Australia’s Top Shopping Malls
Australia is known as one of the top travel destinations in the world for its stunning beaches and unique wildlife, but what about its shopping experience? Our relatively modest shopping centres are not quite in the same league as the mega malls and outlets of the United States or Europe, but our fair country offers a more than satisfying shopping experience for both travellers and locals. In addition to the glamorous promenades like Chapel Street in Melbourne or Oxford Street in Sydney, most districts have at least one major shopping mall located 5-10 kilometres from residential areas. This gives shoppers the opportunity to find what they’re looking for in one convenient location. We’ve rounded up the best malls in Australia to create this list, the results of which are based on a number of factors including size, available amenities such as cafes and restaurants, entertainment options and child-friendly facilities.
Chadstone Shopping Centre
Melbourne is considered by many to be the fashion capital of our nation, with two of Australia’s largest malls in its locale; Chadstone and Fountain Gate. Chadstone is the largest, boasting an astounding 530 retail and amassing an area of 190,000m2. It first opened in October 1960 and has since been improved and renovated a number of times. The most recent addition to the mall is European fashion retailer Zara. While it’s impossible not to wander off and get lost in the maze of shops, cafés and department stores on the three floors, its sheer size makes it the best place to find whatever you’re looking for. The major anchor stores like Coles, Woolworths, David Jones, Myer, Apple Inc., Dick Smith and JB Hi-Fi are easily accessible and almost always fully-stocked with the latest and most desired products. Both David Jones and Myer expand over three floors.
Westfield Bondi Junction
Just around the corner from the world-renowned Bondi beach sits the spacious, air-conditioned Westfield Bondi Junction mall. It is a large complex comprised of six levels with small boutiques selling mostly upmarket fashion and accessories. It includes the high-end department stores as well as both Coles and Woolworths supermarkets. The nightlife surrounding the mall is also among the best in Sydney. Craving tapas after a full day of shopping? Dine at the Flying Squirrel for an array of exotic morsels or sample a cocktail at one of the many personable pubs and beachy bars. With so many trendy bars and small cafes, it seems that Westfield Bondi Junction caters mostly for young singles and couples. However, families with small children can enjoy the convenience of free strollers available from the concierge and Parent Rooms equipped with nappy dispensers, change tables, bottle warmers, private feeding rooms and microwave ovens.
Westfield Sydney is one of the most iconic shopping destinations in Australia and a popular tourist destination for those who’re visiting Sydney. The centre is located on Pitt St beneath the Sydney Tower and continues along to Pitt St Mall. The centre is comprised of various luxury boutiques, upscale fashion and beauty stores. You’ll find exclusive retailers like Chanel, Calvin Klein, Miu Miu, Mulberry, DKNY and many more. It is also worthwhile to visit the newly restored Queen Victoria Building for more high street fashion, designer clothing and jewellery.
Westfield Miranda was once the largest shopping centre in Australia and the first to have the two major department stores, Grace Bros and Farmers. Many expansions have been made since it was opened in 1961 and though it has been beaten out of first place by Chadstone, Westfield Parramatta and Bondi, it is currently the fourth largest shopping centre in Sydney. It has 396 retail outlets with the glittering displays and sleek polished floors you’d expect to see in a mall. It is the shopping and entertainment hub of the Sutherland Shire whose residents come here to shop, eat and relax over a coffee.
This multi-level shopping centre is located in the heart of the Gold Coast and is home to 230 specialty stores along with the key department stores Kmart, Best & Less and supermarket chains Woolworths and Coles. There are also Birch Carroll & Coyle Cinemas, Trader Dukes Tavern and a wide range of restaurants and trendy cafes. It is across the road from the picturesque Southport Broadwater and the children’s playground.
Chermside is the sunshine state’s largest shopping mall. In addition to the major department stores, David Jones, Myer, and Harris Scarfe and the major discount stores Kmart, Target, Big W and JB HiFi it also includes 369 speciality stores, cafes, restaurants and other services. The second floor is only partial to the shopping centre and includes a Rebel Sport and an Apple Inc Store. During the busiest time of the Christmas period, between 23rd-24th December, the mall remains open around the clock for the convenience of all those last-minute Christmas shoppers.
The central coast is the third largest urban area in New South Wales, and Erina Fair is its largest shopping centre. It has over 300 specialty stores as well as David Jones, Myer, Kmart, Target and all other major department stores. It is among one of the most recent, having being constructed in the late 80’s with expansions and improvements made over the years the most recent in 2009. Not only does it boast a variety of specialised shops, but there is also an ice skating rink which is popular with both kids and adults all year round. Erina Fair is located approximately 5km from Gosford railway station with bus connections to and from the centre.
Warringah Westfield is the third largest shopping centre in New South Wales behind Westfield’s Parramatta and Bondi Junction. It has quite a notable building structure and is even included in the book ‘Building Sydney’s History’ By Derek Parker. The centre contains a large food court, major high end department stores David Jones and Myer as well as Target and Big W. According to regular visitors it offers among one of the best indoor play areas for children.