Why I Love Melbourne (In Technicolor)


From my recent bicycle galavanting around my home in Melbourne, Australia, here are some of the sights that have caught my eye. Many pretty, gritty (and sometimes shitty) artworks reside in tucked away alleys, or obscured through windows, or high up above the eye level of pedestrians too busy to look upwards. Self-expression is pasted, sprayed and splashed on almost every wall, which is one of the reasons that I adore my city.

From this angle, he’s strumming the telephone wires:

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From this angle, he’s trying to get his shoes back:

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TV on the street:

Stray TV

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An Australian icon in art:

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This web rainbow is from my backyard (it was the size of a large coffee table).

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A frocked-up tree.

Lacy tree

There is no graffiti on this wall (respect).

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I found some abandoned books down a gritty alley way. Bill Bryson: score.

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My thoughts exactly:

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Author’s bio: Torre DeRoche faced her fear of the ocean by island hopping across the Pacific for two years aboard a humble boat with a man she met in a bar. She has written a book titled Swept – Love With A Chance Of Drowning. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Torre DeRoche is the author of two travel memoirs, Love with a Chance of Drowning (2013) and The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World (due out September 2017). She has written for The Atlantic, The Guardian Travel, The Sydney Morning Herald, Emirates, and two Lonely Planet anthologies.

Leave a Comment

  • Kim April 21, 2011, 3:57 am

    Beautiful photos… love the guy strumming the wires (or reaching for his shoes)

    • Torre DeRoche April 21, 2011, 4:20 am

      I didn’t notice those details until I took the shots!

  • Sheryll April 21, 2011, 4:03 am

    GORGEOUS! The tree with the crochet decoration is stunning. I’d love to do an art project like that!

    • Torre DeRoche April 21, 2011, 4:20 am

      If you like it then you should’ve put some lace on it, oh oh oh.

      • Raymond April 23, 2011, 3:54 am

        LMAO…I love doily humour.

  • crazy sexy fun traveler April 21, 2011, 4:44 am

    cool stuff 🙂

  • Raghav April 21, 2011, 5:32 am

    Great post. Melbourne is my favorite city and one in the world where I could live leaving aside my home city. Beautiful photographs as well. Cheers!

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  • jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World April 21, 2011, 1:16 pm

    Neat pics. Love the frocked trees – it says a lot about the neighborhood.

  • Debbie Beardsley April 21, 2011, 6:38 pm

    These random photos were great! The different angles on the first couple pictures were really amazing.

  • Katherina April 22, 2011, 12:02 am

    I had heard a lot about Melbourne’s street art, and am still hoping to explore it by myself some day. I love the frocked up tree – what an original idea!

  • Tijmen April 22, 2011, 7:11 am

    This looks great, especially love the frocked-up tree and the guy reaching for his shoes. They should do things like this more often in other cities as well.

  • Camels & Chocolate April 22, 2011, 8:07 pm

    I’m dying to go to Melbs. Aussies get so mad at me when I talk about my love for Sydney. “But you’ve never been to Melbourne before! It is SO much better.” For now, I think there is room in my heart for two Australian cities =)

  • The Rhythm Method April 23, 2011, 2:57 am

    Love this, and it reminds me of the way a child must look at their world. This morning we drove to town and my 4 year old said “Look mum, there’s shoes hanging from the power lines! Someone very tall must have put it there …” He sees the world like this all the time – and questions it – yet often we don’t. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pete | Hecktic Travels April 23, 2011, 1:46 pm

    Beautiful photos, and total score on the abandoned Bryson book, well done!

  • Mo April 23, 2011, 4:59 pm

    Love the trees & a better class of graffiti altogether. The web too is sensational reckon I go round with eyes shut!

  • Lorna - the roamantics April 25, 2011, 10:29 am

    those are some gorgeous photos torre! great eye. i think what i like most about this post though, is that it illustrates how in the moment you are while out and about. love the guy reaching for the wire and how a change in perspective makes his intentions/actions entirely different. deep! 🙂

  • Amy April 30, 2011, 9:07 am

    Beautiful! I like graffiti! Especially when it’s well done! Looking through my pics, I can usually tell which city I’m in because the graffiti is memorable for me.

    I think some of the best (and most unusual since it’s not common in the city) was in Istanbul. 🙂 In Cluj, Romania, there is a giant yellow fish cartoon painted in several places across the city. Each time we ran into one, we’d pose and kiss it for a photo! 🙂 In Brussels, the city is covered with murals of Tin-Tin, the children’s cartoon character. So sweet.

  • Seattle Dredge May 6, 2011, 4:14 am

    Love all of this! That tree is amazing

  • Erica May 19, 2011, 11:09 pm


  • James Cook August 15, 2011, 7:30 pm

    I really liked the lacy tree and the spider. We are looking at moving to Melbourne in a few months so it will be great to see these in person!

  • alanna November 15, 2011, 4:10 am

    So I’m new to your blog and I don’t know how your comments work or if you will ever get this since you are now fancy and famous with a book and movie deal (congrats!), but I’m going to give it a shot anyway.

    I’m been thinking about moving to Melbourne (from NYC) from a long time now. Some days it’s a done deal and I’m exciting and other days I’m apathetic and yet other days I’m terrified that it just won’t be a good fit. I clearly have a lot of life issues, but there is a reason for the comment. Here goes: I have a paralyzing, irrational fear of spiders (and many other creepy critters). No exaggeration – irrational, but panic-attack-inducing fear where I loose all control and start hysterical crying. Will I be able to survive in Australia? Is it stupid to move to a country where I could be forced to exist in an anxiety filled state every moment of my existence or is it stupider to never travel because of spiders? Are the spiders really that bad because my issues are.


    • Torre DeRoche November 15, 2011, 5:45 am

      Hi Alanna, I’m not sure I can answer this one. It’s not good to have a fear that holds you back, but if it’s paralyzing and you feel you have no control over it, you may need to get help before you confront it head on. A psychologist could work with you in a number of different ways to help you overcome this.

      The spiders aren’t that bad here (in the city). I don’t see them every single day. But during the summertime, we get the occasional huntsman spider on the wall. They’re pretty harmless, but they’re big (palm-sized) and they move quickly. Those suckers make most people hysterical.

  • Bohemian Trails December 26, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I would love to visit Melbourne! plus, I’m a huge street art fan and these pictures look pretty awesome.

  • Kristina April 4, 2013, 3:51 am

    yes yes yes! that is why i love melbourne as much as i do!
    great shots!!! kristina x

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  • AlicevstheWorld December 8, 2016, 6:29 pm

    I have to admit that I’m not a huge person for art but I love these photos! Those are some seriously fun artwork!