Although this is just one block in length, it has long been regarded as the retail hub of Melbourne. At one time this one block boasted the flagship stores of Myers, Coles, Buckley & Nunn as well as the famous Coles Book Arcade. Three of these four stores were established by people we have listed amongst our 200 significant Australians - Sidney Myer, G.J.Coles and E.W.Cole. Of these, only the Myers store remains under that name and it is here people queue every Christmas to view the Myer Christmas Windows. The Buckley & Nunn establishment no longer exists but see if you can spot its sign, and ask your guide on a White Hat Tour to explain the strange route by which its name has entered the vernacular of everyday Australians. The Bourke Street Mall also contained access to the Royal Arcade and Melbourne GPO (post office) - the place form which all distances in Victoria were measured and now a boutique clothing arcade.
The area became a mall when Bourke Street between Swanston and Elizabeth streets was blocked to traffic (but not trams), and the Bourke Street Mall was officially opened by Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1983. It has had several makeovers since that time.
Today it is a useful starting point for a shopping expedition in Melbourne, even if it may not be the "must-visit" precinct promoted in some popular travel guides.