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Public art

Melbourne

  • Hosier Lane street art. Photo: Roberto Seba.

Melbourne is well known as a source of inspiration for artists, writers and musicians. Explore the history and creativity hidden in the laneways and byways on one of the city's arts walks or tours.

City circles
Take the free City Circle Tram or walk through city streets, laneways and along the Yarra River to experience the city's countless public artworks up close. Allow plenty of time to wander among the works dotted through the parks, promenades and architecture of the Docklands.

On the city's freeways, keep an eye out for roadside art, from the Melbourne Gateway 'cheese sticks' marking the city entrance on the Tullamarine Freeway to the fourteen impressive works lining Eastlink between Donvale and Frankston.

Street art
Wander the city's laneways to see an ever-changing outdoor gallery of urban art. Check out the murals, stencils, paste-ups and installations in the laneways off Flinders Lane between Russell Street and Swanston Street; join a tour of Hosier Lane for the inside word.

Union Lane, off the Bourke Street Mall, is usually freshly painted, as is Blender Lane, off Franklin Street.

Beyond the CBD, keep an eye out for eye-catching art on the walls in Fitzroy and Collingwood. The Gertrude Street Projection Festival is an annual highlight.

Trail blazing
Follow one of the sign-posted trails to various locations where artists have worked on well-known paintings. Stand on the site where inspiration struck and read accompanying interpretative signs that explain the artists’ work and resulting individual paintings inspired by those locations.

Behind the curtain
Go behind the scenes and join a guided tour of a local art workshop or city theatre venues.