Home Attractions A Guide to the Landmarks of South Melbourne

A Guide to the Landmarks of South Melbourne

by Ashleigh Galea
south melbourne landmarks

In 2022, Melbourne was listed in the world’s top ten most livable cities. With gardens, historical monuments and cultural landmarks on nearly every block, it’s no wonder that Melbourne and the suburbs that comprise this bustling city are considered the most livable in the world.

South Melbourne is located precisely as you’d expect, just south of the Melbourne CBD. Just far enough away from the inner-city hustle, South Melbourne boasts its very own iconic landmarks.

South Melbourne Town Hall

Fishley St, South Melbourne


Photo by Samuel Shepherd

This beautiful 1800s hall is located in the heart of South Melbourne. After opening its doors to the public for the first time in June 1880 under its original name of Emerald Hill Town Hall, this stark and breathtakingly beautiful building now known as South Melbourne Town Hall has closed until further notice after decades upon decades of civic functions.

Originally comprised of a post office, a mechanics institute, a court house and even a fire brigade, this French-influenced Victorian-style beauty is now used as the perfect backdrop for wedding photographers and is highly sought after by Victorian brides for its grand stature and daring features.

There are talks of The South Melbourne Town Hall being revamped for a music academy, but a decision is yet to be made.

Just a 20-minute walk from here, you’ll find the iconic Shrine of Remembrance closer to Melbourne CBD.

Montague Street Bridge

83 Montague St, Southbank

montague street bridge crash

Photo by Brendan Terrett

Famous for all the wrong reasons. Considering its outer-city location, the Montague Street Bridge has a frustratingly low clearance height of just 3m, which is substantially shorter than the vehicles that brave driving under it. Think busses, trucks, tall trailers and even vans. Although signposted, unless you know the exact dimensions of your vehicle, it’s easy to see how this could happen.

With its own social networking pages, websites and memes galore, it’s no wonder this famous bridge is the best-known bridge in Melbourne. It’s not uncommon to let out a “here we go again,” and carry on our merry way when we hear on the news that the Montague Street bridge has once again been struck.

Portable Iron Houses

399 Coventry Street, South Melbourne

south melbourne portable iron houses

Photo by Vance Henley

With just three left standing, South Melbourne’s Portable Iron Houses are a startling insight into what living conditions were like through the gold rush era following the 1851 discovery of gold in Victoria and are part of the National Trust.

Manufactured in Britain and painstakingly transported to Australia, these Portable Iron Houses were considered a luxury abode compared to the canvas tents that people were calling home. Easily assembled and a retreat from the hard laborious days out in the gold fields, these Portable Iron Houses are now on display for the public to discover

Opened only on the first Sunday of the month from 1pm-4pm, admission is $6 for adults or $4 for concession/children and is suitable for all ages.

Albert Park Lake

albert park lake view from WebOracle

Photo by Keith Nallawalla

Belonging to the traditional custodians of the land, the Bunurong people, Albert Park has abundant space for pet-friendly meet-ups and a 4.8km track for cycling or running around the beautiful and serene Albert Park Lake.

Surrounding the lake is a race track which is home to the all-iconic Grand Prix. If car racing isn’t your idea of fun, maybe a sail or a row on the lake would be more your speed. If you don’t know how to do either don’t fret, there are lessons available to teach you all you need to know.

Around the track, there are a number of beautiful picnic areas for you to enjoy, pack a lunch and pack up the kids (the dog too if you choose) and enjoy an afternoon out overlooking the lake and over to the scenic Melbourne City skyline.

South Melbourne Market

322-326 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Outside of South Melbourne Market

Photo by Jack Gallagher-Bohn

South Melbourne Market is the main fresh food market in South Melbourne. Its village-style market stalls, friendly shop staff and some of the most incredibly fresh produce you have ever seen will make you want to come back again and again.

From fresh seafood, deli goods and super fresh fruit and vegetables, to some more exotic stalls and eateries, this market has something for everyone at this abundant market. There are cafes for your freshly brewed coffee and morning pastry will liven your shopping experience. This market is only open Wednesday, Friday and the weekend so make a day of it.

Melbourne is known for a lot of great landmarks, but so many of them are located in South Melbourne, just a stone’s throw away from the CBD. South Melbourne is the perfect place for a day out and about exploring the quieter side of this beautiful city.

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