Shopping is one of Australia’s favourite pastimes so you’re guaranteed to have a great time and get some great buys on your trip Down Under. Here’s the low down on the shopping scene in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
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Shopping in Australia is a laid back experience as you’d expect from a country whose unofficial motto is ‘no worries’. Except for markets and some smaller shops, prices in Australia are fixed so there’s no need to bargain. You’ll find most items labeled with a price tag. A 10% Goods and Services Tax applies to any purchase made in Australia.
Shopping In Sydney
Sydney’s shopping outlets run the gamut from international icons such as Tiffany’s to street markets and homegrown, uniquely-Australian entities such as those showcasing Aboriginal arts and crafts.
Most downtown department stores, arcades, malls and boutiques lie on George Street and around Pitt Street Mall, Castlereagh Street and King Street. Especially noteworthy is the huge, historic Queen Victoria Building (QVB) which offers many floors of shopping delights.
The suburbs have their own shopping enclaves such as Warringah Mall. Meanwhile in Newtown and Glebe you’ll find intriguing shops selling an amazing range of knick knacks.
One pointer, if you’re buying Aussie knick knacks, check the label. You may well find that your stuffed koala is imported from China and your authentic didgeridoo was made in Taiwan.
Shopping In Melbourne
Melbourne is now firmly ensconced as Australia’s capital of fashion. Boutiques on High Street and Toorak Road among others showcase the latest collections from up and coming Aussie designers. But for that unique experience, you should head for the markets.
Melbourne offers a host of markets, the most prestigious being the Queen Victoria Market on Victoria Street. Once reserved for sales of foodstuffs, nowadays you can get almost anything there.
Shopping In Perth
With its pedestrian-friendly center, traffic-free malls, and many quaint arcades, Perth is a real shopper’s delight.
Downtown Perth is home to the chain stores. They’re mainly in the malls located on the parallel Hay and Murray Streets and in the labyrinth of arcades that link them. For the latest offerings by young Aussie designers, visit the Colonnade shopping center on Hay Street. If you’re looking for the more main stream designer brands, head to nearby King Street.
For a more ’boutique’ experience, spend some time at Subiaco, affectionately known as Subi. Here you can spend a pleasant time browsing the chic boutiques, antiques shops, art galleries, cafes and markets.
Perth’s jewelers showcase creations crafted from opals, Argyle diamonds, and pearls farmed from Broome.
Perth is also a great place to pick up Aboriginal arts and crafts. King Street and Subiaco are home to some fine crafts shops such as Creative Native and Indegenart.