It’s no secret shopping is one of my favorite things. How I ever coped with selling/donating nearly my entire closet before setting out for full time travel, I’ll never know.
So, I wanted to really hit the stores in Australia, discover some unknown-in-the-US designers, and pick up some pieces that were unique. One thing I didn’t take into consideration: the Southern Hemisphere. This meant that all the shops had out were winter clothes, scarves and coats and boots everywhere. I’m not sure it ever gets cold enough in Sydney for that type of clothing, but people wore it anyway, I’m talking puffer coats when it’s 60* out.
Had I not been traveling with only a carry on and had more space for shopping, here’s where I would have done some damage:
1. Oxford Street
This is where the Australian designers have their boutiques. Start at Victoria Street and work your way north up Oxford Street. You can walk Oxford Street all the way down into the Woollahra neighborhood (there’s a Ladurée there). Woollahra used to be the neighborhood where all the embassies were located, but those have since moved. Now, it’s full of streets lined with leafy trees and unique old houses. Pop into each and every shop, make friends with the owners, and don’t pay full price.
2. Westfield Bondi Beach
There are Westfield centers everywhere, and there’s one in Sydney CBD, but the Bondi Beach location was my favorite. It had a couple shops I recognized, but most of them were uniquely Australian (or at the very least, non-US). It also has a large David Jones, which is a Nordstrom-esque department store. Very large, very pretty, very easy to get lost in the cosmetics.
3. The Rocks Markets
The Rocks is the historic heart of Sydney’s CBD and an all around cool place, filled with restrautns and bars and shops. But on the weekends, the open air, perfectly located markets are definitely somwhere to hang out. The crafts markets are open Saturday and Sunday, but Friday is the Queen Bee. The Friday Foodie Market is open from 9am – 3pm and an excellent way to gain 10lbs in one day.
4. “Downtown” Manly Beach
We took the ferry from Circular Quay up to Manly Beach. The ride was great, it was amazing views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Manly Beach was gorgeous, and from May – February you can even spot little penguins out there if you’re lucky! The “downtown” was a boardwalk type area with little restaurants and shops, grab a coffee and a mince pie and boutique shop your little heart out. This is also where I discovered my new favorite sunglass brand, Quay Australia.
5. Queen Victoria Building
I included this one mainly for the window shopping. The building is gorgeous and I loved nothing more than sitting in a little cafe near the center and people watching. I also took an obnoxiously large number of “detail” photos of the building’s interior.
6. Paddington Markets
I loved these markets. There were so many booths, with a ton of them selling Aussie made products. Jer picked up a bracelet made of kangaroo leather, and I got several gorgeous tassel necklaces. The markets are only open on Saturday from 10am and you need to bring cash.
So, tell me, anywhere I missed?