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Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown
Looking west down Little Bourke Street
Chinatown at night

Melbourne, Australia's Chinatown is located within the Melbourne Central Business District and is centered near 37°48′42″S 144°58′03″E / 37.8118°S 144.9676°E / -37.8118; 144.9676Coordinates: 37°48′42″S 144°58′03″E / 37.8118°S 144.9676°E / -37.8118; 144.9676 around the eastern end of Little Bourke St. It extends between the corners of Swanston and Spring Streets.



Melbourne's Chinatown was established during the Victorian gold rush in 1851 when Chinese prospectors joined the rush in search of gold. It is notable as the oldest Chinatown in Australia[1], the oldest continuous Chinese settlement in Australia, and the longest continuously running Chinatown outside of Asia. San Francisco's Chinatown was built earlier during the California gold rush, but it was rebuilt and repopulated after it was destroyed by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake[2]. Melbourne's Chinatown had remained largely unchanged by 1842.[3]

Other Chinese communities

Other than the original Chinatown in the CBD, several newer Chinese communities are found in the suburbs of Melbourne, such as Box Hill (Carrington Road). Immigrants from Hong Kong have established there. Centro Box Hill is the primary shopping destination in Box Hill as there are many shops focused on Asian products and service.

Similar Vietnamese communities can be found in Richmond (Victoria Street), Springvale and Footscray. These areas have businesses owned by some ethnic Chinese from Vietnam, with most run by ethnic Vietnamese, and include associations as well as a range of grocers, shops and eateries offering Chinese and Vietnamese food and merchandise.


  1. ^ City of Melbourne. "Multicultural communities - Chinese". Retrieved 2006-10-13.  
  2. ^ Rebuilding Chinatown After the 1906 Quake
  3. ^ Chinese shop, Lt Bourke Street, Eric Thake, 1942. State Library of Victoria collection

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