Chadstone is located south east of the Melbourne CBD and requires a Train and Bus journey to get there (unless you've hired a car). For and easy to way suss what train & bus you need, try the Viclink Journey Planner.
What to buy: The Mall is very big and has all sorts of stuff from books to electronics to designer label clothing. It's not everyone's cup of tea so go if you like shopping for labels and don't mind a crowded mall.
Smith street is not far from the CBD and has a large number of outlet stores selling mainly sports related clothing. All of the big brands are here - Nike, New Balanace, Saucony, Adidas etc though the stuff on sale is at the bottom end of their ranges in many cases. The prices are okay (esp if you are a bit smaller or larger than average) though the range is a bit limited.
The Harbour Town shopping centre in the Melbourne Docklands is a outlet store haven. There are many clothing shops offering a good collection. There are also a few entertainment outlets for the children as well as some food outlets so that people can recharge before another round of shopping. The Southern Star ferris wheel is currently being repaired and it should be operational really soon.
What to buy: All types of clothing
They have blocks and blocks of a flea market. You can get anything you want here. They have everything from food to slippers. The market runs primarily on Sunday. We got lots of different answers as to what other days it is open.
What to buy: There are all kinds of different clothing items and gifts we got here. It is where you are going to get the best price on all of the stuff you want to take home to all the people you promised to buy for. Many of the different vendors will dicker on the price. So suggest another price before paying full price.
Everything in the shop is done by the Aborigines. The owner is a kick! She is excited about what she is selling and will be fun to talk to as you are in the store. Her name is Julie Peers.
What to buy: The t-shirts are great, this was the best selections of shirts we found anywhere. They were reasonably priced. There are art works that can be framed and many other Aborigine artworks.
The Queen Victoria Market is a large outdoor market located in Elizabeth Street. It is open everyday except Mondays, Wednesdays and select holidays. Created in the 1800's the market is the largest outdoor market and boasts of a huge selection of fruits, vegetables, meats and as well as cooked food to cater to diverse tastes. The market is organized so that sellers who are selling more or less the same stuff are next to each other and shoppers can select the best deal for them. There is also a few food stalls which sell cooked food from Melbourne's multi-cultural population. From Turkish Baklavas to English Meat Pies to Italian Gelato they are all are available here. There is just something great about the atmosphere of a market of this type that a supermarket can never have.
What to buy: Fresh meats, fruits and vegetables
What to pay: The prices for stuff are quite reasonable
This little shop defies description. You have to be there. It is chockful of sweets and chocolates of every kind. Just try to go in and buy one item. You haven't got a hope. Most of the lollies can be bought by weight. The hard part is trying to decide which one you want.
What to buy: I particularly like the Lime and Soda lolly, which has a hint of fizz about it. Acid Drops are another favourite.
August 2010 update - try the butterscotch, it's sublime!
What to pay: Average price of these sort is about $AUD25.00 per kilo, but 200 gms will keep you sucking for a day or two.
And Melbourne has plenty of markets.
Below please find the link to a fairly complete list.
But do be warned. I know for a fact the Gembrook market has just closed down due to public liability problems. And the Upper Ferntree Gully market is hardly worth going to now Pellegrinos, the fruit and veg people, have pulled out.
(Update - Pellegrinos are apparently back, but still. As markets go, the Upper Ferntree Gully market isn't even trying.)
And the Queen Victoria market is great for produce - cheese, fish, fruit and veg etc - and people watching! - but their other stalls are mostly tawdry gimcrack.
So maybe pick a market and then ask on the forum for local opinions. Or if there is a phone number give them a ring. Nothing more disappointing than turning up all ready for a market and it has changed its day, or faded away or is in the process of fading away. And all you find is one chap selling oriental rugs at phenomenal prices, an icecream van and a cd stall. That is a bit sad and wearisome.
What to buy:
Australia day is the 26th January, a day when many Aussies head to the beach, the bush or just the backyard, get a few tinnies (cans of beer), light up the barbie (BBQ) and then cook up a feast of snags (sausages), chops, steak, chook (chicken) and a beef pattie or 3 - and maybe, and according to Crocodile Dundee, a few shrimps. It's all served with a selection of salads and a bread roll and usually with a squadron of flies also after a meal - well what's wrong with that, it is after all Australia Day and flies are part of the natural landscape.
