Site Types

Abandoned El Caballo Theme Park in Perth, Western Australia│Abandoned World Photography Urbex
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Theme Parks

Abandoned Theme Parks Abandoned theme parks are always fun to explore, especially if you gain access into massive derelict sites like the Notre Dame Zoo in Sydney or El Caballo in Perth. Often tucked away in the rolling countryside, you could easily miss them if you’re not paying attention, despite their huge size. However, theme parks often have private owners which could land you in a lot of trouble if you’re caught photographing onsite. For this reason, it’s wise to perform research on a derelict theme park before making the trip. Social media forums might help with finding out the current ownership status and whether or not it’s wise to go.

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The Abandoned Space Roller Rink in Chiang Mai, Thailand – Abandoned World Photography
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Entertainment Buildings

Abandoned Entertainment Buildings Abandoned entertainment buildings such as former nightclubs and skating rinks are always great fun and make for amazing photography. They’re usually large, vast derelict sites with many rooms and floors to explore. However, they are also the types of buildings to be inhabited by squatters for some reason. Perhaps it’s because buildings created for entertainment are usually built out of concrete rather than wood, which makes the structure more safe and secure for squatters to set up their home in. World-class graffiti is also something you might find in an abandoned entertainment building. For example, the Batman nightclub in Thailand has been donned from ceiling to ground in amazing artwork. Word is graffiti artists from all over the world were invited to make their mark inside the crumbling building. Go there and you will feel like you’re walking through an art exhibition, not a former nightclub!

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The Abandoned Space Roller Rink in Chiang Mai, Thailand – Abandoned World Photography
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Sports Clubs

Abandoned Sports Clubs Abandoned sports centres can be found in almost every city and town if you look close enough. When I was in Australia, I focused specifically on finding them and not long after, I’d photographed an abandoned bowling club, golf course, horseriding stables, and a football club. They might not be the most historic of sites to photograph and document, but they are fun all the same and security is usually quite low.

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Abandoned Macquaries Boys Tech School in Sydney, Australia│Abandoned World Photography Urbex
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Schools

Abandoned Schools Abandoned schools are among my favourite types of derelict sites to explore and photograph on a lazy Sunday. They’re often situated in peaceful, quiet spots and security isn’t normally an issue. And schools being schools, they are usually extremely colourful on the inside which is a nice difference to the monotone colours of say an abandoned hospital or aged care facility (excluding St. Brigid’s Hospital which has vibrant pink and green walls and corridors). Schools are also usually large in size so you can expect to spend a couple of hours wandering around these vast abandoned buildings.

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Abandoned Hanoi Rock City Venue in Hanoi, Vietnam│Abandoned World Photography Urbex
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Businesses​

Abandoned Businesses Almost every day, I drive past abandoned businesses, whether it’s a restaurant, shop, venue, or service center. My personal highlights over the past few years include an abandoned vet, an abandoned taxi rank, dog kennels and a rock concert venue – all of which are listed below!

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Abandoned Religious Carmona Monastery in Sevilla, Spain │ Abandoned World Photography Urbex
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Religious Buildings

Abandoned Religious Buildings Even though I’m not religious, abandoned sites such as monasteries and churches make for amazing photography and I’m always in awe of the architecture. I often think to myself the amount of time and effort that went into creating these masterpieces of buildings and how sad it is they have become abandoned. While many find religious topics boring, there’s always a tale to be told when it comes to abandoned buildings. For example, there was a group of monks who were murdered in the basement of a monastery in Seville, Spain. Check it out below!

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Spooky door graffiti at an abandoned house in Perth, Western Australia. Photo by Abandoned World Photography.
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Houses

Abandoned Houses Abandoned houses are controversial in my opinion. Firstly, I will say I have photographed a fair few derelict houses, but they are not my go-to kind of building. It makes me uncomfortable being inside someone’s private space with all of their belongings around me. I feel like I’m disrespecting them, especially if they have passed, which is usually the reason the house is abandoned in the first place. Many of the houses I have photographed have happened to be on the same site as an abandoned farm such as this cattle farm in Perth. Plenty of industrial sites also once housed caretakers so there will often be an abandoned residential property on a site like the Clackline Refractory, also in Perth, Western Australia. That one was insane. I almost stepped on the dead kangaroo lying on the floor outside the front door and the entire inside had been plastered with manic wall writings. I’ve never seen anything like it even to this day! There have also been a few houses I’ve photographed which crossed the moral boundaries. When I stumbled upon the address of the Claremont Serial Killer (Western Australia), Bradley Edwards, and was told his house was

