|Wander the streets of central Melbourne and you will come across a wide variety of street art. Be on the look out for everything ranging from paste ups to full scale wall murals. The art work is constantly changing and don't be too disappointed if your favourite has been painted over. There will be something just as good to take its place somewhere around Melbourne's lanes.
The street art locations in the Melbourne Central Business District (CBD) are:
A short lane off Flinders Lane which is quite popular with visitors. There is some permanent art and generally has some good quality street art.
Runs parallel to AC/DC Lane off Flinders Lane and then curves around to connect with AC DC Lane. There are a couple of wonderful multi-story paintings on some walls which tower above the lane.
There is a doorway where you can find the last Banksy works remaining in Melbourne – two stenciled rats parachuting down, on either side of the doorway.
This is the most famous lane for Melbourne street art and is generally busy. It extends between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane, just east of Swanston Street. It is completely covered in paint and artwork quite quickly gets painted over with lots of tags or other paintings. This lane gets visits by many of the best street artists and you can sometimes find some real gems. Shortly after the death of Anthony Bourdain in 2018, a fitting memorial was painted in Hosier Lane. Look up high and you will find an impressive face of an indigenous person painted on a wall.
The lane forms a loop from Hosier Lane and is covered in thick paint layers and lots of tags. It can be difficult to find worthwhile artwork here. Your best chance is keep your eyes looking upwards.
This lane is off Franklin Street (#110) near the Queen Victoria market in the north of the city. Even though it is a bit off the beaten track, it is a real gem with a great range of artwork and well worth a visit.
Has an interesting variety of art along its length between Lonsdale Street and Little Bourke Street.
The lane forms a loop from Tattersalls Lane. It often has some good artwork and is worth a visit.
This location is well worth a visit and is very different to the other lanes with street art. It has lots of different types of art including many small framed paintings and installations. Access is via Howey Place which runs off Little Collins Street (west of Swanston Street)
Russell Place runs between Bourke Street and Little Collins Street. It is unusual because the only art work is in the front porch area of Bar Ampere which is located half way along the lane.
A small lane which runs off Drewery Lane. Currently famous for this Instagram selfie image.
You can expect to find some decent street art here. The lane runs between Lonsdale Street and Little Bourke Street.
Croft Alley is accessed from Little Bourke Street via Paynes Place. The lane has a few turns and a dead-end which can be a bit intimidating from a personal safety viewpoint, if you are by yourself. There is usually some decent street art along the length of the lane.
Drewery Lane is most famous for mosaics and includes mosaics in support of Legacy, an Australian organisation, established in 1923 by ex-servicemen. which cares for the dependents of deceased Australian service men and women. It runs between Little Lonsdale Street and Lonsdale Street.
This location is dominated by a huge mural with a tropical jungle theme by Mike Makatron at the corner of Bourke Street and Meyers Place.
Upper Wrest Side Arts Precinct
This curated street art area which is centred around an old electrical sub-station has a number of huge murals by well known artists such as Smug, Dvate, Adnate, Sofles, Fintan Magee and Rone. It is located beside Spencer Street between Lonsdale Street and Little Bourke Street.
The lane runs from Little Bourke Street and has a dead-end. Generally you will find something interesting here.
The lane connects Queen Street and Little Lonsdale Street. Most of the paintings in the lane are under cover but it does make it quite dark.
Behind corner of Queen Street and Franklin Street
No longer accessible due to construction works.
There are many other locations where street art can be found apart from the main lanes. These include:
Little Latrobe Street
There is a wall with some high quality murals by Adnate, Phibs, Heesco and Lister where Little Latrobe Street meets the western end of Literature Lane (about 100 metres east of Elizabeth Street).
This lane can be surprising and has a good range of murals, wheat pastes and stencils. Worth a visit. The lane is off Flinders Lane between Russell Street and Exhibition Street. You might find a poetic gem like this!
You say you love rain.
But you use an umbrella to walk under it.
You say you love sun.
But you seek shelter when it is shining.
You say you love wind.
But when it comes you close your windows.
So that's why I'm scared when you say you love me.
There is a large mural by Heesco featuring chefs from the top restaurants all over the world including Ben Shewry (Melbourne), Celler De Can Roca (Spain), Massimo Bottura (Italy), Daniel Humm (New York) and Heston Blumenthal (London). It was painted to celebrate the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards which was held in Melbourne in 2017. Heesco is a Melbourne based street artist who was born in Mongolia. A video of the making of the mural shows that it originally had a simple black background. The Australiana elements have been added later.
A very small area accessible from 258 Flinders Lane which rarely has quality artwork.
A'Beckett Street Walkway
A small walkway which leads from 130 A'Beckett Street which usually has a small number of large paintings.
Campbell Arcade is an eclectic underground shopping precinct area which dates from 1956 and connects Degraves Street with Flinders Street Station. Amongst the grime is the odd piece of street art, mainly paste-ups. There is also a row of twelve glass display cabinets featuring changing work of diverse creatives, from artists and curators to scientists and engineers. It looks like the arcade is in danger of existence from the Metro Tunnel project.
