Much of the inner city’s goodness is hidden within the Melbourne laneways: secret coffee shops, rooftop bars, soup kitchens, boutique shops and of course, world class street art. No visit to Melbourne is complete without snapping a cheeky Instagram selfie at two of the most popular Melbourne graffiti hot spots – Hosier Lane or DeGraves Street. But the thing about Melbourne is, the city is all about individuality and creativity.
Melbourne’s ‘secret’ hot spots are infinite and new and funky venues are popping up throughout the CBD every month. What does that mean? Melbourne is the perfect city to pack your camera, strap your feet into some comfy walking shoes and get lost! So get your ‘Melbourne’ on and check out these graffiti art laneways…
1. Caledonian Lane
This little (and we mean little) laneway is just 4m wide and runs between Little Bourke and Lonsdale Street. On Caledonian Lane, history was born. You may have heard of St Jerome’s Laneway Festival? Well Caledonian Lane is the birthplace of this internationally acclaimed music fest and was once home to one of our favourite laneway drinking holes, notably – ‘St Jeromes.’ Although the grafitti art along Caledonian Lane may not be as bold and substantial as Hosier and DeGraves, you will catch the odd masterpiece here and there. Why we love it? Because the little laneway still oozes a sense of Melbourne’s love for all things underground and artistic.
2. ACDC Lane & Duckboard Place
Not only home to one of our favourite drinking holes, Cherry Bar, ACDC Lane is a veteran when it comes to Melbourne street art. Named after Aussie Rock Gods ACDC, the street veers off Flinders Lane and past the back entrance (and skip bins) of numerous restaurants and bars. The tall brick walls play backdrop to old posters and advertisements and quite a few graffiti pieces well worth a looksie. Although not as ‘lively’ as some of Melbourne’s more popular laneways, ACDC Lane has quite an eerie and abandoned feel to it – adding to the sense of secrecy that Melbourne is so renown for. Continue walking along ACDC Lane and the street will turn into Duckboard Place – get the camera ready!
3. Cocker Alley
Right by Federation Square sits Cocker Alley – a less visited laneway that is streaming with ever changing artwork and the works of Banksy.
4. Rutledge Lane
In 2013, Rutledge Lane became the centre of controversy. The entire laneway’s original street art was painted over in blue. The idea behind the ‘paint over’ was to provide local graffiti artists with a blank canvas. Despite backlash and protest, Rutledge Lane now boasts a fresh and colourful canvas of unique graffiti art.
5. Union Lane
Hidden just off Bourke Street square (Myer Shopping Centre), you will find Union Lane. In 2010, 70 graffiti artists were paid to decorate the walls of Union Lane and ever since, fresh art continues to pop up every few months – well worth a visit.