Melbourne’s Chinatown district is the oldest Chinatown in the southern hemisphere, delivering a vibrant and colourful atmosphere since its first establishment back in the 1850’s. This area of Melbourne’s city houses an extensive number of both authentic and modern Chinese food and drink, many of which specialise in particular regional cuisines or culinary delights. Sample favourites such as dumplings at Hu Tong, a bubble tea from Oritea and a late night feast at Supper Inn.
If entertainment is on the agenda, themed karaoke bars, duty-free shopping stores and the Chinese Museum will ensure a trip to Chinatown is filled with culture and excitement. As well at this, during Chinese New Year celebrations each year, Chinatown Melbourne lights with traditional live music, firecracker demonstrations, street performers and oriental street food. Make sure to also catch the lion dance celebrations, which take place along Little Bourke Street and are a must see during this festive period. There are plenty of activities for travellers and visitors of all ages.
Facts about Chinatown Melbourne
- It was the discovery of gold and subsequent Goldrush in 1851, is what attracted Chinese immigration to Victoria.
- The original community was in Little Bourke Street and provided for all the needs of the diggers.
- Chinatown Melbourne today extends along Little Bourke Street between Swanston Street and Spring Street.
- Throughout the year there are many traditional festivals and activities, including the full moon festival, and Asian Food Festival.
- There is a Chinese Museum in Chinatown Melbourne, it is in Cohen Place and tells the story of Chinese Australia.
- Tom Roberts, one of the leading figures of Australian impressionism, created sketches of life in Little Bourke street in the 1880s.
- The 1997 hit movie “Mr Nice Guy” staring Jackie Chan was set in Melbourne with several scenes shot in Chinatown Melbourne.