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Sydney Chinatown

brief history ...

The Chinese people started to migrate in Australia after fields of gold were discovered in Australia (NSW and Victoria).
Sydney Chinatown
©2006 Gabriel Ditu


In Sydney, the first records about Chinatown date from 1860's. At that time, Chinatown was situated between Wentworth Avenue and Wexford Street (Surry Hills). After the Lambing Flat Riot¹), the resentment against the Chinese population was growing and in 1861 Chinese Immigration Act was passed. This legislation was discriminating against the immigration of the Chinese people. Latter on, in 1901 Australian White Policy, legislation was passed restricting "Asiatic and coloureds" from migrating into Australia.

In the 1920s, Sydney Chinatown moved over to Campbell Street, where the Capitol Theatre is located today. In the 1930's, when the Paddy's Market was moved to their current site, Chinatown has moved along to Dixon and Hay Street, where is located today. Chinatown is occupying the area between the corner of Sussex and Liverpool Streets to Hay Street, bounded by George Street and Darling Harbour.

After 1966, when the Australian White Policy migration was abolished, the number of people of Chinese origin started to increase steadily. In Chinatown, through private investment, a lot of traditional Chinese icons started to be build: ceremonial archways, dragons, lions, pavilions and so on.


¹) Between 1860 and 1861, a wave of anti-Chinese riots took place in the gold fields of New South Wales, Australia. They entered in history as the riots from Lambing Flat (now called Young) after the name of the settlement.

about ...

In Sydney Chinatown you can find a variety of stores and attractions, cheap eateries and Chinese restaurants.

Do not forget the boutique fashion stores, jewelry stores and the grocery shopping stores which are selling traditional Chinese vegetables and fruits not normally available in other shops.

Surrounding attractions include: Star City Casino, Darling Harbour, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Entertainment Center, Monorail, and Capitol Theatre.

tourist information ...

How to get there
By train to Central Station and then a 10 minute walk. All the buses going toward the Central Station via George Street. Monorail and the LightRail are also stopping in the area. See map.

Contact details:
Web site: Sydney Chinatown

Hours of Operation:
Most Chinese shops, in Chinatown or in an other suburb, are opened as any other shop, but some Chinese shops are also opened during Easter, Christmas or around New Year, because the Chinese are not observing these events. See the NSW public holidays list.
27 May
1801 - The French cartographic expedition of Nicolas Baudin sighted Cape Leeuwin.

1967 - Australia holds a referendum approving two amendments to the Australian constitution relating to Indigenous Australians.
Australian slang
  • bottle shop liquor shop
  • wharfie water front worker
  • dead-cert certain
  • boofhead stupid person
  • xxx kisses (used at the end of a letter)
  • cane toad a person from QLD
  • Gabba Wooloongabba - the Brisbane cricket stadium
  • bitumen sealed road
  • billy teapot used when camping in the bush
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