Shopping Melbourne
Where to go and What you'll find

Some tourists may tell you that the best part of their Melbourne trip is the Shopping. 

And I cannot disagree with them because from locally-designed originals to the best of international brands you'll be spoilt for choice in Melbourne's shopping precincts.

You can spend a lot of time to explore the arcades and shopping centres of Melbourne if you love shopping.

But Melbourne is a big city so to allow you to optimise your time I want to propose this Shopping Melbourne Guide.

This guide will tell you my favourites places to shop, how to get there and what you'll find.

Gifts and Souvenirs

What to bring from Australia?

You can buy most of the tourist souvenir at Queen Victoria Market or in one of the souvenir shops in the CBD at Swanston street or Elizabeth street. You will find at these places plenty of:

  • Nice T-shirt with aboriginal art or Australian animals
  • Toy Kangaroo or Koala are always popular with children
  • You can also get some of those typical Australian road signs like "Last dunny before 200km" or "Kangaroo crossing for 5km" (It is even more fun if you could travel around Australia and make a photo frame with the most original ones yourself)

Check out this one I photographed near Cape Tribulation to draw your attention for Cassowary crossing

Far North Queensland Cassowary sign

An original gift

If you are looking for something different in term of souvenir I would suggest the following places:

  • Melbournalia sell locally made gifts and souvenirs, from books and homewares to knitwear and knick knacks.
  • The Melbourne Shop by Lumbi uses a combination of photography and digital design to produce unique products showcasing the City of Melbourne.
  • ButtonWorks specialise in making buttons, souvenirs and contemporary gifts, jewellery and homeware designs using timber, paper, acrylics, fabrics and other locally sourced materials.

See this nice wooden puzzle with Australian animals from ButtonWorks that my son had one year

ButtonWorks puzzle

Something Really Aussie

If you want to bring a special gift from Australia then the following items could be a great idea:

  • Australian wines are worldwide famous and are usually very appreciated. Do not miss the opportunity to spend a day or two in the lovely Yarra Valley region to visit some of the best Australian wineries and choose your favourite wine yourself.
  • You can also buy some 100% Australian made sheepskin Ugg boots in Melbourne. Do you know that most of the Ugg shoes that you can find outside of Australia are sold buy the American company (Deckers Outdoor Corporation {Deckers}) and are made in China!
  • A nice opal jewellery could be the perfect gift for your love one. Opal is a rare gemstone and around 90% of the world's precious opal comes from Australia. The natural Opal can be extremely valuable, there are different types of Opal. (Light Opal, Black Opal or Boulder Opal). Most light opal is found in South Australia, black opal in New South Wales - especially Lightning Ridge, and boulder opal in Queensland. If the natural Opal is too expensive for you, you can find some great Triplets or Doublets Opals. Triplets and doublets are a combination of natural opals and artificial veneers.

Beautiful Boulder Opal pendant

Melbourne Shopping Centres

1) At the Bourke Street in the city there is a pedestrian only section of Bourke Street full of all the big name stores like Myers and David Jones, Zara. If you are looking for up-market clothing and trinkets, then this is one of the spots you want to spend a day wandering through.

There are often a lot of events organised here during Christmas or other Melbourne festivals. The Myers windows for Christmas are absolutely beautiful for children.

David Jones Christmas Parade

Bourke Street Parade

2) "Paris End" at Collins Street. The eastern end of Collins street in the city have all the high end shops with Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton. So if you have an limitless American Express card and you would like to have a shopping session like "Julia Robert in Pretty Woman", then this is the place to go in Melbourne.

3) Chapel Street in South Yarra is an original place to go with plenty of shops. The beginning of the street is a little bit "Bohemia" with some second-hand shops. Then the more you head to the other end of the street the more you will be surrounded by exclusive Australian designers. No matter what it is you are looking for, you will find it here. Luckily, there are just as many eateries to sit and regenerate in between bursts of shopping.

4) Fitzroy: If you like vintage shopping then Brunswick Street and Smith Street in Fitzroy is a good place to go. If you’re visiting over a weekend then visit the Rose Street Artist Markets for handmade jewellery.

5) Chadstone Shopping Centre: 19 km from the city located in the inner south-eastern suburb of Malvern East you will find the biggest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a pretty good one-stop shop, particularly if you want to browse through the likes of Tiffany, Chanel, Gucci etc. Perfect for a bad weather day too”.You need to either drive or catch a bus because there is not a train stop next to the shopping centre.

Personally, I try to avoid to go to Chadstone Shopping Centre during the weekend because it can get very crowded. It is so huge that I feel a bit lost each time I have to go here. I rather prefer have a stroll within the lanes and arcades or one of the fantastic Melbourne markets.

The hidden gems

1) For someone like me who lived in Europe and Asia before I thought at the beginning that it was hard to find international designer label at a reasonable price in Melbourne. Then by living in Melbourne I have discovered some hidden gems like this lovely store in Moonee Ponds called New York Groove (121 Puckle St). They stock designer brands all at discounted prices. This is a boutique shop with a lot of beautiful items. 

2) For the busy mums I would suggest to go to the one of the 2 Purebaby Warehouses either in Collingwood or in
Moorabbin. If you are in their mailing list do not miss their warehouse sale with heavily reduced price up to 70%.

3) For those who like the online shopping is a "goldmine". You can do a lot of savings on ladies, men's and children's fashion and accessories.

4) Other great brand for children clothes is the New Zealand brand "Pumkin patch". Of course with internet no need to travel to New Zealand to enjoy their products and their eSale items.

Duty Free

1) If you are leaving Australia and you want to claim tax refund on goods the best way is use the The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS).

This allows you to shop anywhere you want and have the 10% tax refund at airport.

To claim a refund you must:

  • Spend $300 or more (including GST) in a single store
  • Buy goods no more than 60 days before departure
  • Wear or carry the goods on board and present them along with your tax invoice, passport and boarding pass to a TRS facility
  • Claims are only available up to 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your flight

2) If you prefer to shop in a duty free shop in advance and pack your goods in your checked-in luggage then you can go to the JR Duty Free shop at 185 Swanston Street.Their prices are similar to what you will find in Melbourne airport duty free shops. You need to have your passport and your flight ticket when you purchase something in this shop.

› Melbourne Shopping

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