Melbourne’s street art scene

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There are many reasons to pay a visit to Melbourne–awesome beaches, fabulous food and cool nightlife. But the street art scene is also a major draw.

There are many reasons to take a trip to Melbourne, Australia–awesome beaches, fabulous food and cool nightlife. But the street art scene is also a major draw, especially if you’re into graffiti. The best place to find it? Simply get lost in the laneways. Yes, among dumpsters and abandoned buildings, down dark and often quiet alleys, you’ll find some of the most interesting visuals Down Under.

A glimpse at the creativity found on Hosier Lane (Image: sufw)
A glimpse at the creativity found on Hosier Lane (Image: sufw)

The most famous of the plastered laneways is Hosier Lane. Other top viewing spots include Rutledge Place, Duckboard Place, Degraves Street, Croft Alley, AC/DC Lane and Union Lane.

Union Lane is famed for its impressive murals (Image: Rene Cunningham)
Union Lane is famed for its impressive murals (Image: Rene Cunningham)

These laneways are quickly helping Melbourne rival some of the biggest street art capitals in the world–places like Berlin, New York and Sao Paolo.

Laneways are often narrow and fairly dark (Image: nAok0)
Laneways are often narrow and fairly dark (Image: nAok0)

Among the works of art you’ll find everything from unsophisticated tags to mixed media installations to murals.  You’re also sure to spot some recognizable works from Banksy, along with other street art greats like Fafi and Logan Hicks.

There's a wide range of art styles, even on the same wall (Image: Looking Glass)
There’s a wide range of art styles, even on the same wall (Image: Looking Glass)

Ironically, despite the plethora of it, a lot of street art in Melbourne is highly illegal! In fact, the laws against it are incredibly strict compared to other parts of the world. However, there are many areas that have made it legal through local council-authorized projects or privately commissioned pieces. Most of the famous laneways fall under this realm.

Another peek at Hosier Lane (Image: Looking Glass)
Another peek at Hosier Lane (Image: Looking Glass)

It’s easy to put together your own walking tour with the list from above! There’s also this awesome map: Melbourne Graffiti Walks, thanks to Google. For more guidance check out guided tours like Walk to Art and Melbourne Street Art Tours.

(Main image: Looking Glass)

Melbourne’s street art scene was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Taryn Adler
Author: Taryn Adler (38 posts)

Taryn Adler spent six years as a beauty and fashion editor in New York City before impulsively buying a one-way ticket to Mumbai for some eating, praying and loving (mostly eating). Three months in India segued into a yearlong adventure and a travel writing career. Taryn has been to more than 40 countries.