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What Are The Best Bridges In Melbourne?

There are numerous bridge options in the city. Estuary in Melbourne is formed by the Yarra and the Maribyrnong rivers. Major bridges are also needed to accommodate new freeways. The most fascinating can be found along the Yarra River, and exploring them is a breeze on two wheels or foot. The Yarra River Trail, which is a section of the Capital City Trail, is a fantastic walking and biking route.

If you want to see the most of the Yarra River's bridges, a good place to start is in South Yarra and work your way back to the Central Business District and Docklands (check the map below for more details). In the hours before sunset is ideal. It's the best time of day to take pictures of the bridges because the sky is a beautiful reddish-orange at sunset, which is my favourite time of day. Bring your phone's camera if you don't have a camera.

Some of my favourite bridges are in Docklands. They're all incredible when illuminated by night, but the sunrise colours are what really make a trip there worthwhile. Below is a list of my six favourite bridges in Melbourne, in order from South Yarra to Docklands.

In addition to my personal top 6, I have included a list of all of the bridges in Melbourne that are worth seeing if you have the opportunity.

The Best Bridges In Melbourne

Bridges are a necessity in a city like Melbourne, where a river cuts through the heart of the city. Although we don't have quite as many bridges as, say, Hamburg, Germany (which has 2,300), we still have quite a few.

We have bridges, and nearly all of them stand out in some way, whether it's their size or design. Some have managed to surprise all Melbourne drivers, resulting in numerous automobile deaths.

Church Street Bridge

This bridge connects Church Street in Richmond to Chapel Street in South Yarra/Prahran. This is the starting point of this photo walk/ride. You can also come here taking the tram nr—eight from CBD and getting off on the corner between Chapel Street and Toorak road. The bridge is an easy walk from there. The photo below was taken from the side, around 100 metres from the bridge, with a view towards the city. At sunset, you have a fantastic light in the background.

The first bridge on the site was an iron girder bridge built-in 1857. Purchased from the British government at the end of the Crimean War, this bridge had a 210 feet (64 m) span with side trusses being solid riveted iron 10 feet (3.0 m) high, designed to prevent Russian snipers from killing British troops. The bridge was dismantled and reconstructed with stone buttresses on the site.

Hoddle Bridge

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This is one of the busiest bridges in Melbourne, I believe. Traffic is intense every hour of the day. If you take the photo from the Capital City Trail, facing the city, you can capture the intersection of two bridges actually, the Hoodle and the M1 bridge. Try to come here on a cloudy day for an awesome background. Hoddle Bridge is the reason why Southsiders also get to experience the particular “joy” that is driving along Punt Road. 

This five-arch white concrete bridge connects foot and road traffic from Richmond (well, Cremorne) to South Yarra in style, with Art Deco columns and balustrades lining the bridge. Despite the busy road traffic, it’s a pretty nice bridge to cross on foot thanks to its western views over the Yarra, city city and AAMI Park.

The Hoddle Bridge is an arch bridge over the Yarra River between Richmond and South Yarra, Melbourne, Australia. It carries Punt Road across the Yarra. It is a five-lane road bridge with narrow footpaths on either side. It is of continuous reinforced concrete T-beam construction with five segmental-arched spans, supported on transverse piers and linked by concrete cross-beams.

West Gate Bridge

Anyone who’s ever driven over the West Gate has to admit the view from 58 metres in the air is pretty impressive, with the city and West Gate “pink lake” Park on one side and the shipyards on the other. As well as being huge, the bridge is also hugely busy, despite having five lanes in each direction. However, it’s important to note that the West Gate also has a tragic past. 

In 1970, part of the bridge collapsed during its construction, killing 35 workers and injuring an additional 18. In 2009 permanent barriers were installed along the bridge following the murder of Darcey Freeman. This is another only-car bridge that connects Melbourne to the western suburbs and Geelong. It’s open to bicycles only on special days like Around The Bay in October.

Maribyrnong Railway Bridge

One of Melbourne's most stunning structures is the Maribyrnong Railway Bridge. It was built in 1860 and is visible from the path that runs alongside the Maribyrnong River.

This bridge is without a doubt one of the most attractive in Melbourne. Kane's Bridge: another bridge along the Yarra river walk that connects to the Studley Park Boathouse, nice place for a tea or lunch in summer Victoria Bridge: next to IKEA; built in 1860; visible from the walk along the Maribyrnong river.

