Canberra offers shopping malls, departments stores and street markets. There are two major shopping centres - Westfield Belconnen shopping centre located on Benjamin Way in Belconnen and the Canberra Civic centre situated right in the heart of town.
Lonsdale Street you will find plenty of beautiful arts & crafts, homewares and gift stores. In Bunda Street in the city there are some fantastic stores, restaurants and cafes.
Check out our local secrets section for some of our favorite shopping destinations.
Whether you are new to Canberra or have been living there for a while, do you love pottering around fresh food markets and sampling local goods? Every Saturday you can find lots to taste at:
or find something seasonal and fresh at http://www.fyshwickfreshfoodmarkets.com.au
If you are a tourist in Australia you can claim a refund on tax (GST) and wine equalisation tax (WET) when you purchase things in Australia. See conditions – at www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/Tour.
Coles and Woolworths are the largest supermarket chains found in and around Canberra where you can find a range of groceries, including meat, fresh vegetables, fish, household products and baby goods. A discount chain, Aldi, joined the other supermarkets some time ago with stores in selected suburbs.
To find a store near you go to:
Wine, Beer & Spirits: Supermarkets are not licensed to sell alcohol so you will find wine/beer and spirits are sold separately in Bottle Shops or Liquor Stores. They even have drive through bottle shops for those keen to stock up on the move. To find a store near you try Dan Murphy’s (www.danmurphys.com.au ), Vintage Cellars (www.vintagecellars.com.au ) or BWS (www.beerwinespirits.com.au ). Some stores have loyalty programs or are affiliated with the supermarket loyalty program so sticking with one can reap rewards.
Markets & Fairs
The Way We Wear Frock Up Pop Up Shop features real vintage designer clothing, fashion accesories, costume jewellry, antiques and books.
The Truffle Festival ranges in participating venues from across the region featuring special truffle dishes. Cooking classes or demonstrations are offered along with a local farmers market.
The Old Bus Depot features three different markets including Green Savvy Sunday, Retro Depot, and The Jewel of Canberra. Green Savvy Sunday focuses on sustainable living and the latest in green technology. Products are made using low energy and out of recycled materials. Here you'll also find all organic dishes. At the Retro depot, it involves all things "hipster" from fashion and jewellry to homeware and furniture. The Jewellry of Canberra features jewellry by some of the best designers in the region. You'll find items made from a variety of materials all made by independant designers within a small business.
When you first arrive you may want a temporary solution to your communication needs. You can purchase a cheap phone (expect to pay around $35) and sim card on a pay as you go basis. Being on a contract is a more economical long term solution but for short stays or until you have an address/bank account this can be hard to set up. You can top up your credit for your phone in supermarkets, post offices and phone shops.
You can also buy a wireless modem that connect you to the internet (expect to pay around $85 if not as part of a contract deal). This you can also have on as a pay as you go contract.
Click on the links below to find your nearest store.
Or you can try independent retailers such as:
Tablet/laptop and other electrical appliances
www.priceline.com.au (discount chemist nationwide)
- General: Try Ikea (www.ikea.com.au ) and Freedom Furniture (www.freedom.com.au ) for household basics. For kitchen essentials and household accessories such as sheets, towels, plates, cutlery etc go to Target (www.target.com.au ) or Kmart (www.kmart.com.au ). If you are looking for mid range stylish furniture try Domain (www.domain.com.au ). For top end designer furniture you can’t go past Coco Republic (www.cocorepublic.com.au )
- White Goods: For electrical appliances try Harvey Norman (www.harveynorman.com.au) Bing Lee (www.binglee.com.au) or 2nds world for Factory 2nds at reduced prices (www.2ndsworld.com.au ).
- Rental Furniture: You can rent individual items of furniture as The longer you rent for the cheaper the weekly price becomes. You will usually need to pay a months rental in advance, a security deposit refundable on return and will be charged a delivery fee.
- Second Hand Furniture: Many people resell their furniture, at a fraction of the cost, when they leave Australia. Try www.gumtree.com.au (a website with free listings of everything from jobs wanted to furniture for sale), eBay (www.ebay.com.au )or the local charity stores to find a bargain near you.
Shopping for Kids:
- Cots/Highchairs/Strollers etc: Try Baby Kingdom (www.babykingdom.com.au ), Mothercare (www.mothercare.com.au ) and Target (www.target.com.au ). You can buy nappies in Bulk online from www.gotoddler.com.au
- Renting Kid’s furniture: You can rent car seats/strollers etc if you only need them for a short while or when you first arrive.
- Clothes: Cotton On (www.cottonon.com/AU/shop-by-brand/cotton-on-kids/?region=AU) does great fun, colourful, affordable clothing for kids. Target (www.target.com.au ) and Kmart (www.kmart.com.au ) are great for cheap basics. Seed (www.seedheritage.com ) and Gumboots (www.gumboots.com.au )caters for stylish youngsters and Industrie Kids (www.industriekids.com.au ) offers trendy street wear for the under 14s.
- Toys: For all the mainstream, branded toys try Toys R Us (www.toysrus.com.au ) Myer (www.myer.com.au ) and Kmart (www.kmart.com.au ). For quality toys and great gift ideas try Kidstuff (www.kidstuff.com.au ) or shop online at www.iqtoys.com.au .
- Sporting goods (soccer boots/swim goggles): Rebel Sport (www.rebelsport.com.au) or for sports shoes Athletes Foot (www.theathletesfoot.com.au ).
Coles and Woolworths offer an online ordering service for your supermarket shop. Perfect for those time poor, with young children or those who need extra assistance.
www.aussiefarmers.com.au (for farm fresh dairy and deli products plus fruit and vegetables.)
www.furnish.com.au (Australia’s number one online furniture store)
www.ikea.com.au (order Ikea online to save a trip to their store)
www.gumtree.com.au (second hand furniture sold by area)