Melbourne Central is located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD and is one of the largest shopping centres in Australia, with more than 200 shops. At Melbourne Central you’ll find not only fashion, but also gifts, homewares, cosmetics and body products, all under the one (huge) roof.
There are plenty of other shopping experiences in the city that calls itself the fashion capital of Australia. For example, Chapel Street in the city is more than four kilometers long, and is home to approximately 1000 shops.
Queen Victoria Market
Although this market in Melbourne is better known for its fresh produce, there are also a number of stalls selling a variety of other products. Just some of the wares on offer include clothes, jewellery, shoes, fashion accessories, leather goods, fabric, flowers and indoor plants, handicrafts and authentic Australian artifacts and souvenirs, lifestyle products, homewares, gifts and more. It’s open on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (except for public holidays) and is a great place to shop.
Queen Street Mall
The Queen Street Mall in Brisbane is packed with department stores, cafés, designer shops filled with beautiful clothes and shoes, as well as four separate shopping arcades. The mall is for pedestrians only, making it a great place for laid-back window shopping. The mall attracts upwards of 26 million visitors per year.
Queen Victoria Building
The Queen Victoria Building (QVB) in Sydney’s central business district is not only a beautiful shopping centre but also a great place just to visit and marvel at the amazing sandstone building itself. There’s a huge range of shops to visit, all selling a variety of products. The ground and gallery levels are the place to go to find the best of Australian and international designers, while the upper levels showcase Asian and Aboriginal art, as well as antiques and souvenirs. On the lower floors you’ll find lots of little shops selling affordable and fashionable gifts, jewellery, clothes and shoes.
Rundle Mall is Adelaide’s main shopping district. Like the Queen Street mall, it is a designated pedestrian-only zone. Not only are there heaps of beautiful shops, the mall is also home to a huge central market selling a variety of fresh produce. The mall is surrounded by lush green parklands, which provide an ideal place to relax and have a bite of lunch.
Salamanca place is the best shopping destination in Hobart, with a wide range of goods to suit everyone. Apart from the weekly market, there are a large number of retail shops selling everything from art to antiques, clothes, and crafts. Other good shopping destinations in Hobart include the city centre, which has plenty of specialty shops and arcades.
Shopping in Perth
The two largest shopping malls in Perth are the Murray Mall and the Hay Mall. Like many other malls in Australia, these are closed to cars and are pedestrian only. They both have a large range of specialty shops.
Perth is also famous for its opals, pearls and diamonds. Perth is probably one of the best places in Australia to shop for gems and jewellery as it has a huge range of them.
This is Darwin’s largest shopping mall, with 175 shops as well as a range of restaurants, bars and even a cinema. As well as lots of little specialty shops selling clothes, homewares, jewellery and accessories (among others) there are also larger retailers and a food court. It is located in Darwin’s northern suburbs.
Australian fashion designers are fast gaining recognition from the international fashion community. Designers like Collete Dinnigan, Sass & Bide, Akiro Isogawa, Alex Perry, Ksubi, and Morrisey all got their start Down Under and as a result are incredibly popular here. Although designer clothes can cost a lot, another great way to source original, innovative Australian fashion is by going to weekend markets, where many young designers get their start.
Gourmet Bush Tucker
An interesting and innovative souvenir or memento can be found in Australian bush tucker. Many foods made from native plants and herbs can be purchased in souvenir form, for example jams and relishes. Wool products.
It’s often said that the Australian economy ‘rides on the sheep’s back’ and the high quality and availability of Australian wool products is testament to this. Australian wool can be found in the form of clothes, blankets and sweaters, all of which make a great gift.
Australian cosmetics and beauty products are among the world’s best, mainly because of the high quality of the ingredients from which they are made. There is a large emphasis on the natural within the Australian beauty industry, and a focus on creating high quality, environmentally sound products.
If you are looking for a gift for a wine connoisseur, Australian wine is ideal. Because the wine industry is relatively young, there are many boutique wineries and tiny little vineyards producing great wines that are next-to-impossible to find overseas.
Aboriginal Arts and Craft
Aboriginal arts and crafts are easier than ever to source, even in major cities. Most major cities have a couple of shops devoted to handcrafted products such as distinctive dot paintings, didgeridoos (a type of instrument made from a hollow log), boomerangs (a stick that, when thrown, returns to the thrower), and even modern art that takes its inspiration from the ancient traditions of Aboriginal spirituality.
Paddington Markets, held each Sunday in a churchyard in one of Sydney’s hippest suburbs, are a great place to source one-off designer goods, beautiful second-hand and vintage wares, as well as products like jewellery, aromatherapy oils, all-natural body products and ceramics.
