As it continues to grow, the Gold Coast is fast becoming known as a premier destination to shop as well as holiday. With warm, balmy temperatures all year round, it’s often a delight to escape indoors from the sun for a few hours to snap up some bargains and rock them on the beach or on a night out on the town thereafter.
Nowadays you’ll find all famous and essential international brands, luxury designer labels, local designers and surf brands in its major shopping centre precincts. The Gold Coast also has a number of markets for local designers and artists to sell their wares. Surfers will enjoy the surf outlets for clothing, surfboards and skateboards and the bargain hunters will love spending endless hours at Harbour Town where labels, surf brands and chain stores sell their old stock at discounted prices all year round.
When you visit the surf capital of Australia, make some time to get your shop on and catch some bargains as well as some waves. Use this shopping guide to help you find the items that you are looking for and the shopping experience that you want.
Major Shopping Centre Precincts
- Pacific Fair: This is Queensland’s largest shopping and dining destination in Broadbeach, and has recently undergone a massive facelift. The centre houses chain stores, designer fashion and handbag stores as well as international surf and ski shops, cosmetics and electronics. “Pac Fair” also has cinemas and an IPLAY centre with dodgem cars, laser tag and video games for the men in the group who want to skip the shopping. It’s also now a hub of great dining options that remain open in the evenings for dinner. The centre is conveniently located beside the Broadbeach South tram and bus terminal or paid parking is available.
- Marina Mirage: This is the Gold Coast’s waterfront shopping and dining precinct and is located in Main Beach beside the luxurious Palazzo Versace Hotel. Head here for fine dining while staring jealously at million dollar yachts and beautiful waterfront views. Higher end clothing and Gold Coast designers can be found here in these stores. Parking is free but local buses also service this area.
- Robina Town Centre: Robina is now technically Pacific Fair’s “little sister”, but there is still nothing little about her. Robina Town Centre remains a still-newly-renovated shopping centre in the Southern Gold Coast and, unlike Pacific Fair, parking is completely free for extended stays, while the centre is fully enclosed and air-conditioned. There are over 400 stores and many new restaurants and food halls here but if you are after luxury designer labels then you will likely find them at Pacific Fair instead of Robina. Public transport buses are available to reach this centre.
- Westfield Helensvale: This centre is located in the northern end of the Gold Coast near Movie World and Wet N Wild. It is also popular due to its neighbour- The Night Quarter Markets- more on that later. This shopping centre is smaller than the others and is more of a local hub but if you are after a quieter shopping experience and are staying near the theme parks then this is a suitable shopping option for you.
The Gold Coast is lucky to have so many outlet shops around the city. Whether it is surfboards, sunglasses, clothing or designer handbags – even the men will enjoy shopping here.
- Harbour Town Outlets: There are sales available year round here. Stock is usually is last season and sold at heavily discounted prices. Designer handbags, surf wear, sports brands and varies footwear and sunglass outlets can be found here. Head to the Tourism Lounge to collect your tourist card for additional discounts as well as complimentary refreshments, stroller and wheelchair hire. Free transfers are available from Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise 5 days a week but these must be booked online the day before. Public transport and parking is available. TIP: If you plan on driving then make sure you are here early in the morning when the centre opens otherwise you will struggle to find a car park later in the day.
- Ashmore Factory Outlets: There are only a handful of outlets here with surf brands such as Billabong, Quicksilver, Roxy as well as a footy store outlet, sunglasses, skateboard and surf board stores. Parking and public transport is available but services are infrequent. This is located in the northern end of the Gold Coast.
To get your hands on original hand made gifts, souvenirs, clothing or artwork visit one of the Gold Coast’s markets. The market scene has been growing in recent years as organisers are realising that Australia is become a foodie nation. Many markets have fantastic food offering and sometimes live music making it a great afternoon or night out.
- NightQuarter: The NightQuarter is a night market in Helensvale with food trucks, market stalls and a unique live music scene in an outdoor space called ‘The Paddock’ which attracts popular musicians in ticketed events throughout the year. Local designers and artists also sell their products from various markets out of trendy shipping containers year round. Entry is $3 per person and children under 12 are free. The markets are only held on Friday and Saturday evenings from 4pm- 10pm.
- Miami Marketta: The Miami Marketta is a weekly street food night market that mixes food with fashion and live music in Miami. Every week there are pop up stores from various retailers so that it is nearly always different. The live music is a huge draw for many visitors and a variety of music genres are featured including pop, rock, folk music, blues or country and sometimes jazz. The market is open on Wednesday night and Friday and Saturday evenings.
- Arts and Craft Markets: The Sunday art and craft markets are famous for their picturesque beachside locations and are held at Broadbeach, Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads throughout the month. The markets have live music, local art and craft, fresh produce and unique gifts and souvenirs. The markets are held on certain Sundays of each month. Head to their website to check the dates for each markets.
- Farmers Markets: The Gold Coast has a unique position as a coastal location that is close to rural areas. From paddock to the plate – come along to various farmers Markets to purchase direct from the farmers and be guaranteed the freshest, organic local produce. Farmers markets are available at various locations including at Miami, Bundall, Mudgeeraba, Palm Beach and Marina Mirage on Saturdays or Sundays.
- Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets: The beachfront markets are a hit for those that are staying downtown in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. The beachfront markets are held on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights from 4pm-9pm. You will find an eclectic mix of souvenirs, artworks, gifts and home wares at this market.
- Carrara Markets: This is the biggest market on the Gold Coast covering 10 acres filled with everything from fresh produce and meat, home wares, pots and plants, clothing, books, gifts, artworks, souvenirs, jewellery, sunglasses and even a reptile park. The markets are open on Saturday and Sunday from 7am to 3pm.
Watch this space as there are always new and exciting markets and shopping precincts opening on the Gold Coast. For more information on activities and tours within the Gold Coast head to our experiences page.