It is easy to just stay in the one general area of the Gold Coast. There is a lot to do in Surfers Paradise. But when it comes time to shop, follow the locals. Even the very few who live in Surfers don't shop there.
There are three main shopping centres on the Coast. Pacific Fair is at Broadbeach but caters for both tourists and locals. Robina Town Centre is at Robina, about a 10 minute drive from Pacific fair and is a mostly locals centre. Harbour Town is the big outlet shopping mall about 15-20 minutes north of Surfers.
But hunt down other places as well. In Southport there is another lesser known outlet area called the Brickworks. It is worth visiting especially if you are in the market for clothes as there is a great shop called Trade Secret selling out end of line name brand stuff. Further out at Ashmore there is another great outlet mall called Central Park Plaza and this is where Billabong, Timberland, Quiksilver etc have their outlet shops. There are sunglass clearance places as well as shoes.
Ask a local cabbie and they will be able to tell you where these places are or just get them to take you. You can get buses but as the system is a bit confusing, taxis are better.
What to buy: As the Gold Coast is the home of Billabong surfwear, there are a couple of places but the cheapest is the outlet at Central Park Plaza. They have board shorts for $10, Bikinis from $15. There is also the major outlet at West Burleigh but it is full price.
Also there are some other local surf brands, Byrning Spears and Mt Woodgee, which are cheap and groovy.
When buying your groceries, etc., next time, have a look on the back of the receipt/docket.
You probably will have, what is called a shopper docket. This has all kind of deals with an expiry date, and they can save you a lot of money.
I have photo copied some to give you an idea of savings. .....
CURRUMBIN SANCTUARY .....Adults at childrens prices, up to 5 people, when tickets purchased at Currumbin.... A SAVING OF $16.20 p/p.................
SUBWAY............FREE foot long sub when you purchase and foot subway and a regular drink.
ALBERT RIVER WINES.......Sunday Champagne brunch for $15 pp.
30% discount on midweek lunch........3 course intimate dinner around a log fire for $30pp
These are prices for 2009, and they usually have an expiry date...........so keep a look out for different deals on ALL TYPES OF THINGS!
The Carrar Markets have become a bargain hunters paradise with a huge variety of products from 500 stalls.
Plants, fruit & vegies, clothing, shoes, arts & crafts, watches, jewellery, tools, leathergoods, butchers, bakery & fish chips are all available at bargain prices.
Carrara Markets are the largest permanent markets to be found in Queensland and they are open every Saturday & Sunday from 7am to 4pm.
A market bus service can pick you up from selected points (including Pacific Fair for a AU$1 fare) or you can drive yourself and enjoy free parking and admission.
Carrara Markets has been on the Gold Coast as long as I can remember. The markets have a great relaxed atmosphere and its so easy to gobble up time just strolling around looking at everything.
The Markets have fixed buildings and temporary stalls which change from week to week. So you if you find a stall you particularly like, its guaranteed the same stall will be there next week.
Open on Saturday and Sunday from 6:00am until approximately 4:00pm, this place is always pumping! Never once have I been there when it has been quiet.
I often go to these markets to buy shoes as they usually have the same shoes as the retail stores but at the fraction of the price. They also have a fantastic range of fruit and vege amongst other things.
Also they have some great food stalls that serve breaky from about 6:30am. Also serving a greasy aussie breaky, great for the ill fated hangover!
What to buy: The best way to describe the goods on sale at Carrara Markets? They sell EVERYTHING! With approximately 500 stalls, you will be entertained or lost for hours, which ever one comes first.
What to pay: One should note that haggling is rarely used in Australia, fixed pricing has always been the way. The only real time you may question a price is when you purchase one or more of the item. Feel feel to try and bargain with the merchants, however you may not always get your desired outcome.
Explore more than 120 market stalls stretching over half a kilometre of beachfront promenade along Surfers Paradise beach, every Wednesday and Friday evening.
What to buy: Expect to see locally made items including accessories, artworks, homewares, jewellery, music, beauty products, textiles, photoraphy, memorabilia and much more.
What to pay: Although these markets aren't the most exciting around, they are great to kill an hour over. You may find there prices aren't as cheap as other markets on the Gold Coast, so if you are after a bargain take the time to shop around.
Surfers Paradise has approximately 14 shopping centres and arcades within its vicinity. The best way to see all of these is by donning on a pair of comfy shoes and exploring the Surfers streets yourself.
The shopping in Surfers Paradise offers both retail and duty free with an extensive range of designer boutiques including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Coach, Dior, Bettina Liano and the like.
Most of the stores unlike the rest of the Gold Coast are open for late night shopping 7 days a week. So if you aren't used to the usual 5pm shutting time Australia has, then head to Surfers Paradise to continue on!
What to buy: As mentioned above, expect to discover designer boutiques, duty free stores, clothing including desiger surf and street wear and the like.
What to pay: Surfers Paradise stores a full retail or duty free so expect to pay full price unless you can supply the duty free stores with a passport and boarding pass.
Nike, Esprit, Mambo, Fila, Calvin Klein, Levis, etc..
What to buy: Get cheap beach wear here!! Actually get cheap branded stuff here!!
What NOT to buy : Souveniers. It's very expensive to buy souveniers here. Get them at Pacific Fair or Goldcoast shopping centres.