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Abandoned St. Brigid’s Hospital Connaught Asylum in Galway, Ireland │Abandoned World Photography Urbex
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Hospitals and Mental Asylums

Abandoned Hospitals and Mental Asylums Exploring a derelict hospital or abandoned mental asylum is probably my number one idea of a day well spent. I love them so much I’ve even brought first dates on adventures to them (there was never a second date ☹)! There are a few things I love about abandoned hospitals and mental asylums: They are massive in size. There are often security guards so the “getting access” stage is always super fun. It also keeps you on your toes once inside which is a positive thing. They always have fascinating and often morbid histories. When I post the photographs on social media, people often leave their own personal stories or memoirs of the former hospital/asylum, which I love to read, and I feel it adds a nice context to my photography. They are often quite spooky even in the daytime, so the adrenaline rush is ridiculous (one of the reasons why I love urbex). I’m sure this will sound strange to people who don’t understand urbex, but there’s no better way to feel alive than to visit a derelict hospital or asylum!

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Entry to Regis Hollywood by Abandoned World Photography
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Aged Care Buildings

Abandoned Aged Care Buildings Abandoned aged care buildings often turn out to be spooky explores. I have noticed when exploring these kinds of derelict sites, similar to when I’m inside an abandoned mental asylum or hospital, the atmosphere differs from that of, say, an abandoned school. I’m not superstitious, quite the opposite. But try standing inside the bedroom of an abandoned aged care facility such as Regis or Alexandra, and you’ll feel the hairs standing up on your arms immediately. Perhaps it’s the fact that many people would have inevitably passed away in these buildings, and their spirits remain. But like I said, I don’t believe in ghosts (yet) so I’m unsure as to why it feels so different. Another aspect of abandoned aged care buildings is you will often find documents left behind such as former resident’s identification papers, diaries belonging to workers and residents, medical records, financial records, and more. FYI, it is illegal for personal documents such as these to be left behind in derelict sites. For example, when I visited the Alexandra Guild House (Ireland) back in 2014, I was shocked to find a huge pile of documents consisting of family photographs, letters written or received

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Abandoned Broadway Hotel in Brisbane, Australia│Abandoned World Photography Urbex
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Hotels

Abandoned Hotels Abandoned hotels are great fun! The architecture is often fascinating, and hotels have the potential to have a lot of interesting history. Not only do they tell intriguing stories of the past, but they are often situated in beautiful landscapes. For example, the Táin Village Holiday Park (one of my childhood holiday favourites) is tucked away in Carlingford, Louth, in Ireland’s Ancient East. The region is scattered with rolling hills of flowers, medieval ruins, and glacial loughs – all under the watchful eye of the 600m Slieve Foye mountain. That’s one of the great things about urbex. It not only takes you out of your comfort zone, it takes you to beautiful places in the world you would never have seen if you weren’t into abandoned buildings!

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Abandoned Moore River Aboriginal Camp in Western Australia│Abandoned World Photography Urbex
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Military Buildings

Abandoned Military Buildings Abandoned military buildings are one of the most difficult kinds of derelict sites to gain access to. Security is usually watertight and for some reason, climbing walls is always a necessity at these places. I’m not talking about your average wall climb where you just hop over. I’m talking about layers of walled security, barbed wire, and very spiky fences. The Phoenix Park Magazine Fort in Ireland was so traumatic gaining access that my bravery had completely subsided at the point of leaving the site and I couldn’t face the dangerous climb out. For the first and only time in the 11 years of urbexing, I called the park rangers to come get me out even though I could have gotten arrested. That’s how traumatic it was getting in!! Military sites have often been abandoned for centuries, so structural damage is always a concern. But the risks are outweighed by the beautiful photography you can create inside the walls of these time capsules and reading about the site history is super fun.

