Bourke Street — A History

Spanning over 2 kilometres, and nestled between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets, since 1837 Bourke Street has been one of Melbourne’s best known streets. Named after the Governor of New South Wales of the time: Sir Robert Bourke, in the mid-1880s, Tom Roberts’ Allegro con brio captured the spirit of the old street, before trams replaced the centre road cab stands, and before the dust and the crowd were subjected to the régime of asphalt and the motor car. While the contemporary street cannot claim the vibrancy of its heyday, it still continues functional traditions dating from the gold rush era: offices to the west, retailing in the middle, entertainment and restaurants to the east. Serendipity Photography love the imbedded history in this street, and appreciate its closeness to an array of classic churches, decadent theatres and elegant reception centres. 

This much loved street has earned a reputation as the entertainment hub of the city. Certainly it deserves this reputation as a destination for fine dining and retail bliss. The famous Bourke Street Mall, originally designed by Robin Boyd and Frederick Romberg, was opened as a pedestrian mall in 1983, (the official ceremony headed by Prince Charles and Lady Diana). The mall caters to many events, such as the Myer Christmas Windows, this year celebrating its 56th anniversary, draws millions of visitors to marvel at its splendour. Each year the new theme of the Christmas Windows remains a heavily guarded secret while the clever artists, animaters and craftspeople are creating their magic for over six months to bring this Christmas tradition to Myer’s many Christmas visitors.

Today the mall is home to two major luxury department stores and countless other speciality stores. Making it a unique and exciting location for all. This bustling and festive street, offers ample atmosphere and vibrant colours, through details such as the array of fabulous buskers. The pedestrian and tram exclusive mall, is the garden of Bourke Street, and provides and exciting backdrop for wedding day shots.  Down the East end of the expansive street, you will encounter award winning restaurants, such as Grossi Florerntino and Flower Drum. As well as contributing to the vibrant and high quality of the street, these venues make a delicious option for a special night before the wedding meal. Bourke Street’s rich history, well earned reputation, varied architecture and close proximity to a selection of fine hotels and other photography locations such as:  the General Post Office,  and the Royal Arcade.



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