Guide to Newtown: A Creative’s haven of art, food & shopping

Newtown has retained it’s cultural and socialist heritage yet evolved to be a melting pot of food, art, wellbeing and vintage shopping destination that attracts residents and visitors alike. It is underpinned by a diverse and proud community focused on preserving what’s special about Newtown – many of them featured in Jo Wallace’s book Humans of Newtown based on the New York movement.

The Collectionist Hotel

Collectionist Hotel

Stay at the multi-artist-designed concept hotel which is the brainchild of the owners of The Urban Hotel in Newtown. The Collectionist Hotel in Camperdown has been garnering accolades, including the recent Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards, thanks to having individually curated rooms reflecting the designer’s ethos. Each of the 39 rooms create a unique experience and guests choose their room from what is available at check-in based on what inspires them. They run from exotic to moody to minimalist, many with outdoor space, and will evoke different responses from everyone. Prices are affordable ($200 – $260) and there are light breakfast and happy hours each day, allowing guests to mingle if they desire. The location is hard to beat being only a 2 minute walk from one of Sydney’s most visited venues, The Acre Eatery, making it perfect for out of town relatives when you are planning an event there.

Balcony at The Collectionist Hotel

Having been inspired and well rested by your stay at The Collectionist Hotel, explore Newtown with Culture Scouts walks – conveniently starting after breakfast at The Acre. Culture Scouts walks feature across different neighbourhoods providing tours by locals to explore history, art and culture.

The Newtown Street Art Tour
Artist Craig Bunker highlights the history of the murals and graffiti in the area. The movement has grown from a subculture with a fractious relationship with residents and the Council to now allowing street artists like The Massive and Lister to be recognised and rewarded for their art through the Perfect Match program.

Street Art Walking Tour via Culture Scouts

One of the most well known is the Martin Luther King Jr ‘I have a dream’ mural on King street which later had the Aboriginal flag added and has been closely protected by the community from fire, graffiti and commercial developments. It was created by Anthony Atkins who unfortunately can no longer return to Australia due to being charged with murder in the UK and he now helps disadvantaged kids turnaround through street art.

Newtown Street Shopping
Time to hit the myriad of eclectic stores along King Street! Here is an overwhelming array of vintage clothing, shoes and accessories at the likes of UTurn, Cream on King and SWOP. Culture nerds are sorted with bookstores like Elizabeth’s Secondhand and Better Read than Dead with it’s vintage comic collection and find recycled music at Repressed Records.

Rising Sun Workshop
Try some of the best ramen in Sydney and do good at the same time at Rising Sun Workshop. It is a profit-for-purpose space which is a café that also provides a social amenity for motorbike owners to self service bikes. It has a strong gender diversity agenda and operates as an agent for change as part of the anti-consumerism movement teaching people to ‘fix rather than ditch’ with practical skills.

The Collectionist Hotel

As the sun goes down, it’s time to reward yourself at a variety of bars and restaurants that cater to every taste, budget and dress code. Choose from student stalwarts like Lentil as Anything to impressing a date with a smart cocktail at the hidden Earl’s Juke Joint or Continental Deli to 5 star dining at Bloodwood.

Having spent a jam packed 24 hours in Newtown, you will find yourself wondering why you don’t spend more time in this special pocket of the Inner West.

The Collectionist Hotel
9- 13 Marsden Street, Camperdown

Culture Scouts Walks

Rising Sun Workshop / Cafe
1C Whateley St, Newtown
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun: 8am – 4pm, Weds – Sat: 4pm – 10pm

About the author

Having wined, dined and socialised her way around the world, Kelly now calls Sydney home and loves to share her discoveries – lucky us! Most often found with a glass of champagne in her hand, something delicious to eat in front of her and telling a tall tale.


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