The most spectacular point on Victoria’s coastline, the Twelve Apostles attracts 1.2 million visitors annually – many of whom choose to visit the site at dusk or dawn. Located on the scenic Great Ocean Road, four hours from Melbourne, the Twelve Apostles is a group of limestone stacks formed by erosion over millions of years. Today, there are only eight towers left standing. The lookout and walkways are open 365 days a year, and depending on the time of day you visit, a new scene awaits. Arrive before dawn and watch as the windswept coast is bathed in pastel light, before making your way down Gibson’s Steps to see the penguins scatter into the ocean.
Booringa Road and Great Ocean Road in Princetown VIC, Australia, +61 1300 137 255
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Tourists are drawn to Brighton’s Dendy Street Beach to see the brightly painted bathing boxes which date back to 1881, but at dawn, Mother Nature reveals an even more dazzling palette. Fiery orange and vivid corals and lilacs light up the sky and reflect off the waves. As the sun rises, the 82 beach boxes – worth a staggering $200,000 each – are revealed, as is Melbourne’s skyline. Take a few snaps, before diving into the water for a cool and refreshing morning dip.
Although the Shrine of Remembrance doesn’t open until 10 a.m., watching the sun rise over the building is a moving reminder of the men and women who served in wars and other conflicts. Opened in 1934, the Shrine of Remembrance was built to honour Victorians who served during World War I, and inside, there are over 800 artefacts dating back to the 1850s. Take in the monumental site at sunrise, before turning back towards Kings Domain as the first light touches the city, or join thousands of other Australians each year on ANZAC Day when the site hosts the annual Dawn Service.
Shrine of Remembrance, Birdwood Ave, Melbourne VIC, Australia, +61 03 9661 8100
Built between 1912 and 1915, Princes Pier is a 580-metre-long historic pier stretching out into Port Phillip Bay. In 1990, the timber was found to be in poor condition, so in 2006, the first 196 metres were restored, while the remaining pylons were preserved, creating a haunting, derelict view of Melbourne’s past. Attracting photographers, Princes Pier provides a dramatic view of the water as the sun rises over Port Phillip Bay.