If you’ve packed only sandals and forgotten the stilettos or suddenly need to suit-up for a night on the town, the Gold Coast has you covered. Beyond the beach-front shops selling emergency sunscreen, thongs and ice cream, there are endless places to splash your cash.
Bargain lovers should make a beeline for outlet heaven Harbour Town, while big spenders can peruse the high-end boutiques of Paradise Shopping Centre and High Street Surfers Paradise.
More luxury threads can be scoped out at Marina Mirage – a waterfront design and dining destination – while the king of them all is Robina Town Centre, home to 350 retailers, including Queensland’s flagship Zara store. Hinterland shopping is mainly reserved to craft cottages and edible souvenirs from cellar doors and gourmet pantries.
Our top picks
Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach
Retail therapy doesn’t get much more convenient than ‘Pac Fair’, sitting just behind the light rail terminus and bus station of Broadbeach South. Beat the heat and while away a few hours in this resort-style retail emporium, home to Australia’s favourite brands, from Country Road to Myer. A three-year, $670 million revamp is set to add an extra 100 shops.
72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Spruiking itself as the heart of beachside, shopping, The Strand at Coolangatta is your last opportunity to stop and shop before you cross the border into New South Wales. Browse the boutiques, catch a flick at the cinemas, or chew with a view at Bin 72 – a tapas and cocktail bar with sister establishments in Burleigh and Mermaid Beach.
The Village Markets
Burleigh Heads State School + Paradise Point Park
After six years keeping the Gold Coast’s pretty young things looking schmick, The Village Markets have become a local institution. Throngs of emerging designers showcase their wares on the first and third Sunday of the month at Burleigh Heads State School, and the fourth Sunday at Paradise Point Park until 1pm.
The Gold Coast Organic Market
2205 Gold Coast Highway, Miami
The Gold Coast’s very first growers market is your one-stop shop for fair dinkum organically grown fresh produce, including sweet treats with no nasties! The Gold Coast Organic Market is held at Miami State School every Sunday until 11:30am.
Surfers Paradise Beachfront Market
The Foreshore, Surfers Paradise
You can’t miss the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Market if you’re strolling down the foreshore on a Wednesday, Friday or Sunday night after 5pm. Some 120 stalls back on to the beach at this lively night market, with live tunes keeping the night young.