A huge meteorite has been spotted burning across the night sky in south west Australia, with footage showing the fireball above the city of Melbourne.

Reports of the fireball spread on social media, with sightings all the way from Victoria to New South Wales.

The meteorite was travelling from east to north, with one woman describing it as a "massive shooting star".

Charmaine Harris from Victoria told the Herald Sun: "It looked like a big ball with a long, shiny tail."

According to The Age, one 3AW radio listener called in to report what he saw, saying: "It was really impressive. It had the flame and the intense burn. Just as it was falling away it broke up. I'd say it was a little asteroid or a comet."

Another added: "It was so fast and then it just slowed and drifted down...with an enormous trail of light. You could see as it was coming down close to the ground it seemed to be splutter and breaking up. It was absolutely fantastic."

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology told the newspaper it did not know what had caused the fireball. Forecaster Terry Ryan said: "Obviously something has happened. Maybe it's a bit of space junk or it could be a meteor. It was described as fairly bright."