Chinatown Melbourne dates back to the gold rush era of the 1850’s, making it the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world. Today, Chinatown primarily extends along Little Bourke Street between Swanston Street and Spring Streets. The cabinet makers and lodging houses of the 1800’s are long gone, with the area now dominated by various fine dining and casual eateries, Asian grocery stores, Chinese medicine and herbalist centres, bookstores, fashion boutiques and other retail outlets.
The low-rise buildings that make up the heritage streetscape in Chinatown has been well preserved, with few buildings reaching over three storeys in height.
Throughout the year, traditional festivals and activities take place, making Chinatown a popular destination for local, interstate and international visitors.