When tourists think of Sydney they think of that big dish rack on the harbour and that launch-pad for the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. But locals know those two spots aren’t even the best bits of this sunburnt city.
The Brag recently went on Culture Scouts‘ guided Original Street Art Tour of Newtown, chaperoned by the company’s expertly informed Tourism Marketing Manager Erin Eedy.
Weaving us through the nooks and crannies of Newtown’s best and often hardest to reach Graff spots, Erin taught us about the suburb’s long and storied history with street art and the artists which make it so invigorating.
You see, street art is, just like the rest of Australia, entirely illegal in Newtown – but anyone who’s walked King Street before knows Newtown has never followed the rules. The police mostly turn a blind eye, and the council even encourage it through funding.
Erin told us the history behind the creation of Newtown’s only heritage-listed mural (we’ll let you experience that first-hand though). She told us about how Newtown once harboured an original Banksy, which was unknowingly painted over by the council a few years ago.
She showed us Egg Boy paste ups by Scott Marsh, a myriad Lister works, and one work by The Oxking, which told the story of a Newtown resident who was jilted at the alter and found decomposed years later, covered in all her cats.
She showed us the oldest indigenous artwork, which dates back 15-20 years; and the Godard Street Gallery, which features a protest piece by Phibs and George Rose titled ‘Save our Coral Reef’ about the betrayal of the Great Barrier Reef.
From Jumboist, to Kyle Hughes to Fintan Magee, Culture Scouts’ Original Street Art Tour shows off Sydney’s iconic graffs, murals and large-scale art pieces in the most unique way. One minute our jaws were on the curb at the sheer scale and beauty of some works, the next minute we were engrossed in a true-crime story from Newtown’s stormy past.
Note: Culture Scouts’ Original Street Art Tour wraps up with a free bevvy at Young Henrys brewery – genius right?
Culture Scouts walking tours take in the entire breadth of Sydney
Culture Scouts runs guided walking tours through Sydney’s cultural inner city hubs. Designed for both the life-long local and the newcomer, its tours explore explore streets, galleries, studios, cafés, shops, and bars.
The tours operate as public tours, luxury private tours, as well as corporate team building tours, and specialist school and university tours. Check out the full list of offerings below.
Culture Scouts Tours
● The Art of Gallery Hopping Spend a day on Sydney’s art trail, getting a taste of what’s
on offer in the creative and contemporary.
● Weekend Culture Guide Live like a local on your Saturday morning, exploring farmers
markets, independent retail and small galleries.
● Original Street Art Tour Explore the iconic grungy streets of Newtown – home to the
best of Sydney’s street art.
● Creatives Guide to Sydney Familiarise yourself with one of Sydney’s fastest changing
inner city precincts, known for incredible architecture, heritage buildings, internationally
recognised art galleries, artist studios and a flourishing culinary scene.
● CBD Hidden Laneways Walk past the remaining hidden fragments of early Sydney,
explore heritage architecture, public art hiding in plain sight and be amazed as
average laneways become a gateway to your new favourite hideaway bar or foodie
● Locals Guide to Bondi Pop the “Bondi Bubble” and take a local’s look at Sydney’s
most iconic stretch of sand.
● Fashion, Food and Design Tour Lose yourself in the pastel coloured terrace
houses hidden off the main streets, explore the vintage industrial aesthetic battling an
overgrown garden and meet local designers and makers.
● Harbour and Heritage Tour Take a modern look at Sydney’s oldest suburb as we
journey through the cobblestone streets and historic laneways that make up the
● Flavours of Chinatown Take a journey through this cultural epicentre with our dual
English and Mandarin speaking guides showing you unique culinary experiences,
obscure shops and hidden art galleries all while hearing the incredible stories behind
architecture and public art.