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Sydney's Hidden Laneways

Joyce Tan

Tucked away behind the hustling city life in Sydney are some of the best hidden laneways. Discover the backstories and histories as you walk along these quirky streets full of character and flair. The nooks and crannies of hidden laneways contribute to the tapestry of this city and are one of the highlights of Sydney!

1. Angel Place

Just around the corner of Ash Street is the Angel Place laneway that has a spectacular canopy of birdcages suspended directly above.  Look up and you will see Michael Thomas Hill’s masterpiece of 120 birdcages that pay homage to around 50 species of birds that were once in Sydney before European settlement. This artwork, Forgotten Songs, has the names of bird species etched into the ground and birdsongs which change according to the time of the day.

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2. Chinatown Laneway

Jason Wing’s artwork In Between Two Worlds is the new addition to Chinatown laneway. It incorporates the elements of fire, water, wind and earth, adding a vibrant contrast to the brick-walled laneway. Improvements have been made along Factory Street, Kimber Lane and Little Hay Street in Chinatown, making the area more pedestrian friendly and vivid with new lantern-style lightboxes illuminating the streets.

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3. Albion Place

Located in the heart of the Town Hall, Albion Place gives for a calm escape from the busy city. The public artwork Watling Tree by Caroline Rothwel is one of the highlights of this place featuring a remarkable tumbling tree design etched into a stainless steel pane. Often used as a link between George and Kent Street, this laneway is also close to Sydney’s Spanish Quarter and a variety of eateries!

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4. Abercrombie Lane

This lane holds the award winning 1920's style bar Palmer and Co, making it a popular spot among locals to enjoy a signature cocktail. It leads down to Tank Stream Way, which is part of the watercourse line that Sydney was built around. The stream is buried in tunnels under buildings and pavements, but it is still possible to read the original topography of the riverbank at the slope of Abercrombie Lane.

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