In my opinion, one of Sydney's finest places for urban explorers, photographers and graffiti artist (since Glebe tram sheds are gone now) is the Dunlop Slazenger Factory in Alexandria. Abandoned for over 20 years now, it was once a warehouse for the sporting company Dunlop-Slazenger, which made sporting equipment for tennis, squash, badminton and golf. In the mid 90's the company was brought out and the warehouse was left empty, soon to become one of Sydney's urbex hot spots.
It consists of two main buildings, both which are two stories, and covered in some beautiful street art. Downstairs in the main building is dark, dank and normally full of water and rubble. The walls have some great graffiti on it, but upstairs is where the money shots are at. Up a sturdy concrete staircase or if you are feeling adventurous you can climb up the lift shaft, you are greeted with a huge open room, more then 25m long! The roof is dotted with holes, letting beams of light shine through and give an eerie yet beautiful scene. Thousands of spray cans litter the floor and the contents of the cans decorate the walls, awesome graffiti and murals.
You can get outside onto the roof and suspended walkways and have a wander out there which is also great, but be careful, if you fall, it won't tickle!
Head back down stairs and through the roller door (which at last visit was starting to be bricked up) and you are greeted with another huge open area, and this is probably my favourite spot in the whole place. Its huge, it's open, covered in graffiti and there's lots to see. Theres some small rooms off to the side, toilets, a burnt staircase, an old trashed car, what looks like an old garbage compactor and then a room full of old machinery just near the car. You used to be able to get your car into this area, but that has changed now unfortunately, and getting a car inside is impossible unless you get your Bruce Willis on and drive through a fence.
This room opens up outside and a small overgrown area presents itself, and beyond the overgrown shrubbery is another complex. This one is a bit more tricky to navigate as walls have come down and last time I went in, there was so much shit around that I didn't bother. On a previous visit I made it inside and upstairs and it was a skeleton of what looked like a former office section. Nothing was left up here except wall frames, some random furniture and of course loads of graffiti. Not as good as the other building, but still worth a check if you don't have to climb over a mountain of wet mattress and couches and god knows what else to get in there!
Stories over the years of the Dunlop Factory being sold to developers have been told, yet none seemed to be true and it kept standing, but now I fear it is and the days of the Dunlop factory are numbered. Fences have been erected, padlocks put back on the fences and even some of the interior walls and openings have been bricked up. I have a bad feeling the fate of the Dunlop Factory is not looking good. Try get here why you still can.
The photos on this post were taken approximately a year ago when the doors were open and you could just stroll on in. Unfortunately that's not the case anymore and it has gone from simply walking in through many of the open doors, to having to scale fences or venture through the canals and hope to come up in the right place.
WHAT: An abandoned warehouse and workshop firmly owned by the sports equipment company Dunlop Slazenger.
ACCESS - HARD: It used to be easy as pie getting in here, you could park in the car park and walk in through one of the many doors or holes in the walls and explore all its glory, unfortunately those days are gone. I haven't checked around the back yet to see the likelihood of being granted access, but around the front and sides, it is tough. Last time I went there was a gap in some of the fences in the car park meant you could walk along the wall and then jump down one of the large windows. But a week later that fence had been moved back to prevent this access. It's much a go there and hope you can get in. Or if you don't care, you can always just climb over the fence, there's no barb wire at the top. If you want to get in you will.
SECURITY - MEDIUM – HIGH: There were dogs in here at one point, but these are gone now. They say there are security patrols there, yet have never seen any. I think you're biggest challenge with security or pesky passer-bys is getting in without sparking any alarms (and by alarms I don't mean actual alarms, just people that might contact the police). If you get in, you're sweet. It's a big place and even if security were inside, you could just run to another part of the complex. There are usually people in the car park, and all the security warning signs up are what give this a medium–high rating.
INTEREST - 8.5/10: This is a cool place, the best in Sydney now. It has loads of great graffiti, some great old machinery, and someone even donated their car to the arts in here. The top room with a roof that looks like it survived a World War II gunfight is lovely when the beams of sun stream through and light up the thousands of disused spray cans covered the floor. Colourful graffiti reflects of the practically permanent puddles on the lower grounds. Toilets, rooms and offices all in different states of decay, and then all the other random goodies normally found in these kind of places (beer cans, cassette tapes, typewriters and other random junk).
ALONE OR WITH A FRIEND: I have been alone, but for some reason with the increase in difficulty in gaining access, I would now only go with a buddy. Whether its to hand you you bag after scaling a fence or descending through the window, or if its just as company and someone to sacrifice if the dogs are still there, I'd take a mate. The place is a bit creepy as well now that its harder to access. When access was easy, people would come wander around here in their lunchtimes or you'd see photographers or graffiti artists doing this things, so it didn't feel as sketchy, now though it has an eerie feel about it.
DANGERS: Asbestos...apparently. I never knew this until months ago, but apparently the place is riddled with asbestos. Not sure if they are just rumours, but just don't go sniffing the walls. Besides that it's pretty safe. The floors and stair cases are all solid concrete, so pretty hard to fall through them. There are some walls that have seen better days so probably not ideal to lean on those ones. And the usual bits and pieces you get with these places, rubble, random rubbish, broken glass and rusty objects.