What is it about abandoned places that make them so weirdly fascinating? After all – they’re just places where nobody is. There are loads of places where nobody is. Nobody is at home when you’re at work, but your home isn’t fascinating. It’s just your home.
Perhaps it’s not just the lack of people that makes these places interesting. Perhaps it’s more to do with what’s been left behind. Paperwork, bits of art, musical instruments, scrap metal, tools, chairs, typewriters, shoes – items that were once used every day, now discarded. Perhaps it’s these discarded items, the spaces they inhabit, and the stories we invent for them that set our imaginations racing.
Urban Exploration (Urbex) is pretty popular in Australia. It’s a movement based on the idea of exploring places we might walk past every day and digging deeper into our immediate surroundings. And, luckily for us, Urbexers have something of a "photos or it didn't happen" mentality, which means there are plenty of albums available on the internet for us to get spooked out over.
Red Hill Skate Rink, Brisbane
Built in the 1920s and destroyed by fire in 2002, Brisbane's Red Hill Skate Rink has been left abandoned ever since. There have been plans to breathe new life into the building and set it up as a venue for the local community, but so far the local community have voted against such restoration.
South Fremantle Power Station, Perth
Opened in 1954 and closed in 1985, the South Fremantle Power Station enjoyed only a brief life. Now a kind of architectural graveyard, the station is the prime location for a bit of that urban exploring malarkey.
Moyra's House, Brisbane
Probably the eeriest location on this list, nobody's really sure of the story behind this abandoned Brisbane home. There are many artifacts left behind - party invitations, awards, medicine, sheet music - suggesting that whatever led the occupant to leave the property, it all happened quite fast.
Rozelle Tram Depot, Sydney
Yep, Sydney used to have a tram system. At its peak throughout the 1930s, the Rozelle Tram Depot was shut down in 1958 and the old tram cars have been a magnet for rust and graffiti ever since. Now, the depot is like a really, really poorly maintained transport museum.
Tooth & Co. Brewery, Sydney
Remarkably well preserved in places, crumbling and ruinous in others, the Tooth & Co. brewery stands today as a monument to another time.
Arts college, Brisbane
A very popular site for Urbexers, graffiti artists and vandals, there's no shortage of awesome photos of this abandoned Brisbane college on the online Urbex forums.
Tarban Creek Asylum, Sydney
"Abandoned asylum" - two words with the power to send chills up and down your spine like not much else. Even spookier? There are allegedly 1000 unclaimed bodies buried underneath the building, which is formerly known as the Gladesville Mental Hospital. We're not the superstitious types, but if there's one place on this list that's most likely to be haunted, this is it.
Textile factory, Brisbane
As if everyone just up and left this place halfway through a shift, the machines in this factory are still full of cloth and fabric.
St John's Orphanage, Golbourn (NSW)
Once home to around 250 boys at a time, this abandoned orphanage in Goulbourn, New South Wales, is now only home to vandalism, dust and cobwebs.