To help celebrate our national day, one supermarket chain has released Aussie Beef Burgers and according to the label they are made from 100% Australian beef - hope that's correct, however the label does say in larger print "4 Aussie Burgers," BUT the fine print says, "Servings per package - 8," so 2 different numbers on the same label!!!! The price shown is $4.98 but they were on special at the time of my visit to the local supermarket - 2 packs for $8.
To my way of thinking a genuine Aussie burger with the lot is a beef pattie, chopped up lettuce, a slice of tomato, a generous serve of fried onions, a slice of cheese, slice of pineapple, piece of cooked bacon, a fried egg, slice of beetroot, a good squirt of sauce (tomato or BBQ) and the whole lot somehow balanced inside a toasted bun - it is a meal in itself. Sadly the Aussie Beef Burgers as photographed will be hidden from view - and the SEPARATE outline of Tasmania - if a genuine Aussie burger is made with these gimmicks - however they would look great served up on a plate and I'm sure many kids (young and old) will get a real kick out of the Aussie Beef Burger.
Vic.Market as it is popularly called is a great place to shop for almost anything-- clothes,opals,soveniers,footwear,aboriginal art.It is a low end shopping place.Beware of the quality(no doubt the price is low)However,some of the items are a good bargain and this place is really worth a visit if you love to shop.
The sights, the sounds, the smells. Soak it all in.
The Markets are open Tuesday and Thursday 6am - 2pm, Friday 6am - 5pm (General merchandise closes at 4pm), Saturday 6am - 3pm and Sunday 9am - 4pm.
Closed every Monday and Wednesday, Good Friday, Anzac Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day
What to buy: What can't you buy here??? I especially love the gourmet food section. But there is fresh food, clothes, pet supplies, cards, arts, crafts, flowers. Everything.
Ambiance sells Christmas decorations. It is an absolutely magical shop, oohs and aahs taking hold of you the minute you walk in the door. There's decorations for the tree, table, gorgeous little chocolates, platters, garlands, all in varying Christmas colours and themes.
What to pay: Depends how much you just can't go home without!
OK, they sold me. When you blast enough advertisements on TV, someone got to be intrigued enough. And I am that "someone".
3 books for A$10. Now, that got to be a sale!
My mate drove and we managed to locate the warehouse - a large dull yellow building parked by a busy intersection. 2 floors worth of books, with CDs as well. Most of the softcovers, covering fiction and non-fiction are at a price of A$5 each and 3 for A$10. The hardcovers go for A$10 and above, though still way cheap compared to its original price.
Now, don't expect the latest titles. It is afterall, a warehouse sale. But dig deep enough, I am sure you will find something.
NOTE: This sale pops up now and then. It is NOT continuously running. To check if the sale is available, write to the email address given below. The location given below is not the only venue. They also have the same sale at another 2 locations: Airport West and Geelong.
What to buy: I couldn't find many offerings on travelogues and the travel guides are WAY too backdated. But the cookbooks are quite alright, as well as the standard coffee table books.
What to pay: From A$5 each, 3 for A$10 for softcovers. Hardcovers go from A$10.
Factory shops in Smith Street Collingwood: Nike, Adidas, Brooks, New balance etc
What to buy: You name it they may have it. Running shoes, Casual shoes, Basketball, Soccer (football), Footy AFL, Rugby clothingetc.
What to pay: $35-$50 AUD
I will and will now always disagree about Bridge road being a great place to shop for bargains.
10 years ago, this was definitely the case, but the outlet stores have paved the way for the normal shop, where you will very rarely find a great bargain, and will mostly find clothing at full price. The best shop for bargains there is the Bendon Factory outlet.
Smith Street is better now days, you can find bargains at the DFO at Spencer street, but the one at Essendon is better.
Vic markets also have some nice clothes, but shop around as many stalls have the same items, so you might be able to get a cheaper price somewhere