FAQs The Best Bridge In Melbourne

Not only does the Bolte Bridge offer one of the best views of Melbourne’s city skyline, but it’s also a pretty sight to see from a distance – especially if you imagine the two enormous concrete box girders as two middle fingers to Bolte’s main rival, the West Gate.

Maribyrnong Railway Bridge: one of the most beautiful bridges of Melbourne. Dated back to 1860, it can be seen from the walk along the Maribyrnong river Kane’s Bridge: another bridge along the Yarra river walk that connects to the Studley Park Boathouse, a nice place for a tea or lunch in summer.

Melbourne is responsible for 13 bridges within the city's boundary, ranging from footbridges to heritage-listed bridges such as Princes Bridge.Nov 11, 2003

Bolte Bridge

Not only does the Bolte Bridge offer one of the best views of Melbourne’s city skyline, but it’s also a pretty sight to see from a distance – especially if you imagine the two enormous concrete box girders as two middle fingers to Bolte’s main rival, the West Gate. 

Bolte also has the duty of connecting the West Gate, Monash and Tullamarine freeways, which makes it an extremely important bridge. It was named after the former premier of Victoria, Sir Henry Bolte.  By the way, not that we’re bragging, but the Bolte is the largest balanced cantilever cast in situ box girder bridge in Australia. Take that—other bridges. It connects the Airport to the south of Melbourne. It’s not a pedestrian bridge. You can have a beautiful view of it from the Docklands Library at night. 

Morell Bridge

Wikipedia has an interesting page with many links on this bridge. It is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, just a few hundred meters from the CBD. There is a new stadium next to it, now called AAMI Stadium, with some interesting LED lights that change colour every few seconds. 

It’s a great location. You can take a photo of this bridge from the side, on the Capital City Trail. It suggests walking around it as there are many great corners and a lovely river reflection late in the afternoon/evening.

There’s no doubt that Morell Bridge, which runs over the Yarra at Anderson Street in South Yarra, is an underrated gem. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t get the praise or traffic as Princes Bridge, and it’s often overlooked by the neighbouring Hoddle Bridge. But Morell is a lot cooler than you’d expect – especially when you lean in closer and notice there are huge dragon motifs edged all over it. And yeah, it’s heritage listed. NBD. It features decorations on the three arch spans, including large dragon motifs and ornamental Victorian lights. The gutters on the bridge are cobbled bluestone, with a single lane bitumen strip running down the middle. The bridge is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Princes Bridge

This is the main bridge connecting the Melbourne CBD to the south of the city. I think 80% of the trams ride this bridge, making it the busiest for the transportation system. You can come at sunrise or sunset. In both cases, you have a lovely light. The choice is more on the background, the city or the South Wharf? The photo below was taken from below Federation Square on a special occasion, Australia Day.

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Yes, for all the grammar pedants, the Princes Bridge was originally called the Prince’s Bridge (after Edward, Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII) but naturally, we got lazy, and they ditched the apostrophe (actually, there’s a policy that possessive apostrophes can’t be used in place names – nuts). 

This is probably one of Melbourne’s most known bridges, as it’s featured in hundreds if not thousands of photos of Melbourne’s city skyline. Not to mention just how many people you see taking photos from it every single day. It’s not the bridge’s fault; it’s in a prime location, connecting the centre of Melbourne’s Hoddle Grid to its arts precinct and Alexandra Gardens. 

Fun fact: the Princes Bridge was preceded by a wooden toll bridge (not to be confused with a troll bridge). There are heaps of fun facts about this bridge – you should read the Wikipedia article. 

Seafarers Bridge

We've reached Docklands, a neighbourhood I'm fond of exploring late at night. If you choose to take this photo tour and ride together, you will spend most of your time in the dark. If you need a break, you can stop at one of the area's restaurants or bars. The bridge also has many interesting vantage points and photo ops to offer. This one below is one of my favourites, and I've posted it in black and white for your viewing pleasure.

The clacking and clicking of bicycle tyres on Seafarers Bridge. Wow, that's exciting. As a bonus, boaters make it easier for landlubbers to reach the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and DFO South Wharf by linking the two sides of the Yarra River. Additionally eye-catching are the pair of elliptical arches. In Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, pedestrians can cross the Yarra River from Docklands to South Wharf via the Seafarers Bridge.

