Melbourne lanes

I love getting lost in Melbourne’s numerous little lanes and arcades.

Dating back to the Victorian era, they come from the original street grid of central Melbourne, named after Robert Hoddle who designed it.

Initially, they were meant as service laneways for horses and carts, in between the bigger streets. In some of them you could find the slums during Melbourne’s gold rush area.

Today, most of the lanes that survived urban development and the Highrisers that now dominate the Melbourne CBD, have become a weird mix, full of gentrified cool eateries and bars, urban art and graffiti or are, still, totally empty or used as a place for the dumpsters.

In short: navigating the CBD through the back alleys and laneways while avoiding the main streets makes a fascinating journey.

Melbourne von hinten, as we would say in German: the dirtier, rawer backside of Melbourne.

I started my day with a brunch in cool Krimper Café in Guilford Lane, with two friends.

The lanes in that area are still somewhat empty, I hardly encountered a soul on my way to the café, passing little herb gardens nestled in the side of the streets, and the back doors to the proper shops on the main streets.

It’s eerily quiet there on a Sunday morning, being in the middle of Melbourne.


I later met my friend Artur, a Melbourne city specialist, as he had been doing walking tours, and we meandered through a number of other lanes, some empty and full of trash cans, some full of chairs of the many many little restaurants.

We ended up paying a visit to the most famous lane of them all, ACDC lane, covered in graffiti.

Since I had been there last, just about a year ago, it has pretty much changed completely.

I recognized maybe one or two graffiti, and one of them was so high up on the side wall of a building that it will probably survive there forever.

All the rest: painted and sprayed over probably a dozen of times already since my photography walk in February 2015.

Here’s a little gallery of what to find, as of March 2016.

It surely looks different already.