrium... but between you and us, the toilets feature the same stunning views of the city for free (just remember to wash your hands afterwards).

And one that's not in Melbourne...

12 Apostles
12 Apostles
Photograph: Belinda VanZanen/Visit Victoria

The Twelve Apostles

You'll have to get up early to watch the sunrise at the Twelve Apostles, but it's well worth the effort. Seeing the morning's first rays bounce off the iconic rugged stacks of limestone is breathtaking (the Apostles change colour from grey to sandy yellow as day breaks). Plus, once the sunrise is over you've got the whole day to go exploring along the Great Ocean Road.

If you're out at night anyway...

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