Shop 'til you drop in the Gold Coast

How the Gold Coast shops

Shopping on the Gold Coast reflects the city's laid-back coastal lifestyle, with a range of lively markets and eclectic boutiques dotted along the coastline. But make no mistake, this is a city that knows how to shop - and with some of the largest shopping malls in Australia filled with high-end international and locals designers, there's plenty of places to splash the cash.

Whether you're looking for a new dress to wear to that hot new Surfer's Paradise restaurant, or need some souvenirs for family and friends, the Gold Coast has what you need.

Pacific Fair at night, Gold Coast, Australia.

To the fair we go

This is what AUD $670 million looks like - a sleek, international-style shopping and dining centre. Pacific Fair, one of Australia's largest shopping malls, has recently emerged from a three-year expansion and renovation which almost doubled its size.

'Pac Fair', as it's affectionately called, features more than 400 luxury global brands and local retailers, including Louis Vuitton, Prada and Gucci, as well as global mega grands such as Zara, UNIQLO and Sephora. It's also home to the Gold Coast's largest Myer department store and, at the other end of the retail spectrum, Aussie street-ware store Culture Kings which includes a DJ, mini basketball court barber and a gym! When you need to rest your weary legs, there's also a visitors lounge with free WiFi and discounts far north as Paradise Resort and south to Nobby Beach.

For a more laid-back vibe

If the word market fills your heart with joy then the Gold Coast has ample opportunity to bag a bargain. Start at Carrara Market, Australia's largest permanent market, which features more than 400 stalls covering 10 acres, where you can fossick among produce, homewares, plants and arts and crafts. There are also pony rides and mini golf when you need a break from shopping.

If you time your visit for the first and third Sundays of the month, head to The Village Markets in Burleigh Heads. Featuring mainly fashion and lifestyle stalls, including local emerging designers, this lively market also serves up delicious food and live music.

Busy crowd outside a cocktail bar, Miami Marketta, Gold Coast, Australia.

Food, wine and song

Miami Marketta is a bustling street food market where you can listen to live music and sample the wares from the dozens of food trucks which show up at this former industrial space every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night (Wednesday is tapas night, when you'd be crazy to go past Double T's chilli nachos; have extra chilli if you dare). There's everything from Japanese, Greek and Italian cuisine to pizza and craft beer stalls. And when you're done eating, you can dance to the live music that kicked this place off.

Where everyone gets a bargain

Bargain lovers should head to Harbour Town, Australia's largest outlet shopping centre, in Biggera Waters. With more than 220 shops, including international labels such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Nike, along with much loved Australian brands Oroton and UGG Australia, you'll go home with a new wardrobe - and with money in your pocket! Before you start flashing the credit card, make sure you visit Harbour Town's Tourism Lounge to collect a club card which can save you even more. Handily, there's a free shuttle service which runs twice a day, seven days a week with pick-up points in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.

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