The Best Laneways And Backstreets in Melbourne To Find Inspiring Street Art
Wherever you find yourself in the city of Melbourne, you can be sure that you won't be far from some incredible street art. The dark and gloomy labyrinth of alleyways that run throughout the city comes to life with colour as a host of local and international street artists have painted the town over the years. While many eventually found success in white-walled galleries, a variety of Australia's top artists actually got their start on the street with paste-ups, mural paintings and graffiti art being just some of the awesome creativeness you can find hidden around just about every corner.
With Melbourne also having a spectacular reputation amongst artists living around the world, it's no surprise that the city has become a hotspot for underground creativity. However, there are a few particular inner-city laneways and locations that offer you the best opportunity to admire many of these great artworks. During your next visit to Melbourne, take a stroll from your Fraser Suites Melbourne luxury apartment and visit some of Melbourne's most happening areas. These are some of the must-visit spots to catch awe-inspiring street art.
Undeniably the best-known location to experience graffiti art on this list, Hosier Lane has been instrumental in the creation and continuation of Melbourne's impressive street art culture. Situated opposite the bustling tourist landmarks of Federation Square and Flinders Street, if you want to catch some of these talented artists in action, then your best bet is at Hosier Lane as many can be seen live throughout the day and night.
Take a wander down Hosier Lane and you'll soon see that the entire space is virtually covered in paintings and paste-ups. It's also where you find many of the city's most famous examples of street art. One work that you don't want to miss is the unnamed mural of an Indigenous boy by prominent Australian artist Adnate. Standing at 23-metres tall, it's hard to ignore but make sure you bring your camera and capture the work as it gazes across the nearby Birrarung Marr park.
Caledonian Lane might be small, but it's grown in reputation over the years. That's because it was the very first location for St Jerome's Laneway Festival, a massive music showcase that emerged from this tight back alley into the international blockbuster that it's regarded as today. Located off Lonsdale Street, unfortunately, recent developments have somewhat limited the amount of artwork that could once have been seen, but it's still worth paying a visit as you explore Melbourne's maze of laneways. You'll also be happy to know that there are plenty of tasty coffee specialists and bars nearby that provide the ideal spot to rest your feet after your adventure through the streets.
Celebrating one of Australia's greatest rock bands of all-time, this tiny thoroughfare was renamed AC/DC Lane back in 2004. And it's rather fitting, as this place is home to some of Melbourne's long-standing rocker bars that truly represent the city's fascinating history of live music and underground culture. Matching up with its immediate surroundings, the street art on display here often features storied icons from rock 'n' roll history, including Angus Young, Prince and Jimi Hendrix.
The area has been somewhat cleaned up over the years, but it still maintains its raggedy vibe that perfectly suits Melbourne's stellar creative past. ACDC Lane is also known to be a particular favourite of New Zealand stencil artist Ha-Ha, aka Regan Tamanui, whose work can be seen all over the world. Famous for his massive paste-ups that can span the sides of buildings, go searching for the pop-culture references hidden amongst the walls.
Keep walking through ACDC Lane and you'll make your way into another street art hotspot. This one is called Duckboard Place and it's actually surrounded by a wonderful selection of restaurants, including some of Melbourne's most loved ones like Chin Chin, Eau Di Vie and Lee Ho Fook. This part of Melbourne's inner-city is some of the trendiest, with excited queues of diners often streaming out the door as they wait to get a table at these bustling eateries. The wait is made a little easier with the amount of street art to be seen with murals stretching up to the rooftops. Painted by Brisbane-born artist Steen Jones, Duckboard Place's most recognisable artwork is a towering mural of roses and butterflies, which provides a remarkable backdrop to this delightfully tucked away spot.
When it comes to suburbs that are basically synonymous with Melbourne's creative spirit, you can't look past the inner-northern area of Fitzroy. Beloved for its huge collection of chic fashion boutiques, cafes and bars, there's also some awesome pieces of art dotted throughout its busy streets. While there are plenty that we can name, there are two special large-scale murals based along Johnston Street that are well worth taking a quick trip outside the CBD for. The first is the 'Everfresh Fitzroy mural', which can be found on the side of the popular live music and event space known as The Night Cat. Painted by the popular street art crew Everfresh, the work happily declares: "Welcome to Sunny Fitzroy."
Meanwhile, head back along Johnston Street to the entrance of Melbourne's much-loved Spiegeltent – a place that's worth its own visit – and you'll discover a mural by legendary New York artist and pop-culture icon, Keith Haring. Painted back in 1984 when Haring was invited to Melbourne, today the mural is regarded as one of the city's most popular examples of public art, becoming a great symbol of the local community.
Fraser Place Melbourne is located just a few minutes' walk from many of the city's top laneways that feature an eclectic wealth of street art. When you're next in town, get amongst the best of Melbourne's underground culture and wander through its myriad of colourful and dynamic spaces.