Uncover the Hidden Artistry of Street Arts in Australia

By Evory Chong

Australia’s cities are bursting with vibrant, energetic street arts that offer a window into the heart and soul of the places. From the bustling alleys of Melbourne to the sun-kissed lanes of Sydney, Australia’s streets are transformed into open-air galleries, where walls serve as canvases and graffiti becomes an intricate tapestry of culture and creativity. Let’s dive into the colourful, ever-evolving realm of Australian street art in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.

1) Melbourne

Hosier Lane | Visit Victoria Media Library

AC/DC Lane | Whatson Melbourne

Residents of Melbourne are encouraged to participate in the creative expression of street art, making the city known as one of the global hubs for street art. Strike through Hosier and Rutledge lanes, as well as Centre Place, are some of the best outdoor galleries in the city. To learn more about the artists and their work, take a self-guided stroll or sign up for one of the popular walking tours.

AC/DC Lane is a hub for street art and music, named after the iconic Oz rock group. Marvel at sticker-bombed windows, check out the 3D sculpture of Bon Scott breaking through the wall by Mike Makatron and the murals of Malcolm Young from AC/DC.

2) Sydney

Surry Hills | The City Lane

Newtown | Destination NSW Media Library

Surry Hills is an inner-city suburb of Sydney. Visit the old residence and studio of avant-garde artist Brett Whiteley and explore the streets with terraces to see murals. Walking around this city while breathing in the energy of the street artists. Arnold Lane, Cleveland Street, Fanny Place, Fitzroy Lane, Foley Street, and many other locations are good places to find some of Surry Hills’ best street art.

Newtown is well-known for its quirky, bohemian vibe. It is home to iconic art and theatre spaces, and youngsters’ favourite eclectic vintage shopping. This bustling Sydney neighbourhood draws both artists and foodies with its magnificently renovated 19th-century terrace buildings and street art. The most beloved mural in Newtown which is called ‘I have a dream’, was painted in August 1991 by painters Juilee Pryor and Andrew Aiken in the dark of night while using just spray cans, ladders, and a cherry picker to make a tribute to Martin Luther King and his timeless lessons.

3) Perth

South Fremantle | Tourism Western Australia Media Library

South Fremantle | Tourism Western Australia Media Library

While strolling through Perth’s City, you can come across a vibrant mural or be mesmerized by some street arts. Located in South Fremantle, this 3D art is called East West Design. Painter Graeme Miles Richards, a talented New Zealander living in Perth, was commissioned by the shop owners to create this large mural, and it took him more than seven months to complete. The varied storefront styles are a reflection of the wide range of goods they offer, which come from Europe, Asia, and Africa.

4) Brisbane

Red Hill| ABC News

The Constance Hotel, Fortitude Valley | Concrete Playground

Since its establishment in 2016, the Brisbane Street Art Festival (BSAF) has made a significant contribution to the art industry in Brisbane. During the two-week Brisbane Street Arts Festival in 2017, local and international artists painted over 22 large murals at various locations around the city. The first picture shown was painted by artist Drapl on the old skate arena in Red Hill.

Some of Brisbane’s best public art can be found in Fortitude Valley, which is also the centre of the city’s music and art scenes. Visit the area and you’ll come across several original artworks, but staying at The Constance—Brisbane’s only street art hotel—will really stimulate your creative side.

5) Adelaide

Port Adelaide | South Australia Media Library

Adelaide boasts a growing street art scene, earning it the fitting nickname “Radelaide” from the locals. Locals in Adelaide love Anster Street that is filled with graffiti and Peel Street in the city centre for its bustling array of bars and eateries. Street art enthusiasts must visit Port Adelaide for its Wonderwalls project as it’s an annual festival that launches more than 5 new murals each year. It’s pretty easy to stroll around this area and discover all of the Wonderwalls murals, both old and new painted.