About four hours before you get up in the morning, put the kettle on and douse your hair in try shampoo, the sun rises. This natural phenomenon occurs on a daily basis and has been described as ‘pretty bloody beautiful’ by Instagram captions the world over. Fortunately for us Melburnians, there are some pretty ripper places to take in an early morning sunrise and we’ve gone to the trouble of rustling them up for you before the smog gets so heavy you can’t see through it.
Here are the most spectacular places to catch a sunrise in Melbourne.
Shrine Of Remembrance
The Shrine of Remembrance is already one of the single most spectacular landmarks in the city of Melbourne. Opened in 1934, it was built to honour the Victorians who fought in WWI and is today one of Melbourne’s most recognised architectural forms.
You can take in a sunrise from the sprawling lawn of the Kings Domain Gardens surrounding the shrine on any day of the year, or you can join the thousands of Australians who converge on the location each Anzac day for the Dawn Service. Either way, nothing quite beats the moment the first light touches the city from your superb vantage point on the Shrine steps.
Head on down to Princes Pier on a crisp Melbourne morning to catch one of the best Instagrams that’ll ever hit your profile.
Built between 1912 and 1915, Princes Pier is an iconic 580-metre stretch of coastline sprinkled with wooden pylons, that heads out towards Port Phillip Bay. The view itself is a little spooky, but filled with a stunning sunrise and covered with the right strength of Clarendon filter, can provide the best #picoftheday your Insta followers have ever seen.
Brighton Beach’s bathing boxes may be every second Millennial’s Facebook cover photo during January, but they also make up one of the most spectacular views of a Melbourne sunrise that you’ll ever have the honor of leaving your house to witness.
With a backdrop of 82 $200,000 brightly painted beach boxes and a killer view of the Melbourne skyline in the background, the photo practically takes itself, even without the rising sun illuminating the ocean and making you feel like you’re in a Land Rover Discovery ad.
Albert Park Lake
We’ve all run a lap of Albert Park Lake (naht) and have admired the picturesque flocks of yachts cruising along its waters, but you ain’t seen nothing until you’ve sat by the foreshore next to a family of swans and taken in the rising sun with a hot cup of milo and a sleeping bag you swiped from hard rubbish last week.
Only three kilometres from the CBD and home to some of the fittest and most good looking people in the Melbourne, Albert Park Lake prides itself on being one of the most tranquil and natural landscapes in the city, except for when sixty million racecars tear round it during the Grand Prix in March.
Kokoda Memorial Walk (1000 Steps)
Grab your drink bottle and squeeze into your 2XU tights because witnessing one of Melbourne’s best sunrises takes some serious work.
To reach the summit of the Kokoda Memorial walk, you’ll have to master (surprisingly) 1000 steps and and approximately 2.8 kilometres of Dandenong Ranges bushland. Gates open at 6am so you can’t even use the excuse that it’s closed, plus we’ve seen toddlers run up it on multiple occasions so don’t say you’re ‘not cut for the great outdoors’. Trust us though, the hypoventilation is worth it - the Kokoda Memorial Walk sunrise is one cracker sunrise.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Closer to home is the Royal Botanic Gardens which offers up hundreds of square metres of natural flora. You can choose to pull up a patch of grass by the lake and take in the sunrise from an idyllic fixed spot, or you can commit to a lap of the tan and absorb the rising rays as you sweat up Anderson Street.
Don’t forget to pick up a flat white from Entrecote afterwards because why the hell was the early morning worth it if not for the caffeine.
Given you're keen on a sunrise, we predict you probably don't mind a secret garden or two. Here are the best secret gardens you can visit near Melbourne.
Image credit: Arnaud Mesureur