Decorated archways mark the entrance to a short strip of Little Bourke Street between Swanston Street and Exhibition Street.

Chinatown has a long and prosperous history in Melbourne and was established shortly after the first Chinese migrated to Victoria back in the 1850s. They were attracted by rumours of a 'new gold mountain' and came in large numbers on ships from Hong Kong. Chinese associations soon began to purchase land on Little Bourke Street in order to build clubrooms for their growing Chinese community.

By the time the gold ran out, Chinatown had prospered into a thriving community providing business opportunities for those who did not return home.


The Chinese Museum tells the full story of Melbourne's Chinese community.

Opening hours: Daily 10am – 5pm
Location: Cohen Place, Melbourne VIC 3000
Admission: Adult: $7.50 - Child/Concession: $5.50

Many Chinese restaurants and grocery stores are scattered along the Chinatown part of Little Bourke Street and the small alleyways to both sides of it.

Chinatown gets even more colourful during the Chinese New Year celebrations in early February, when dancing lions roam the street and stalls offer delicious Chinese specialties.