Chinatown is located within the Melbourne Central Business District and is centred near and around the eastern end of Little Bourke Street. It extends between the corners of Swanston and Spring Streets. / -37.811


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 for being the oldest Chinatown in Australia, the oldest continuous Chinese settlement in Australia, and the second longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world, only because San Francisco's Chinatown was nearly, but not completely destroyed by the 1906 earthquake.

In 2010, the ground floor of the Chinese Museum was remodeled as a visitor centre for Melbourne's Chinatown. In 2011, a Memorial statue of Dr Sun Yat-sen was unveiled outside the Museum's entrance in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China. The traditional Chinese New Year Lion Dance has always ended at this spot, but will now end with a blessing of the statue.


Chinatown hosts a large amount of cultural restaurants, offering cuisines from China, Thailand, Japan, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and Korea. This mix of cultures makes the area a popular tourist destination.

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.
CYSM - Lion Dance Awakening - Chinatown Melbourne CNY 2012

CYSM - Lion Dance Awakening - Chinatown Melbourne CNY 2012

Lion Dance at Chinatown Festival

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.