The Dolphin Fountain – Melbourne, Australia - Atlas Obscura

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The Dolphin Fountain

Fitzroy Gardens

Somewhat controversial when first unveiled, this gathering of sea creatures has become a hidden gem. 


Fitzroy Gardens has several quirky sights and attractions scattered across 64 acres of green space, but none received such mixed reviews than The Dolphin Fountain. Situated in the middle of the park at the edge of the Central Business District in East Melbourne, this fine monument consists of a pyramid of granite boulders, on top of which lie a variety of different sea creatures. Visitors will find dolphins, octopuses, crabs, sea birds, sea turtles, and many more aquatic animals scattered across the rocks. 

The fountain was sculpted by local artist June Arnold and was unveiled in 1982. Two wealthy benefactors from the city of Melbourne donated a total of $30,000 towards the development and construction of the fountain. A small plaque can be found on the fountain which has their names inscribed, acknowledging this financial donation to the local people.

Interestingly, the fountain split public opinion with some questioning the relevance to the city of Melbourne and its location in a site as iconic as Fitzroy Gardens. Initially, the fountain was proposed to take pride of place on Albert Street, but something of a compromise was met when it was decided by the local council to place the fountain in a secluded area near a small lake in the center of the park. The tranquil spot is the perfect place to relax. The fountain is now a favorite of visitors to the area. 

Know Before You Go

"The Dolphin Fountain" can be found at the Northside of the small lake in the center of Fitzroy Gardens. It is easily accessible and there is a small area to walk around the water and take in the beauty of the spot. 

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