Australia & NZ
A Look at Australia’s Chinatowns
The Chinatowns of Australia’s cities go back well over a century and evince the very best of the country’s multicultural dynamism. Discover more as we go behind the scenes in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Chinatown Melbourne – Photo credit
Sydney’s current Chinatown is a sequel, of sorts, to two previous ‘hoods with the same designation. The current Chinatown dates to the 1920s and radiates from pedestrian mall Dixon Street in Haymarket, between Central Station and Darling Harbour. After multiple waves and decades of immigration, population spurts, gentrification and suburban sprawl, however, Sydney, in reality, has many Chinatowns. Most notably in the likes of Ashfield, Burwood, Cabramatta, Campsie, Chatswood, Eastwood, Flemington, Hurstville and Parramatta.
What to see: Chinese Garden of Friendship, Market City, Golden Water Mouth sculpture by Lin Li, Paddy’s Markets
Where to eat: Golden Sichuan (17-19 Goulburn Street), Red Chilli Sichuan (3/51 Dixon Street), Uighur Cuisine (1/2-8 Dixon Street)
Where to stay: Rydges World Square Hotel Sydney
Melbourne’s Chinatown is the oldest in Australia. Indeed, the capital of Victoria’s Chinatown is a vestige of the mid-19th century Gold Rush and is second only to San Francisco’s Chinatown in terms of longevity. Chinatown Melbourne is in the CBD at the end of Little Bourke Street between the corners of Swanston and Spring Streets. Like Sydney, Melbourne’s suburbs also support a prodigious Chinese community.
What to see: Chinese Museum, Sun Yat-sen Memorial, Chinatown Night Market, Heffernan Lane hawkers
Where to eat: Flower Drum (17 Market Lane), Hu Tong Dumpling Bar (14-16 Market Lane), Empress of China (120-122 Little Bourke Street)
Where to stay: Stamford Plaza Melbourne
Perth’s official Chinatown is on Roe Street in Northbridge. Like others on this list and, indeed, throughout the world, the entrance is embellished by two statuesque lions on either side of a colourful pagoda archway. Chinese migrants first came to Western Australia in the 1840s to work as rail labourers and farm hands.
What to see: Art Gallery of Western Australia
Where to eat: City Garden Chinese Restaurant (11 Chungwah Lane), Dragon Palace (66 Francis Street), Hinz Chinese Seafood Restaurant (10 Lake Street)
Where to stay: Rydges Hotel Perth
The nightlife capital of Brisbane, Fortitude Valley, is where to find the capital of Queensland’s Chinatown. A small precinct, Chinatown in the Valley nonetheless serves as a major cultural node in Brisbane. All in all, the city’s Chinatown extends from Alfred Street to McLachlan Street, Gipps Street to Constance Street.
What to see: Chinatown Mall
Where to eat: Enjoy Inn (167 Wickham Street), Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant (642 Ann Street), Superbowl (185 Whickam Street)
Where to stay: Medina Executive Brisbane Apartments
Adelaide’s Chinatown recently took offense at not being included in more city and state tourism campaigns. While fairly diminutive, the city’s pedestrian Moonta Street Chinatown is still of sufficient interest to include on a tour of South Australia’s vibrant capital.
What to see: Grocery stores and markets
Where to eat: Ying Chow Chinese Restaurant (114 Gouger Street), Chinatown Cafe (38 Moonta Street), Dumpling King (5/85 Grote Street)
Where to stay: Medina Grand Adelaide Treasury Hotel
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