Melbourne is a shopaholics paradise with the city offering top end fashion houses right through to a plethora of shopping centres and arcades. Outside the city there are shopping centers, villages and high streets full of boutiques and large centres with factory outlets. There are also a variety of markets that are held in different locations throughout the week. Check out our local secrets section for some of our favourite shopping destinations.
-If you are just visiting Australia you can claim a refund on the goods and services tax (GST) and wine equalisation tax (WET) on good you buy in Australia. This refund is subject to certain conditions – see www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/Tour for full details.
Coles and Woolworths are the main supermarkets where you can find all sorts of groceries and essentials. Saller IGA is an Aussie battler and you will find the stores in smaller suburbs. You will also find Aldi, a newer offering with especially low priced goods or Costco with the opportunity to bulk buy at terrifically low prices! At the other end of the spectrum, Thomas Dux Grocer, is an upmarket chain of grocery stores, similar to Wholefoods in the US.
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.
Melbourne is noted for its popular markets that host some of the best food, fresh produce, and crafts made by local artisans throughout the area. One of its main attractions is Queen Victoria Market with its live entertainment, endless international food options, and different discoveries amongst the entire venue. Victoria Market has been labeled as the "heart and soul" of Melbourne.
http://www.makersmarketabbotsford.org/ -Abbotsford Market
http://www.apollobay.vic.au/markets/109-ab-farmers-market -Apollo Bay Farmers Market
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 required (such as a fridge or outdoor setting) or you can rent a 2/4/6 person furniture package that will include everything you need in one go. Try Pabs (www.pabs.com.au) Living Edge (www.livingedgerental.com.au ) or Valiant (www.valiant.com.au ). 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 Melbourne. 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)