What to pay: hhmm... it depends.... I spent abt A$200 here... Got a great deal at Nike boutique... Bought a pair of running shoes at A$50 only (costs more than S$100 in Singapore)....
Trade Secret is an outlet store in Southport, which sells some great brand name surf wear (Mambo & Echo to name a few), ladies, mens and kids clothes, lingerie & manchester at heavily discounted prices.
This is where all the locals go to buy there discounted brand name clothes. Trust me, once you go there you'll never want to pay full price again!!
Open 7 Days:
Mon, Tue, Wed: 9 - 5.30pm
Thursday: 9 - 8pm
Friday: 9 - 5.30pm
Saturday: 8.30 - 5pm
Sunday: 10.30 - 4pm
What to buy: Most surfwear is half price!
Central Park Plaza has the second's and outlet stores for top surf name brands like Billabong, Quicksilver, Element, Roxy, Kuta Lines, Voodoo Dolls and other not so well known brands in mens and womans swimwear and clothing. There is also a discount sunglasses shop, with old lines of top brand sunglasses at discounted prices.
Perfectly situated overlooking the broadwater, littered with million dollar luxury boats and yachts, this place is just one big expensive shopping centre.
For those of you who may have more expensive taste and may have a little bit more cash to play with, I recommend taking a visit to Marina Mirage.
With fantastic waterfront dining, fabulous views and designer brands to keep you drooling, you will leave this place feeling like you just stepped out of Hollywood.
What to buy: Expect to spend big here with boutiques specialising in Versace, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Escada, Zampatti, Dolce & Gabbana, Charlie Brown, George Gross and so many more.
Keep in mind this shopping centre isn't just for ladies of luxury, there are many shops catered for the more refined man too.
Marina Mirage doesn't keep the indulgence restricted just to fashion, you can also purchase jewellery, pet fashion (yes, for your beloved fido!), gifts and homewares, and you can experience a tantilising range of restaurants and cafes.
If you do get a little nibbly I reccomend Omeros Brothers. Although a little pricey, the food is sensational and you can expect for your tummy to be filled with the freshest Australian seafood and the most delectible desserts! Try their crepe suzette ;)
What to pay: Get your credit cards ready because shopping here doesn't come cheap!
You get plenty of opportunity to buy all kinds of movie memorabilia at the many shops dotted around Movie World.
There's Warner Bros. Department Store, Warner Bros. Character Store, Lethal Weapon Store, Superman Escape Store, Batman Adventure Store, Shrek® Storeand the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Candy Store to name a few.
Australia Fair is my favourite shopping centre to go to. Is has most of the same shops that Pac Fair has got, but in a more convenient and compact centre. It is also the only fully enclosed and air-conditioned shopping centre with plenty of undercover car parks available.
It also has its own cinema complex, plenty of fast food restaurants and cafes'.
Located on Surfers Paradise Boulevarde is the Spirit of Australia Gallery.
I was so glad I found this shop, as I wanted some nice Australian gifts. There was a huge display of anything you could think of that an Aboriginal could paint. Didgeridoo's, Boomerangs, beautiful T Shirts, Coasters,.....the list goes on.
The quality looked very good for all item's on display, nothing looked cheap & nasty, and in saying that, I didn't think the prices were too bad.
Just before I left, an Aboriginal set up his paints at the front entrance and began painting a scene.
For overseas visitor's, take a browse in this shop, even if you don't buy, it is interesting.
What to buy: Aboriginal artefacts and gifts.....Didgeridoo's
What to pay: Gifts from $3 upwards..
Ten acres and 500 stalls of indoor and outdoor shopping is what the Carrara Market boasts!
These markets are very popular, selling mainly new items, but there is some second hand.
We decided to make an afternoon of the markets, so arrived a bit before lunch and had lunch at the markets. Prices were quite reasonable, food and service good at the stall we chose.
The markets sell fresh food and vegetables, plants, clothing/shoes, craft, jewellery, paintings by a local artist which were very good, souvenirs, Books, pets and a lot more. There are even Pony rides for the children [fee]
We found as we had been here many times before, it didn't take that long for us to look through, but if you are a first time visitor, I think it would take a lot longer, there definitely is plenty of browsing to be done.
There is quite a decent size car-park, which is FREE PARKING.
No car, No problem, catch the Tourist Bus Service which operates every weekend and services locations throughout Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
Look for the ConXion bus coach marked with the signs CARRARA MARKETS, remember to HAIL THE BUS.
The prices of all ROUND TRIP BUS FARES are as follows:
Children under 14yrs old $2
Children under 5yrs old FREE
The website has a lot more details and a road map
The market is OPEN...Sat & Sun 7 - 4pm
ENTRY IS FREE
Marina Mirage just north of Surfers on the Southport Spit, is a great place to go to spend an afternoon checking out all the flash tourist shops :o) Also they have alfresco dining and entertainment on the weekend. This is definately a must to visit.
Typical resort hotel. I think this hotel is one of the best hotels in GC. In this hotel, Lift has...more
OK so most people know about this hotel as it is currently (but not for long) the ONLY Versace hotel...more
Cabin style accomadation is available here..from basic to hotel quality...We stayed here with three...more
No shortage of places to shop on the Gold Coast. Head to Pacific Fair or Robina Town Centre, both large shopping centres. There are Factory outlet shops at Harbour Town. Carrara...