The lane is opposite Flinders Street station and runs between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane. Degraves Place is a small side-branch lined with bins. There is a mix of a few murals and a lot of stencils and paste-ups.
The alley runs off Flinders Lane, just west of Swanston Street. There is only one or two pieces of art in the alley but it is a historical place in the Melbourne street art scene. There is the former location of an iconic stencil named "Little Diver" by the famous graffiti artist known as Banksy who visited Melbourne in 2003. Banksy is an elusive street artist who keeps his identity secret and hardly ever gives media interviews.
Little Diver was less than one metre tall and wore a duffle coat and diving mask. Little Diver was protected by the owners of the building by a Perspex screen. Unfortunately vandals destroyed Little Diver by tipping paint behind the plastic protector and tagging 'Banksy woz ere' on the plastic, ruining the artwork forever.
French street artist Invader has a number of space invader style works scattered throughout the city. You can see one of them high up on the wall at the intersection of Watson Place and Flinders Lane. Other locations (which may have been painted over by now) were Rothsay Lane, Princess Bridge, Drewery Lane, Bullens Lane and Meyers Place.
Generally has a smallish number of pieces such as stencils and paste-ups. Carson Place is off Little Collins Street between Elizabeth Street and Swanston Street.
The street runs between Bourke Street and Little Collins Street and is located east of Queen Street. There are a couple of little lanes running off to the side where you might find some art work. However, the quantity will always be limited.
Hardware Lane runs all the way from Bourke Street to Little Lonsdale Street. However the southern sections are full of eating places and don't have any street art. At the northern end near Little Lonsdale Street there are a few murals including one by Lushsux in a few side lanes.
An interesting dead-end lane off Little Bourke Street which has a mix of murals, stencils and three dimensional pieces. There is an interesting mural by Kaffeine with an image of a horse, pig, duck and dog.
A narrow lane between Lonsdale and Little Bourke Street which has a few paste-ups.
A lane off Little Lonsdale Street (to the south) which has a lot of paste-ups on the wall near the entrance and a few along the walls of the court. The remainder of the court has worthless tagging.
A lane off Little Lonsdale Street (to the north) which has a confronting masked face and a few paste-ups.
The lane runs east from Queen Street. There are two branches which run parallel to Guildford Lane; McLean Alley and Flanigan Lane which also have some artwork, mainly paste-ups and a lot of tagging. Some is some interesting installations here but a lot of dross also.
There are a couple of large murals and a lot of tagging at the end of the place. Located off Little Collins Street.
Two huge murals, one along a side wall and the other splashed across the building at the end of the place. Located off Little Collins Street, east of Russell Street.
A couple of murals and a ceramic piece. Located off Little Collins Street, east of Exhibition Street.
A number of interesting paste-ups and installations. Runs between Little Bourke Street and Bourke Street east of Exhibition Street.
Some paste-ups and installations. Runs between Little Bourke Street and Bourke Street east of Exhibition Street.
A small amount of clever artwork and a commemoration plaque in memory of Chrissy Amphlett (1959 - 2013). The plaque says
Performer, Singer, Actress, Author, Activist
Divinyls and ARIA Hall of Fame member
Hits include 'Boys in Town', 'I Touch Myself', 'Science Fiction'
Dedicated by family, friends and fans 2015
Some paste ups along the walls. Runs off Little Bourke Street.
A small lane which leads off Russell Street between Collins Street and Flinders Lane which has some large interesting murals.
Located between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane on the west side of Elizabeth Street. Limited quality and quantity of street art can be found here.
The lane runs between Bourke Street and Little Collins Street on the west side of Elizabeth Street. The lane is narrow and both walls are covered in think paint. Unfortunately there is little quality here and plenty of tagging.
An L-shaped lane which connects Russell Street and Little Bourke Street. Very little street art except for a few old paste-ups and a space invader high up on the wall near Little Bourke Street.
The lane is off Little Bourke Street and has a number of turns before ending in a number of dead-ends where the quality deteriorates to areas of tagging. The area where the lane turns has a number of decent murals and paste-ups.
The lane has a huge wall at its entrance on Little Bourke Street which provides a canvas for a massive mural (currently it is partly painted over). There are also a few paste-ups on the way to Lonsdale Street.
If you want to keep up with new street art being created in Melbourne, these are some of the street artists you can follow on Instagram
Matt Adnate: Adnate on Instagram
Jimmy Dodd: Jimmydazzla on Instagram
Rone: r_o_n_e on Instagram
Twoone Hiroyasu Tsuri: t_w_o_o_n_e on Instagram
Tegan Tamanui: regantamanui on Instagram
Reko Rennie: rekorennie on Instagram
Lushsux on Instagram
Map of Street Art Locations: