More than 40 silos in Australia that have been turned into works of art. If you’re looking for a unique way to explore the country, consider taking a trip to see some of these artistic masterpieces on the Australian Silo Art Trail!
Silo Art is all about turning dull grey silos into beautiful pieces of artwork. Today we will share everything you need to know about it, from where to find the silos to who created them, how many there are and most importantly, perhaps, things to do nearby.
Since the first mural was painted on a Western Australian silo in 2015, silo art has become a surefire way to draw visitors to small communities across the country. Many people now travel to towns they would otherwise have never heard of to see these beautifully decorated silos. Hopefully spending some time and money in the community in the process.
The large canvases these artworks provide street artists has opened up a movement and given us Australia’s largest outdoor gallery.
We have included some water towers as the murals on these are just as impressive. As we have not yet seen all the silo’s ourselves, we asked a few friends to contribute and have noted this below.
Silo Art FAQ
- Silo Art FAQ
- Silos and Water Towers in New South Wales
- NSW Silo Art Map
- Barraba (2019) – Fintan Magee
- Coonamble Water Tower (2017) – John Murray, Sooty Welch and Bob Barrett
- Galargambone Water Tower (2018) – Jenny McCraken – Lucky Dip
- Grenfell Silo (2019) – Heesco Khosnaran
- Merriwa Silo (2019) – David Lee Pereira
- Narrandera Water Tower (2019)
- Portland Silo (2018) – Guido Van Helten
- Weethalle Silo (2017) – Heesco
- Victoria Silo Art Trail
- Victoria Silo Art Map
- Rupanyup (2017) – Julia Volchkova
- Sheep Hills (2016) – Adnate
- Brim Silos (2015)- Guido Van Helton
- Rosebery (2017) – Kaff-eine
- Patchewollock (2016) – Finan Magee
- Lascelles (2017) – Rone
- Goorambat Silo Art (2018-19) – Jimmy DVate.
- Devenish Silo Art (2018) – Cam Scale
- Rochester (2018) – Jimmy D’Vate
- Silo Art in South Australia
- Silo Trail in Western Australia
- Silo Art in Queensland
Where was the first Australia Silo painted?
The first official silo artwork appeared in Western Australia in 2015 when Phlegm and HENSE painted a silo in Northam. However, the Silo Trail concept was started by the Yarriambiack Shire Council in 2016. Since then, artists from Australia and around the world have been invited to paint silos with their own artistic expression.
How many painted silos are there in Australia?
There are approximately 45 painted silos in the Australia Silo Trail, although that number is constantly changing with new silos going up and, sadly, at least one coming down.
What about water towers?
There are approximately 80 painted water towers in Australia, they are more common than silos in NSW, and there are more on the way.
Which state has the most silo art?
20* 19 silos making it the state with the most silo art in Australia. It is also our most compact state, so the best place to see a number of murals quickly.
*One of Victoria’s original silos has been demolished.
If you are keen to explore beyond Australia’s coastline, hunting down silo art is a good way to get started.
How do towns and artists decide what to paint on their silos?
While it is generally a collaborative process, artists take their inspiration from residents of the local community, the environment or the history of a place.
Silos and Water Towers in New South Wales
In NSW, we have more water towers than silos. There are seven silos on the NSW Silo trail; in comparison, there are 23 water towers, and I have included the ones we have seen too!
Three of the NSW silos were painted by Melbourne based artist Heesco. We managed to visit most of them last year as part of our NSW road trip.
NSW Silo Art Map
We have featured the silos and water towers marked on this map. Click here to view it in Google.
Barraba (2019) – Fintan Magee
The 40m high grain silos at Barraba were Brisbane artist Fintan Magee’s second silo work after completing a mural at Patchewollock in 2016. He chose to paint the “Water Diviner”, which illustrates the old practice of looking for groundwater using metal rods or sticks, although, in this work, he has shown the farmer with sticks. The silos took a little over 3 weeks to complete.
Things to do nearby: If you have any interest in antiques or generally enjoy quirky things, be sure to check out the Shed of Knowledge museum, it’s opening hours are a bit hit and miss, so ask at the visitors centre when you get into town.
Nearby Sawn Rocks in Mount Kaputar National Park is a great place to do some bushwalking. Another gem is Horton Falls, 45 mins drive from Barraba; there are two lookouts over the 83-metre drop; however, the falls best viewed after rain and the view not so impressive much of the year.
Where: Located 90km north of Tamworth along the Fossickers Way, Barraba is known as a bird watchers paradise with fourteen signposted bird routes.
Coonamble Water Tower (2017) – John Murray, Sooty Welch and Bob Barrett
On the Castlereagh Highway, this water tower was a collaboration by Lightning Ridge local John Murray who painted the birds and Wailwan Elder Kevin “Sooty” Welsh, who added the Dreamtime artwork near the base. It was completed over 11 days and received a touch up in October 2020, just days after we took this photo.
Galahs are common in this part of the state; we saw several on our overnight stay in Galargambone just down the road, making them a great fit for this design. The 25m tall tower is easily spotted from the road and there is plenty of parking nearby.
The town is a popular stop on the road from Dubbo to Lightning Ridge, and the drought has hit hard. We visited in September 2020, and many of the shops and even the pub were closed. They could really use your support so perhaps plan a meal stop here. There was a lovely cafe about a block from the tower heading into town. Directly across the road is a park perfect for a picnic lunch.
Things to do nearby: Wander the main street and discover the Nickname Hall of Fame, caricature of locals and how/why there were given their names. An insight into the Aussie sense of humour and some interesting background on how many nicknames were bestowed on the local settlers by the Aboriginal inhabitants based on their physical appearance or character.
Where to stay: There is a free camp at Nakadoo, on a farm just north of town. Take the optional shed tour for $10 to support the farm and learn more about the property’s history.
Galargambone Water Tower (2018) – Jenny McCraken – Lucky Dip
Just 50 minutes or so south of Coonamble is Galargambone’s water tower. The tower was painted as part of a local festival, ‘Pave the Way to Gular’, which saw artists including Kaff-Eine, Goodie, Sam Brooks, Peter Brown, Claire Foxton, Rudy Kistler, John Murray and DNart head to town to bring it to life with dozens of murals.
Once you have visited the tower, spend some time hunting down the rest of the towns artworks. Pop into the local cafe for a coffee and a chat. The small town of 500 has worked hard to create their cafe, and it has a fascinating back story which I am sure they will be happy to share.
Australia Post released the kingfisher’s image on a stamp in 2020 as part of their commemorative Water Tower Art series.
Things to do nearby: Galargambone is about 1 hour from Warrambungle National Park and Siding Spring Observatory. Emu Logic Farm, just 35 minutes away, is also a fun place to visit ($15) and learn more about emus and maybe even find an emu egg. The farm is wheelchair accessible.
Where to stay: You can’t go past the Galargambone Caravan Park, one of the friendliest of our five-week NSW road trip. It’s dog friendly and has its own little farm on site. This is a lovely little town to stop and rest for a while.
Grenfell Silo (2019) – Heesco Khosnaran
Heesco painted his first silo in Weethalle in 2017 and it was that artwork that caught the eye of the owner of this silo at Grenfell Commodities who then commissioned the work.
Painted over five weeks, the mural depicts the local farming community and talking to locals; it’s clear the artist is much loved.
Things to do nearby: Grenfell is best known as the birthplace of the Australian poet Henry Lawson, and you will find the statue of him on a seat – pop in next to him for a selfie! It’s also worth stopping in at the old train station where you will also find another of Australia’s Big Things, the Big Gold Pick and Pan.
A visit in September will reward with stunning canola fields on the roads near the town. In June, the town holds the Henry Lawson Festival.
Where to stay: There is a free camp near the railway station with BBQs and new bathrooms with hot showers. You will find them a 3-minute drive from the silo. You can find more details on camping nearby here.
Merriwa Silo (2019) – David Lee Pereira
Merriwa is a small, quiet, rural town located in the west of the Hunter Region of NSW. An agricultural town, it is best known for its cropping and sheep producing endeavours. Each year the Festival of the Fleeces is held in Merriwa, which features the famous ‘Running of the Sheep’, an event where hundreds of sheep run down the main road, all wearing red socks!
This iconic event is now depicted in the stunning silos painted by artist David Lee Pereira and completed in April 2019. The silos also feature the yellow canola flowers, which you can see growing in paddocks everywhere in spring.
Where to stay: If you are a caravanner and like the occasional free-camp, then the ideal spot to stay is behind the Merriwa Services Club, don’t forget to drop into the club for some friendly country hospitality and a great meal.
Contributed by Mel from All Around Oz
Narrandera Water Tower (2019)
Narrandera is a small rural town located in the Riverina district of NSW, right on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. A once important stop for paddle steamers, who plied their trade up and down the river, the remains of the Wagga Wagga steamer can still be seen in the river today.
During World War II a RAAF training base was established in town. A small museum in the town is now home to a DH82 Tiger Moth, together with other memorabilia, from the days of the training school. The museum is open seven days a week and entry is by a gold coin donation.
Narrandera is also home to a colony of some 200 koalas. If you take a walk through the Flora and Fauna Reserve, you may just be lucky enough to spot one or two. These koalas are an important part of keeping our koala population flourishing and healthy.
A community project in 2019, saw the two water towers overlooking the town, painted by the team from Apparition Media. The first tower depicts a koala and life on the river, whilst the second pays homage to the area’s strong Indigenous history.
Where to stay: If you are looking for somewhere to stay, then Lake Talbot Tourist Park is the ideal spot to base yourself for a few days.
Contributed by Mel from All Around Oz
Portland Silo (2018) – Guido Van Helten
Enhancing the industrial patrimony of rural towns can be a challenge. But one that some mural artists are certainly keen on. Old cement silos can be seriously ugly and often dominate the landscape of small towns in New South Wales.
In the upper Blue Mountains, Portland is now a fairly run-down little town but was once known as the “town that built Sydney” due to its quarries, kilns and cement processing. The area around Lithgow, north of Katoomba, is fairly industrial, with power stations and collieries.
The cement works of Portland were built in 1902 and became a significant employer. For a while, Portland thrived and even built an Olympic swimming pool. The cement works buildings are still fairly run down; however, they now house artists’ studios and events. The Foundations Portland, as the site is known, has yet to be fully renovated and repurposed, but the Coronation Hotel is an old pub open for business.
The silos have been adorned by a mural composed by Australian artist Guido Van Helten. It consists of six local characters, long term employees of the cement works, who shared their stories and memories of working for the company to chronicle the life and legacy of Portland’s industrial past. Dressed in their everyday clothes and portrayed under different angles, the characters seem alive, and there is a touching, photographic element hidden in the folds of their clothing.
Things to do nearby: Visit Hassans Walls Lookout, just 30 mins from the silo.
Where: Portland is 164 km west of Sydney and about 30 minutes from Lithgow.
Where to stay: You can make a day trip from the Blue Mountains or stay in nearby Lithgow, we stayed at the Workers Club on our last visit.
Contributed by Delphine from Lester Lost
Weethalle Silo (2017) – Heesco
This was Heescos’s first mural silo mural in NSW; he has now painted three, making him the state’s most prolific silo artist. You will find the 21m high silos on the main street of the tiny town 60km West of West Wyalong.
One of my favourites for the cheeky sheep watching out from the middle silo, the silo also features a sheerer and a grain farmer.
Things to do nearby: Pop into the Road Kill Grillz for a snack.
Where to stay: Weethalle Showground offers basic camping for $10 per night.
Victoria Silo Art Trail
The Victorian trail is the best known and most established, with twenty silos. It is also the easiest to visit with many of the silos quite close together. In fact, a single 200km road trip that starts 300km from Melbourne can help you tick off ten along a trail stretching from Rupanyup to Patchewollock.
Many of the Victorian murals are in the Wimmera Mallee region, with a few others closer to the South Australian border. You can also tour at least 4 in a day’s drive of Benalla. There are eleven water towers in Victoria.
Victoria Silo Art Map
Rupanyup (2017) – Julia Volchkova
This smaller double silo structure, features two local kids in their sporting uniforms, a netballer and a rugby league player. Sport is a huge part of life in rural communities.
Painted by Russian Artist Julia Volchkova, who was the first woman to paint an Australian silo. The monochrome design is beautiful in its simplicity. The mural features two local children Emily Baker, a netballer and Jordan Weidemann, in his AFL uniform.
Things to see nearby: Head into town to find the two murals of local firefighters created by Melbourne artist Georgia Goodie.
Where to stay: There are rooms at the Commerical Hotel in town, or you can camp Rupanyup Memorial Park for $10 per night.
It’s just 35km down the road to your next silo
Sheep Hills (2016) – Adnate
Known for his work portraying indigenous people, Melbourne artist Adnate’s mural includes portraits of Wergaia Elder Uncle Ron Marks and Wotjobaluk Elder Aunty Regina Hood and two local children. The mural took 4 weeks to complete
Things to do nearby: There is not much to see or do in Sheep Hills however nearby is the town of Minyip where the much loved Aussie TV show Flying Doctors was set. In Warracknabeal you will find The Creekside Hotel, the only one in the region with “water views”
Where is it: 325 km north-west of Melbourne
Just 45km along and you will reach Brim
Brim Silos (2015)- Guido Van Helton
The first silo in Victoria portrays a family of local farmers aka the ‘Farmer Quartet’ Van Helton painted these four 30m high silos over a three week period.
Things have changed a lot since the completion of the mural for this little town of 100 residents with visitors now stopping by daily to take them in.
Things to do nearby: There is not a lot to do in the area; the Brim pub is a great place to grab a meal and support the community. You may even get to learn more about the faces on the silo from the friendly locals.
Where to stay: There is a campsite two minutes away from the silo. It costs approx $10 per night with or without power, and there are hot showers.
Next up 27km along the road you will find Kaff-eine’s silo in Rosebery
Rosebery (2017) – Kaff-eine
Kaff-eine discovered the silo trail while her friend Rone was painting the silo at Lascelles and before long had one of her own to work on
Things to do nearby: There is not much around this silo, but Horsham, a major centre for the region, is only a few km away
So far only five silo’s on the trail have been painted by women!
45 minutes in the car and you will reach Fintan’s impressive work at Patchewollock.
Patchewollock (2016) – Finan Magee
The 35m tall portrait of local grain farmer Nick ‘Noodle’ Hulland is one of the most popular along the trail. We are scheduled to see this one later in the year but thankfully our good friend Deborah Williams has come to the party and given us her shot to use (Thanks Deb!).
Things to do nearby: Check out Phil Riggs’s Mallee Hen Sculptures. A visit in spring rewards with beautiful canola crops. October usually sees the Patchewollock Music Festival.
Lascelles (2017) – Rone
Melbourne artist Rone painted 4th generation farmers Geoff and Merrilyn Horman over a two week period. Stay tuned for this one when we visit in May. We also hope to visit nearby Lake Lascelles, where there is a free camp.
If you want more silos you can head 33km to Sea Lake where you will find a huge new mural by Joel Fergie & Travis Vinson.
The next four silos are located within 30km of each other and you can string them with three more located to the west to cover seven silos in 220km and a great short getaway.
Goorambat Silo Art (2018-19) – Jimmy DVate.
This silo complex was completed in two stages, the first two parts with the first two scenes, a barking owl and a country scene, these working Cylsdales were added a year later.
Just 10km away in Devenish, you will find the next silo
Devenish Silo Art (2018) – Cam Scale
This work commemorates those from the region who have served Australia during war and includes a WW1 nurse and modern combat medic and a member of the Lighthorse Brigade.
There are two more silos along this part of the trail that we have yet to discover in St James and Tungamah. From here you can head up to the Picola silo before backtracking down to Rochester.
Rochester (2018) – Jimmy D’Vate
The Victorian town of Rochester sits on the banks of the Campaspe River 200km north of Melbourne. The town’s twin silos were painted by Jimmy D’Vate in 2018 and feature images of threatened local wildlife – a squirrel glider and an azure kingfisher.
The silos are on Ramsey Street in the middle of town; there is plenty of parking for people visiting with a van in tow. Rochester is a lovely looking town with plenty of parklands surrounded by heritage buildings. From the silos, you can’t miss the imposing Shamrock Hotel; it’s a great place for lunch and they also have accommodation.
Things to do nearby: Echuca is less than 30 minutes from Rochester, and there is a lot to do there. Explore the historic wharf area, go on a paddle boat ride or check out the National Holden Motor Museum.
There are some great little towns around Rochester too. If you like the idea of a retro ice-cream bar visit Ciurleo’s in nearby Lockington.
The Gunbower National Park is less than one hour from Rochester. We spent half a day driving and walking around the wetlands and it is at the top of the list to go back with kayaks and camp there for a while. The scenery and wildlife in the park is wonderful.
Where to stay: There are plenty of caravan parks and Airbnb options around Echuca. We stayed at the Moama Riverside Holiday Park and had a relaxing time there. There are sites right on the river; it’s a beautiful spot.
Contributed by Natalie of Curious Campers
You will find the final silo in this section at Colbinabbin, a two hour drive from Melbourne.
Silo Art in South Australia
As of Feb 2021, there are nine silos in South Australia. The first was painted in 2017 by Guido Van Helton and can be found in Coonalpyn. The most recent was unveiled at Farrell Flat in October 2020. There are five water towers that you will find more about here. We have not seen any of the SA silos but have a trip planned for later this year.
South Australia Silo Art Map
Coonalpyn (2017) – Guido van Helten
Guido painted 5 local children over a one month period on these operational 30m high grain silos. The result – three new businesses and a steady supply of tourists.
Things to do nearby: Take a walk through town to explore more that has been installed since the Silo success. Get something to munch on from Waffles and Jaffles.
Where to stay: The pub in town is your best option if you want to stay the night
Wirrabara (2018)- Smug
The sleepy little town of Wirrabara in South Australia’s mid-north was just another bunch of buildings on the highway before their amazing silo art appeared in October 2018.
It took prolific, Australian-born street artist Smug three weeks to paint his first set of silos. The mural is 28m high and shows a woodcutter and a gorgeous little red robin. The theme and trees in the background and a tribute to the nearby Wirrabara Forest. Unlike other silos that used a local as the model, Wirrabara chose not to use a local as the face of their artwork.
Things to do nearby: When in Wirrabara, take advantage of that nearby forest for some hiking or pack a picnic for a relaxed lunch amongst the trees.
If you happen to be in Wirrabara on the third Sunday of the month, enjoy browsing through the local produces markets and pick up some local produce and crafts.
Where: Wirrabara is about one hour from the Clare Valley in one direction and even closer to the Southern Flinders Ranges in the other direction.
Stay a while: While there is accommodation at the Wirrabara Hotel or the Wirrabara Caravan park, why not enjoy a little luxury at the Wander Inn Wongabirrie, a delightful tiny house in a renovated stone building in the heart of town.
Contributed by Josie from Exploring South Australia – check her full guide to the South Australia Silo Art Trail
Silo Trail in Western Australia
Western Australia is where it all began, with the very first silo being painted in Northem by Phlegm & HENSE in 2015. There are now six in the state, but it been a few years since there were any new ones. Looking forward to seeing more in the coming years. There are four water towers in Western Australia.
Western Australia Silo Map
Northem Silo (2015) – Phlegm & HENSE
You will find the mural that got the whole show on the road is also one of the most colourful. Located in the Avon Valley along the Central Wheatbelt there is plenty to do in the region to keep you busy making the drive a great choice for a getaway.
Things to see nearby: Be sure to drop into the flour mills and see the stunning artwork The Last Swans” by Amok Island and take some time to explore the visitors centre that highlights the post-war migrant history of the region. Finally, don’t miss the Bilya Koort Boodja indigenous centre, where you can learn about the area’s culture and environmental history.
Where to stay: Whitegum Farm is a great choice and only $25 for powered sites. You will find it 20 km east of York.
Merredin Silo (2017) – Kyle Hughes-Odgers
Just another 160km or so down the road you will find Merredin and a un silo by artist Kyle Hudges-Odgers.
Newdegate Silo (2018) – Brenton See
Featuring native Western Australia wildlife, the public silos in Newdegate were painted by well-known Perth artist Brendon See in June of 2018. They feature the Western Bearded Lizard, Mallee Fowl, Thigh Spotted Tree Frog, and Red-tailed Phascogale.
About an hours drive to the west sits Lake Grace, one of Australia’s largest salt lakes. Or an hours drive south-west brings you to Pingrup.
Things to do nearby: Don’t miss the famous pink salt lakes and some great walking trails. If you can time your visit with wildflower season, you will be well rewarded. About 50km from town at Lake Grace is the Walker’s Hill Vineyard.
Where to stay: The Caravan Park offers pet friendly sites.
Contributed by Rhonda from Albom Adventures
Pingrup (2015) – Evoca1
Pingrup’s silo art was completed in 2018 by Miami-based artist Evoca1 and represent a tribute to Western Australia’s farming communities.
After seeing the silos, be sure to relax with a coffee and a meal at the volunteer-managed co-op Store Cafe 6343.
Things to do nearby: From here, an hours drive west will bring you to Dumbleyoung, where you will find a replica of the Blue Bird, the vessel that broke the water speed record on Lake Dumbleyoung.
Where to stay: The Pingrup Caravan Park is clean and tidy and very affordable.
Contributed by Rhonda from Albom Adventures – Check out Rhonda’s WA Silo road trip to plan your trip
Ravensthorpe (2016) – AMOK Island
Taking 31 days to complete this 25m tall silo features one of the areas most famous plants Banksia Baxteri. Showing all six stages of the development of the flowers.
If you can time your visit with wildflower season, you will be delighted as the region comes alive with colour between August and October. The Annual Wildflower Show is usually held in early September.
Where to stay: Less than 2km from the silo you will find the Green Haven Tourist Park
Albany (2018) – Yok & Sheryo – Seadragon.
Albany’s historic port wheat silos were transformed in March 2018 as part of the PUBLIC Silo Trail in WA. The seadragon is the 4th instalment courtesy of FORM, a not-for-profit group looking to beautify and breathe new life into industrial areas of WA’s Wheatbelt.
The eye-catching 35m high seadragon was painted by Brooklyn-based Aussie/Singaporean duo Yok & Sheryo over 17 days. The bright and contemporary design, inspired by the little-known local marine species the Ruby Seadragon has really brightened up an otherwise dull industrial area of the port town, famous for its past whaling history and the historic departure point of troops for World War I.
Things to do nearby: Throughout Albany, you will also find wonderfully painted Western Power substations as part of the same art project, which has helped to brighten up the city and make for some great drive by fun when exploring Albany on WA’s south coast.
Unlike most of the WA silo installations in quite small country towns, the Albany silos are situated only minutes away from the CBD and the National ANZAC Centre on Mount Clarence, easy to take in as part of a scenic drive around Albany’s historic and sensationally beautiful King George Sound.
Where to stay: You will find plentiful accommodation options in town and in holiday parks spotted along the coast.
Contributed by Keri from Our Globetrotters
Silo Art in Queensland
There are currently three painted silos in Queensland. The first was completed in 2017 and can be found in Thallon, and the most recent at Three Moon, Monto, in July 2020. Queensland is home to 38 water towers.
Queensland Silo Map
Yelarbon (2019) – Brightsiders
Complete your next instalment on the Silo art trail and venture into Southern Outback Queensland. You will find the Yelarbon silo, 35 minutes from Goondiwindi, near the NSW border.
This was the 31st Art piece to be entered into the Silo Trail and was created by Jordache Castillejos and Jordon Bruce of Brightsiders, and Steve Falco from Procreative. At 24 metres high, it is a unique construction with two tall and six small silos that were bought to live with 1000 litres of paint in 2019.
The Silo titled “When the rain comes” depicts a young boy cooling off in the nearby Yelarbon Lagoon, with his paper boat set to float across the water. The paper boat was painted from remnants of historical new papers, symbolising the history of the region.
Things to do nearby: If you have some time, I suggest checking out the Yelarbon Lagoon. With picnic tables and barbecues available, this could be a great “bring your own” lunch stop with a lake view.
Where to stay: The Yelarbon community consists of less than 500 people, and you’ll be able to access some accommodation that suits your budget from camping, motels, and pubs. Alternatively, Goondiwindi is 30 mins to the west and Stanthorpe 1.5 hours towards the east. The silos are on the Highway, and an easy 15 mins stop when passing through.
Contributed by Chris Fry from Aquarius Traveller.
As we continue to explore we will add to this page so bookmark it and head back before you next trip!
Join our Facebook Group for more travel ideas
Want more travel tips for exploring Australia? Have a question we have not covered?