Brisbane's inner-city shopping centers on Queen Street Mall (www.queenstreetmall.com.au), which has around 500 stores. Fronting the mall at 171-209 Queen St., under the Hilton, is the three-level Wintergarden shopping complex (tel. 07/3229 9755; www.wgarden.com.au), housing upscale jewelers and Aussie fashion designers. Farther up the mall at 91 Queen St. (at Albert St.) is the Myer Centre (tel. 07/3223 6900; www.myercentreshopping.com.au), which has Brisbane's biggest department store and five levels of moderately priced stores, mostly fashion. The Brisbane Arcade, 160 Queen St. Mall (tel. 07/3831 2711; www.brisbanearcade.com.au), abounds with the boutiques of local Queensland designers. Just down the mall from it is the Broadway on the Mall arcade (tel. 07/3229 5233; www.broadwayonthemall.com.au), which stocks affordable fashion, gifts, and accessories on two levels. Across from the Edward Street end of the mall is a smart fashion and lifestyle shopping precinct, MacArthur Central (tel. 07/3007 2300; www.macarthurcentral.com), right next door to the GPO on the block between Queen and Elizabeth streets. This is where you'll find top- name designer labels, Swiss watches, galleries, and accessory shops. On Edward and Adelaide streets, you'll find more hot shopping at QueensPlaza (tel. 07/3234 3906; www.queensplaza.com.au).
In Fortitude Valley, on the city center fringe, the Emporium precinct (www.emporium.com.au) at the bottom of Ann St., is the place for designer labels (including shoes), gourmet food and wine, a couple of good bookshops, and other luxuries. James Street is home to some of the top Australian designers, including Scanlan & Theodore and Sass & Bide.
The trendy suburb of Paddington, just a couple of miles from the city by cab (or take the no. 144 bus to Bardon), is the place for antiques, books, art, crafts, one-of-a-kind clothing designs, and unusual gifts. The shops -- housed in colorfully painted Queenslander cottages -- line the main street, Given Terrace, which becomes Latrobe Terrace. Don't miss the second wave of shops around the bend.
Shopping Hours -- Brisbane shops are open Monday through Thursday from 9am to 6pm, Friday 9am to 9pm, Saturday 9am to 5:30pm, and Sunday 10am to 6pm. On Friday evening in the city, the Queen Street Mall is abuzz with cinemagoers and revelers; the late (until 9pm) shopping night in Paddington is Thursday.
Authentic retro '50s and '60s fashion, offbeat stuff such as old LPs, secondhand crafts, fashion by up-and-coming young designers, and all kinds of junk and treasure, are for sale at Brisbane's only alternative market, Valley Markets, Brunswick Street and Chinatown malls, Fortitude Valley. Hang around in one of the many coffee shops and listen to live music. It's open Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm.
The buzzing outdoor South Bank Lifestyle Market, Stanley Street Plaza, South Bank Parklands, is illuminated by fairy lights at night. The market is open Friday from 5 to 10pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm, and Sunday 9am to 5pm. On the first Sunday of the month, you'll find the Young Designers section of the market, showcasing Brisbane's next hot young things.
Brisbane folk like trawling the Riverside at the Pier Markets at the Riverside Centre, 123 Eagle St., for housewares, hand-crafted furniture, glassware, leather work, jewelry, fashion, alternative therapies, stained glass, food, art, handmade toys, sculpture, and more. The markets are open on Sunday from around 7am to 4pm.
For an authentic taste of Queensland's best produce, the Powerhouse Farmers Markets (www.janpowersfarmersmarkets.com.au) operate on the second and fourth Saturday of each month, from 6am to noon, in the grounds of the Brisbane Powerhouse, Lamington Street, New Farm. Here you'll find much to tempt your palate in about 100 stalls, selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to homemade chutneys, quail, fresh seafood, free-range eggs, and pâtés. There are even cooking classes. Foodies will be in heaven. There are also weekly farmers markets in the Queen Street Mall (at the Victoria Bridge end) on Wednesdays from 10am to 6pm.
Fireworks for Your Wall
If the Aboriginal art you see in the usual tourist outlets doesn't do it for you, what you'll see at Brisbane's Fire-Works Gallery, 52a Doggett St., Newstead (tel. 07/3216 1250; www.fireworksgallery.com.au), might. This renowned gallery shows art by established and emerging artists from all over Australia. You may pale at some of the prices, but the range is wide and you may find something you can't live without -- it's that kind of place. The staff will get your new acquisition shipped home for you. Open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm, or by appointment.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.