From sweeping murals to ephemeral graffiti, Melbourne’s street art scene is among the best in the world – here’s our pick of the most creative art displays in the city
Widely known as the street art capital of Australia, Melbourne is an urban playground for budding graffiti artists. Everything from tiny laneways to towering buildings have become a canvas for sweeping murals, edgy graffiti and quirky stencils – even the elusive Banksy has made his mark. Next time you feel like playing tourist in your own city, seek out these Melbourne street art hot spots, and be wowed by the creative ingenuity of our local street artists.
Our pick of Mebourne's best street art
Honouring Australia’s homegrown rock legends in both name and spirit, every inch of the walls in this CBD lane are covered in raucous, colourful Melbourne street art. Here you’ll see tributes to the eponymous guitar smashers, including a 3D sculpture of Bon Scott bursting through the wall.
AC/DC Ln, Melbourne
The artworks adorning Presgrave Place brim with whimsy and nostalgia, where miniature frames carrying eclectic prints and 3D dioramas pop out of the walls. While you’re here you can duck into a hole-in-the-wall café for brews (by day) or one of the most esteemed bars in the city for cocktails (by night).
Presgrave Pl, Melbourne
Hosier Lane might be a tourist magnet these days, but its reputation is well founded – it’s an ever-changing canvas for some of the most vibrant murals, stencils and posters in town. Melbourne's street art doesn't come much better than this. You’re likely to see humourous visuals and references to recent pop culture among the explosion of colour, and if you’re lucky, an artist live in action.
Hosier Ln, Melbourne
Upper West Side Street Art Precinct
Gracing the walls of a power station are sweeping, large scale murals by well-known artists including Fintan Magee and Adnate. Specially commissioned to breathe fresh life into this corner of the CBD, many feature stunning detail and colour palettes, enlivening what would otherwise be a drab concrete jungle.
Cnr Spencer St and Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Image courtesy of juddyroller.com
Keith Haring Mural
Likely the most significant mural on Melbourne's street art scene, this instantly recognisable work on Johnson Street by legendary New York artist Keith Haring has been part of the Collingwood community since 1984, with multiple restorations under its belt.
Johnston Street, Collingwood
Image courtesy of NGV
Welcome to Fitzroy
This black and white, graphic mural is one of Fitzroy’s great local treasures. Painted on the side of beloved live music venue The Night Cat by street art crew Everfresh, it’s been telling passersby “Welcome to Sunny Fitzroy” for over 10 years.
Johnston St, Fitzroy
This tiny lane has a big claim to fame – it’s the birthplace of St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, now a major national music and arts festival. Blink and you’ll miss the four-metre wide thoroughfare, which is chock-a-block with grungy, out-of-left-field works.
Caledonian Ln, Melbourne
Before you hop in line for Chin Chin, duck around the corner and check out the stunning murals beaming from the walls of Duckboard Place. Eyes are immediately drawn to Brisbane artist Steen Jones’s sprawling tattoo-style roses – intended as a love letter to Melbourne – plus a pair of rare rat stencils by none other than Banksy.
Duckboard Pl, Melbourne
Image courtesy of Steen Jones
Pat Perry City Square Mural
Does it still count as street art if you have to climb 20 metres high in the air to see it? This innovative project by Detroit-based artist Pat Perry saw him paint the roof of the Metro Tunnel’s construction shed in City Square. Taking inspiration from Melbourne’s rich theatrical past, the whimsical mural depicts old-timey circus performers decked in the modern-day accessories of tradies and pedestrians. Here for the next three years, you can see this iconic Melbourne street art from the windows of surrounding buildings and the Westin Hotel.
Swanston St, Melbourne
Towering over Collingwood is renowned street artist Adnate’s 20-storey mural with a message. Covering the side of a public housing building on Wellington Street, it features the faces of four residents from a primary school student to an Ethiopian refugee. The tallest mural in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s a stunning reminder of Melbourne’s vibrant, diverse population.
Wellington St, Collingwood
Haring and Basquiat Tribute Mural
Easey Street is home to one of Melbourne’s most thrilling new works of public art. This eleven-metre tall, thirty-metre wide tribute to Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat is a collaboration by eight local artists, combining realist portraits of the iconic pair with colourful graphic signs, symbols and line work.
Easey St, Collingwood
Taking the term ‘urban jungle’ to new heights, this sprawling mural by Mike Makatron transforms the side of a Meyers Place building into a lush green paradise teeming with exotic plants and critters. Commissioned by the City of Melbourne as part of their Green Your Laneways program, it’s quickly become a Melbourne street art favourite among locals and tourists.
Meyers Pl, Melbourne
Loved our round-up of Melbourne's best street art? Then you'll probably be on the hunt for more low-budget thrills. Why not feast alfresco at these picturesquepicnic spotsfollowed by a leisurely stroll along thesescenic walks? For more pre-payday ideas, check out our guide tocheap eatsand even cheaper (read: free)things to doin Melbourne.