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Filming video content in the Melbourne CBD
April 22, 2024

Filming video content in the Melbourne CBD

Filming video content in the Melbourne CBD

Filming video content in the Melbourne CBD is often a requirement for video teams, particularly with corporate video projects where a city backdrop is needed. With its seamless blend of colonial-style buildings, modern architecture and abundant public gardens, Melbourne CBD offers a wide variety of location options for filmmakers working on a variety of other content too.

However, whether you’re a local or visiting from out of town, there are some crucial factors to consider to ensure your day of production runs smoothly.

Before you call “action” you may need to consider things like public liability insurance, parking, peak hour traffic times and planned events that may cause road closures and affect public access.

Let’s run through the list.

Do I need a filming permit for Melbourne CBD?

If you are filming within the Melbourne CBD’s public open spaces, you may require a filming permit. These permits ensure that your activities are conducted in accordance with safety and amenity regulations.

To see whether you need a filming permit, check this link:

While also considering time sensitive and privately managed locations outlined below​, you will need a filming permit from the City of Melbourne if one or more of the following conditions apply (at the time of writing):

  • Your filming activity inclusive of all production crew and talent consists of more than six people
  • Your infrastructure exceeds one camera, one tripod and handheld sound recording equipment
  • You intend to block a public footpath or road leaving less than 2.5 metres of pedestrian thoroughfare at any time
  • You intend to implement pedestrian or traffic management
  • Your activities will disrupt the city’s stakeholders (traders, residents and businesses) or motorists or other events in the vicinity of the activities
  • You require vehicle access to a location
  • You wish to film with a remote piloted aircraft (RPA) / drone – refer to the guidelines below.

Permits ensure that activities are conducted in accordance with City of Melbourne’s safety and amenity regulations.

What does a permit cost to film in the Melbourne CBD?

It’s vital to note that fees apply for permits allowing filming or still photography in public spaces, (although some community or not-for-profit groups may be eligible for a full permit fee waiver).

To see what fees may apply to you, click this link and scroll down to Filming Permit Fees:


Public Liability Insurance

At the time of writing, the City of Melbourne recommends holding $20 million of public liability insurance if you plan to film in the CBD. Public liability insurance may protect you, and/or your organisation, if a claim is made against you or your organisation for causing personal injury or property damage through your negligence.

To see if you need public liability insurance, check out this helpful guide:


Using a Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) or Drone

A permit is required from the City of Melbourne before any RPA/drone activity is allowed to take place within or above the municipality’s public open space.
The following RPA/Drone Guidelines will assist operators to understand their requirements and the permit process involved to approve this type of activity  within City of Melbourne’s public open space.


Parking in the Melbourne CBD

There are multiple parking options in the Melbourne CBD but as it’s a bustling city centre, it pays to plan ahead.
The City of Melbourne has a comprehensive guide to help you plan your trip, locate a suitable car park and/or a kerbside option. As kerbside spaces are limited, we don’t recommend relying on these if you’re on a strict timeline.

To find the best off-street parking option for you, check out this link:



The Melbourne CBD hosts many events that can affect traffic and public access which may limit your options depending on when and where you want to shoot..
Some events to be mindful of are:

The AFL Parade

The AFL Parade runs on the Friday before the AFL Grand Final, usually in late September. The parade is a cavalcade of the participating teams, players, and supporters as they drive and march through the streets of Melbourne. Starting at Melbourne Park, the Grand Final teams then follow the banks of the Yarra River down to Birrarung Marr, over the pedestrian bridge and into Yarra Park before finishing at the AFL’s free Footy Festival.

Full details will appear on this website once each year’s event has been planned:



The iconic Moomba Festival welcomes people into the city annually on the Labour Day long weekend in March. Moomba is famous for its Moomba Monarchs who reign over the traditional Monday street parade.

Some events will see road closures and restricted access so check the website to see where:


Melbourne Marathon

The Melbourne Marathon occurs in October each year and causes road closures around the MCG that will affect traffic and access to parking on race day. If you have an enquiry about traffic and road closures, you can contact the dedicated Traffic Enquiries Line on (03) 9864 1122.


Road Closures

Roads in the City of Melbourne may be closed for reasons other than events, including roadworks, building work or large-scale filming. We advise checking on planned road closures before every shoot in the CBD.

Here is a list of road closures that may impact access and travel times within the CBD:



The City of Melbourne has a variety of open spaces and public gardens that may be suitable for your shoot.

Check this link for the full list:



Melbourne is renowned for its unpredictable weather which can make planning ahead tricky. We recommend having an undercover option if filming must take place on a particular day, or alternatively, having a backup date if filming must take place outside.
The Bureau of Meteorology provides a seven-day forecast which should help you plan ahead:



Melbourne is now the largest city in Australia by population. This means peak hour traffic can make your morning or afternoon journey painfully slow. The morning peak runs from 6:30 am to 9:30 am, and the afternoon peak runs from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm so plan your journey outside of these times if possible.
For up-to-the-minute Melbourne traffic details visit:



All city centres are noisy, and Melbourne CBD is no different. Along with cars, honking horns, audible reversing alarms, sirens, helicopters, construction, and the click of pedestrian signals, the Melbourne CBD also sees hundreds of noisy trams pass through every day. All of these sounds can make capturing clear audio extremely challenging. This is why it’s crucial to hire a professional video production team who have the audio production experience to manage this.

The City of Melbourne’s rules and regulations are always changing so check their website before you start planning and you should enjoy a hassle-free shoot.

If there’s anything you’re still unsure of, check this Melbourne Filming Guide:


If you’re planning on filming video content in the Melbourne CBD, and need further advice or an experienced video production crew, please contact Pixel3 Video Production Services at anthony@pixel3.com.au

This article provides general information about various issues that may affect producing video content in the Melbourne CBD. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice: instead, all information and links are for general informational purposes only. We are not liable for changes to any aspect of the above information and cannot guarantee that the information is always up to date or accurate. For legal advice on shooting in the Melbourne CBD, contact Melbourne City Council directly.