A drive-by shooting outside a Melbourne nightclub in Australia has left one man dead and three people injured, police have said.

The shooting happened outside the Love Machine club early on Sunday morning.

Police said shots were fired from a car into a crowd standing outside the nightclub, hitting three security guards and a fourth man, who was queuing to enter the club.

Police seal off the scene of the shooting.
Forensic police examine the scene of the shooting outside Love Machine nightclub. Credit: AP

A 37-year-old man died in hospital from his injuries and three other people were taken to hospital.

Police said two men are in a critical condition and are appealing for anyone with video footage or information to come forward.

No arrests have been made so far.

They are investigating whether a black Porsche SUV seen leaving the area is related to the shooting. The car was later found burnt out.

"These things are still incredibly rare and there's nothing to indicate at the moment that this is part of a broader agenda," said Andrew Stamper of Victoria state police.

Love Machine host Steve Yousif posted on Facebook: "Overwhelmed with all your calls and texts, nothing but love for you all."

"What happened last night was uncalled for and devastating. For some of you it was a night out, the rest of the Love Machine family lost a beautiful soul today," he wrote.

Gun violence is rare in Australia, which strengthened its gun laws following the murders of 35 people by a lone gunman in 1996 in Tasmania.

In New Zealand, an Australian white supremacist has been charged with murder over the March 15 mosque attacks that left 50 dead, leading the country to ban a range of semi-automatic weapons.