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Bourke Street, Melbourne

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Bourke Street Mall

Bourke Street is a major street in the central business district of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It runs roughly from east to west and it bisects the CBD (known as the Hoddle Grid) along its long axis. Bourke Street runs between the parallel Little Collins and Little Bourke streets. Bourke Street is named for Sir Richard Bourke, the Governor of New South Wales (and thus, of Melbourne as well) in 1837, when the Hoddle Grid was drawn up.

Bourke Street is a major retail shopping precinct, attracting thousands of locals and tourists every day. A central feature of this is the Bourke Street Mall, a pedestrian and tram-only strip between Swanston and Elizabeth streets. This is home to two major department stores - Myer and David Jones, several chain stores, such as HMV, and several large specialty stores. The mall is due to receive a major facelift in preparation for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Bourke Street Mall is regularly used by buskers and street theatre acts. A common attraction every Christmas is the large Myer Windows, which are decorated in a different Christmas display every year.

Another attraction within Bourke Street is the historic Royal Arcade, and in particular, its two ornamental clocks, Gog and Magog. At the east end, Bourke Street is home to part of Melbourne's Chinatown. It also intersects with a number of small lanes that are home to a number of restaurants and cafes.

A number of tram routes travel along Bourke Street and the Mall. At the west and east ends of the street are Spencer Street and Parliament stations, and Flinders Street and Melbourne Central stations are a short walk from the Mall. A pedestrian bridge provides access at the west end to both Spencer Street Station and the Docklands precinct.

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