Where to shop and what to buy in Australia
From High-Street to hidden laneways:
A ‘where to shop and what to buy in Australia’ locals’ guide for luxury travellers in search of some Australian retail therapy:
WHERE TO SHOP
Whether you’re looking for a gift for that ‘hard-to-buy-for’ friend or little something for yourself there is no lack of temptations in Australia’s colourful markets and malls.
From high street to hidden laneways, bargains to boutiques we’ve put together a collection of some of our favourite spots for a bit of retail therapy. We’ll show you where to shop and what to buy in Australia.
For unique hand-made souvenirs and mementos, its hard to beat Australia’s quality markets. Nearly every corner of Australia has a colourful local market showcasing the creative spoils of talented artists and artisans, selling everything from handmade gifts and homewares, artworks and fashion. For quality and atmosphere, we love:
- Paddington Markets in Sydney. (Every Saturday, Oxford Street, Paddington in the leafy grounds surrounding the Paddington Uniting Church)
- Rose Street Artist Markets in Melbourne (Every Saturday and Sunday, Rose Street Fitzroy. Indoor and outdoor undercover just moments from Fitzroy’s funky Gertrude Street)
- Eumundi Markets in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland (Every Wednesday and Saturday, Eumundi – 30 minutes from Noosa in a relaxed open-air setting).
- Fremantle Markets in Perth (Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and public holiday Mondays in the grand Victorian Freemantle Market Hall)
- Salamanca Markets in Hobart (Every Saturday on the waterfront with the old sandstone Georgian warehouses as their backdrop).
- The Rocks Markets (every Saturday and Sunday) and of the Sunday markets at the Arts Centre Melbourne also offer a great visitor experience and plenty of inspiration for picking up some unique souvenirs.
For high-street fashion including many Australian labels including the likes of UGG, RM Williams, Bonds, Bassike, Aesop, SABA and Lorna Jane, we’ve short-listed a collection of Australia’s most impressive malls:
- Pitt Street Mall, Sydney
- Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne
- Queen Street Mall, Brisbane
- Pacific Fair on Queensland’s Gold Coast
For more boutique shopping experiences, head for:
- Chapel Street in Melbourne – spanning from South Yarra, through Prahan to St Kilda this iconic shopping strip offers everything from second hand and vintage to Australia’s hippest fashion designers – and plenty of opportunities to rest weary feet in any number of cafes and restaurants along the way.
- Paddington in Sydney – Oxford street offers a collection of boutiques and cafes, whist the Intersection (around Oxford Street and Glenmore Road) is an “Alice MacCALL to Zimmermann” of Australia’s hottest designer fashion labels
Some of the cities’ arcades offer a taste of old-world elegance and house some the city’s finest shoemakers, watchmakers and dressmakers, milliners, jewellers and chocolatiers. Don’t miss:
- the Block and Royal Arcades in Melbourne,
- the Strand Arcade and elegant Queen Victoria Building in Sydney,
- the Adelaide Arcade off Rundle Mall
- Brisbane Arcade off Queen Street Mall.
Those looking for high-end international fashion labels from haute to hip should head for
- the ‘Paris End’ of Collins Street (and little Collins Street) in Melbourne,
- Sydney’s Castlereagh Street
- Pacific Fair on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
- .. and watch this space for Australia’s newest luxury retail precinct with the Towers at Elizabeth Quay development currently under construction, and the Queens Wharf in Brisbane to follow.
But perhaps the most rewarding shopping experiences are found in Melbourne’s latticework of laneways and Sydney’s eclectic inner city villages – we can even arrange for a Sydney stylist or a well-connected local fashionista in Melbourne to help you uncover some of these cities’ best local finds and gain VIP access to the hottest boutiques.
Away from the bright city lights, even in some of the most remote corners of the country there are retail pleasures and treasures to be found: from indigenous galleries selling authentic Aboriginal artworks and hand painted didgeridoos in the Red Centre to the finest Australian South Sea Pearls in Broome, pink diamonds from the Kimberley or Opals from under the red desert earths in Coober Pedy.
WHAT TO BUY
From head to toe, grandkids to neighbours .. and a little treat of two for yourself of course too, there are dozens of great Australian souvenirs to take home without having to resort to clip-on koalas and fridge magnets of the Sydney Opera House:
For that special someone:
Australia produces some of the most beautiful gemstones in the world with pearls, opals and pink diamonds among the picks. Paspaley’s pearl farms along the northern-Western Australia coastline produce some of the finest Australian South Sea Pearls, 90% of the world’s beautiful pink diamonds are mined in the Kimberley and 90% of the world’s opals are found under the Australian outback – all make stunning mementos of a special trip to Australia.
Take home the flavours of Australia with Herbie’s Spices (try an Aussie BBQ spice mix), a great bottle of Australian wine (a big Barossa Valley red or a cool climate sparkling from Tasmania and just about everything in between), or an Australian tipple of a different kind (one of the World’s Best Whiskies from Tasmania or an Australian botanical gin from Sydney distiller Archie Rose); some Australian tea (Tea2 make a range of Australian’s brews from a refreshing Lemon Myrtle tea to a soothing Aussie Breakfast tea infused with native wattleseed), a cook book from one of Australia’s culinary greats (try the Flavours of Melbourne or Sydney featuring signature recipes from some the cities’ best restaurants) or one of Maggie Beer’s delicious relishes.
For the sweet tooth:
Delicious chocolates such as Koko Black from Melbourne, Haigh’s from Adelaide or the perennial Australian favourite – a packet of Tim Tam biscuits are sure to be equally enjoyed back home.
For the Arty types:
Hang a little piece of Australia on the wall back home – one of aquabump’s aerial photographs of the Australian coast, a Jai Vasicek or a stunning Aboriginal dot painting .. or better still, create a piece yourself with an indigenous art workshop.
From the beach to the ballroom Australia’s fashion designers have something for everyone: Camilla’s caftans and Zimmermann swimwear, Aje’s glittering gowns and sass and bide’s designer jeans have got it covered.
Alternatively, Australia’s more iconic fashion items can also cover you from head to toe: an Akubra hat, a driza-bone coat, a custom-made pair of RM William boots or a snuggly pair of UGGs to keep your toes warm.
For the Home
A modern vase from Dinosaur Designs, some uniquely Australian homewares from Koskela, handmade tableware from mud australia or some deliciously scented Bondi Wash products infused with Australian bush oils and botanicals will bring a little piece of Australia home with you.
For the Kids:
The little one’s will love an entertaining Australian read such as Mem Fox’s Possum Magic or Koala Lou; May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie or Jacki French’s Diary of a Wombat.
For friends back home:
Treat your friends, colleagues, neighbours or yourself to a soothing body balm or nourishing hand cream from the likes of Aesop, Mr Smith, Sodashi, Leif incorporating beautiful Australian botanicals.
Ask our Southern Crossings Travel Designers for further inspiration where to shop and what to buy in Australia
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