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Abandoned Restaurant Boats in Hanoi, Vietnam│Abandoned World Photography
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Boats, Trains and Planes

Abandoned Boats, Trains and Planes Abandoned boats and ships are a rare find hence why there is so little on my website. The only ones I have managed to photograph to date are the floating restaurants in Hanoi, Vietnam. Even then, I couldn’t photograph the inside for a few reasons: I didn’t have access to a boat to get to the abandoned boats, I didn’t have a wetsuit to swim to the boats, and the water was too dirty to even fathom swimming in! Hence, I am on a quest to find more abandoned boats (preferably ships) that I can actually explore the inside of. Similarly, abandoned trains and planes are hard to find but they are fascinating up close, especially when you get to photograph the belly of a derelict double-decker Boeing 747!

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Medieval Castle in of Can Jaumar, Spain│Abandoned World Photography
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Castles

Abandoned Castles Abandoned castles are a rare find and one of my favourite types of derelict sites. There is so much history behind them and the architecture is always fascinating. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a castle where the inside hasn’t been touched. I probably have to go to more countries in Europe for that, which is definitely on the list of urbex plans for the next few years.

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Abandoned FAAC Electronics Factory and Warehouse in Dublin, Ireland│Abandoned World Photography Urbex
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Factories

Abandoned Factories and Warehouses Abandoned factories and warehouses can be hard to find especially if they are tucked away in the heart of an industrial site or the countryside, but they are extremely rewarding once found. The vast size of these derelict sites results in explorations that can last hours, provided you’re not faint-hearted. They are also the type of site to be plastered in No Trespassing signs and hazard warning signs. Even though it’s in our nature as urbexers to ignore these signs, you shouldn’t. If there are signs for gas or chemicals, for example, that should be a real warning to be cautious about what site areas you choose to explore. Assuming you don’t have proper gear, such as a gas mask, I’d recommend heeding the signs as best as you can. Additionally, abandoned factories and warehouses can be industrial in terms of their architecture and interior. The floors will often be in bad condition and exposed wires are strewn all over the ground and hanging over your head. If you’re not careful, you could either fall through the floor or walk straight into a dodgy power line.

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Abandoned Alexander the Great Mansion in Perth, Western Australia │ Abandoned World Photography Urbex
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Mansions

Abandoned Mansions Abandoned mansions are hard to find, hard to get into, and I’ve gotten masses of backlash because of them. Often tucked away in the countryside up long driveways, you’d be lucky to find a derelict mansion and manage to get inside. One such adventure once took me to the Alexander the Great Mansion in Perth, Western Australia. I’d obtained the address online and had no idea if it was legit. So I set off on a road trip one day to find out for myself. I found the site easily and sure enough, there was a magnificent derelict site perched on the edge of the Perth hills. The mansion was massive in size and had its own Ferris wheel, waterslides, a weird cult-like church, life-size dollhouses, a horse carousel, and lots of very fancy statues, amongst many other fascinating things! Every building and house I photographed on that site was 100% abandoned, and there was no sign of anyone living there, nor were there any No Trespassing signs. Within 24 hours of posting the photos online, I was receiving a barrage of messages to the AWP social media pages and even my personal social media pages and email

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Abandoned Fremantle Burford Soap Factory Tunnel in Perth, Western Australia │Abandoned World Photography Urbex
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Underground Sites

Abandoned Underground Sites Abandoned underground sites are not my forte, I’ll be honest! Aside from my fear of creepie crawlies, I also don’t like the idea of getting stuck underground. 9 times out of 10, I go exploring alone and most times, I could disappear and no one would know where to start looking for me. Most of my urbexing happens abroad too, so I would probably never be found if something did happen to me. Unfortunately, no one in my circle of friends and family is into urbex, so I don’t tell them when I’m going to photograph a building, let alone give them the address of where I’m going, as much I’d love to have even just one person out there looking out for me in that regard. C’est la vie. The best I can do is minimise the risk I take. And urbex can be dangerous enough without adding the risks that underground exploring brings. However, there is one aspect of underground exploring that’s on my bucket list and my safety levels will most likely decrease once I find them. War bunkers.

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Abandoned Cattle Farmhouse in Perth, Western Australia│Abandoned World Photography Urbex
Abandoned World Photography

Abandoned Farms

Abandoned Farms Abandoned farms are a goldmine – hard to find, but very rewarding. If you find an abandoned farm, there’s a good chance there’s also an abandoned farmhouse onsite so you’ve just bagged yourself a 2 in 1 urbex adventure! Watch out for squatters and unstable interior structures in abandoned farmhouses though. These derelict sites are not likely to come with warning signs so use your own common sense.

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