Byron Bay Market
The Byron Bay Market is held on the first Sunday of the month in the northern New South Wales town of Byron Bay. It’s a great place to find fresh produce, hand-crafted wares and beautiful original artwork. One of the best attractions is the performance space, in which you might see acrobats, fire-eaters, jugglers or musicians.
The Rainforest Market is held each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday in the town of Kuranda, near Cairns in the north of Queensland. The market is a great place just to hang out even if you don’t buy any of the exotic wares on offer (like didgeridoos or tropical fruit trees), as there is a wide range of food stalls as well as entertainment to keep you occupied.
St Kilda Art & Craft Market
The St Kilda Art and Craft Market in Melbourne is held each Sunday at the beautiful coastal town itself, and features over 220 stalls selling a wide range of products: art, blown glass, clothes, jewelry, foodstuffs, and books.
Red Hill Market
The Red Hill Market is the place to go to experience the magic of an old-style country fair. It’s held on the first Saturday of the month on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. The motto of the markets is ‘Make it, Bake it, Grow it, Breed it’ and this is apparent in the wide range of farm-produced food and crafts that are on display here.
E Shed Market
The E Shed Market can be found in Fremantle (Western Australia) and is home to a wide variety of products, ranging from market souvenirs to artwork and crafts, to Asian food, ice-cream, wine and coffee.
The Salamanca Markets are held every Saturday in Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania. It’s undoubtedly the place to go for lovers of handcrafted artifacts, as it offers a huge range of wooden, ceramic and glass objects, be they decorative, functional or both.
Clubs, Pubs and Nightlife
Australians love to go out and have a night on the town, whether it’s going to the latest, hippest nightspots or just unwinding over a beer with friends at a local pub. One of the best ways to see a lot of bars and pubs when you’re in a new city is by doing a pub crawl – that is, a tour of all the different pubs and bars in an area. Most hostels aimed at backpackers organise these tours fairly frequently.
Sydney Sydney is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Australia, and has a thriving nightlife. There are bars, pubs, clubs, casinos and more. Some of the best areas for a night out include:
This area, including Kings Cross and Taylor Square, is well-known for its thriving gay scene, which includes drag shows and gay bars. There are also plenty of non-gay bars and clubs in the area, particularly along Oxford Street.
This area near Darling Harbour is a great place to have a cocktail and watch the harbour in the evening. There are plenty of great bars playing the best music, all within walking distance of one another.
The Rocks, an historical district located at the very end of George Street near Circular Quay, is a good place to go to soak up pub culture. Some of the pubs in this area have been in operation since early settlement, such as the Hero of Waterloo and the Lord Nelson Hotel, the oldest pubs in Sydney. Jazz lovers might like to try the area around Circular Quay, which is home to a number of great jazz, swing and blues clubs.
Bondi & Manly
These bustling beachside suburbs both have great pub scenes and as such they are very popular among young travellers to Australia.
Star City is an entertainment complex encompassing casinos, restaurants, hotels and bars, located on dazzling Sydney Harbour.
One of the best things about Melbourne’s nightlife is its thriving live music scene, said to be the best in Australia. It has a fantastic pub culture, with plenty of watering holes dotted around the city (over a thousand, in fact!). There are bars, nightclubs, comedy clubs, jazz clubs, and more.
The Crown Entertainment Complex has two city blocks jam-packed with bars and clubs, as well as gaming and entertainment options, and has the added advantage of being open 24 hours a day.
Hobart’s main nightlife attraction has got to be Wrest Point Casino, which has not only gaming options, but entertainment, bars, clubs and restaurants as well.
Apart from this amazing entertainment complex, there’s plenty to do and see in Hobart after dark, including a huge range of pubs that have been in operation since the early days of European settlement.
Like most Australian capital cities, Brisbane has a wide range of pubs and clubs in the city centre. Also of note is the Conrad Treasury Casino, which is European in style. The casino boasts three levels of gaming as well as lots of hip bars and restaurants. The entertainment on offer changes every week and features comedians, musicians and more.
Northbridge is the best place in Perth to find a variety of pubs and clubs. The pub scene is fairly laid back and most get busiest on Sunday afternoons, when everyone seems to descend on the pubs in order to relax with a cold beer and catch up with friends. For nightclubs and bars, the suburbs of Leederville, Subiaco and Fremantle have lots of good options.
The bar scene in Darwin is undoubtedly in Mitchell Street, where there are plenty of great bars, pubs and clubs all within walking distance of one another. Many of the pubs in Darwin have live music on the weekends, and there is also entertainment in the form of the Sky City complex which has restaurants, bars, live bands and a casino.
The best bar scene in Adelaide is centered around the eastern end of Rundle street. There are lounge bars, pubs and clubs as well as live music and wine bars. Another attraction is the Sky City Casino, located inside the former main railway station and featuring bars, restaurants, gaming and music.