The bridge connects the two sides of the river and serves as the grand entrance to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Three elliptical arches on the northern side and four on the southern side support the main bridge span, which is held up by steel ties. Located on the northern bank of the Yarra River, the 'Mission to Seafarers' centre is a fitting symbol of Melbourne's maritime heritage, and the bridge bears its name in honour of this connection.

The Webb Bridge

The last bridge of this review is also the last bridge of the Yarra River. It is another walking/riding only bridge, which leaves lots of time to position the camera and take a great shot. I highly suggest you visit it at night. The cage lights are just fantastic.

This pedestrian and bike bridge crosses the Yarra River near Docklands. It’s known mostly because of its distinctive spider web-like frame and that sharp hairpin turn that almost always ends with a collision between a speedy cyclist and an unaware pedestrian. 

Robert Owen designed Webb Bridge for the Docklands Authority. According to Owen, “the bridge is an analogy of Koori fishing traps and the gestural flow of the river below. The design [was] developed out of a desire for a symbolic and poetic demonstration of reconciliation and indigenous history provided a source of its inspiration.”

Montague Street Bridge

There is possibly no bridge in Melbourne, nay Australia that is more infamous than the Montague Street Bridge. So woe betides the driver who underestimates the height of their vehicle when crossing underneath this bridge, located in Southbank. 

Despite the fairly obvious danger stripes and “LOW CLEARANCE 3.0M” sign, this bad boy of bridges is famous for regularly decapitating trucks and other large vehicles.  It’s become such a folk anti-hero that it even has a website counting the days since a vehicle last collided with it, plus its own Twitter account. Fun fact: the bridge is so unusually short due to the road being raised in the 1930s to minimise flooding.

Sandridge Bridge

The Sandridge Bridge actually dates all the way back to 1853, but the one you can see today was constructed three decades later (and was partly worked on by John Monash). This old rail bridge was used by trains right up until 1987 when its line was converted into a tram route, but it wasn’t until 2006 that Sandridge Bridge was reopened as a pedestrian and cyclist bridge. 

The bridge is notable for being home to The Travellers – a public artwork by Nadim Karam featuring nine moving sculptures representing the many immigrants who came to Melbourne. It connects Southgate to Flinders Station. Once a train bridge, it has been nicely refurbished with an immigration “path” to be experienced

MacRobertson Bridge

MacRobertson Bridge, almost 100 years old, connects Toorak to Richmond. They are used mainly by cars and bicycles. This is where you can ride from the north side to the south side of the Yarra River.

Charles Grimes Bridge

Charles Grimes Bridge, it’s not an interesting bridge by itself however;, from there, you have a beautiful view on one side of the city and Jim Styne's bridge and the other side of the Webb Bridge.

King Street Bridge

The King Street Bridge carries King Street over the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia. The bridge continues south as an elevated viaduct, with the Crown Casino built around it in later years.

As originally constructed, the bridge had eight lanes across the Yarra River, two through lanes in each direction connecting King Street to Kings Way and two lanes on each side connected to Yarra Bank Road. 

At the south end, north-facing on and off-ramps connected to Whiteman Street, and the running lanes from the viaduct descend to ground level, with tram route 58 emerging from City Road to the median strip. In the 1990s, the development of Crown Casino closed Yarra Bank Road, and the bridge ramps were connected to the basement carpark of the complex.

West Gate Bridge

In Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the West Gate Bridge spans the Yarra River just north of its mouth into Port Phillip. The bridge is made of steel and has box girders that are supported by cables.

It connects the central business district (CBD) to the western suburbs, the western industrial suburbs, and the city of Geelong, which is located 80 kilometres (50 miles) to the south-west. The West Gate Freeway runs through it. This location is on a major thoroughfare in Australia.

There is a main river span that is 336 metres (1,102 feet) long and 58 metres (190 feet) tall (190 ft). The full span of the bridge is 2,582.6 metres (8,473 ft).

This bridge is the fifth longest in Australia, with Melbourne's Bolte Bridge being the longest at 5 kilometres (3.1 mi). With a water clearance of 58 metres (190 ft), the West Gate Bridge is one of Australia's highest road decks and more than twice as long as the Sydney Harbour Bridge (161 ft).

Up to 200,000 vehicles per day use the bridge as it travels over Westgate Park, a large environmental and recreational reserve built in conjunction with the bridge.

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