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There are a lot of reasons that more than 13 million tourists flock to the Gold Coast every year. There’s the sparkling water, the sun-kissed beaches, the incredible rainforests, all those theme parks – and then there’s the shopping!

It’s a testament to the Gold Coast’s shopping culture that a city with a population well under a million can rival Sydney and Melbourne as a global retail-therapy destination.

There are huge, luxurious shopping centres, boutique stores, and sprawling bohemian markets. However you like to shop – from the intensity of a high-walled retail palace to open-air wandering amongst market stalls –  you can indulge fully when you move to the Gold Coast!

So, to help you navigate the immense retail landscape here is your very own guide to the best shopping on the Gold Coast!

Boutique stores

If you prefer single storefronts with a vision behind them to the cornucopia of shopping centres, these stores are for you.

Salt Living – curate your beach lifestyle

When you move to a new country, getting your living space to feel like home again can be a challenge. But if you drop into Salt Living, you can easily curate the perfect coastal look for your home!

The store is stocked with a wonderful range of homewares, women’s clothing and accessories, bathroom essentials, candles, rugs, beachwear, and even wall art.

Salt Living is a complete lifestyle store and everything you’ll find there is from Australian designers and makers – look for labels like St Agni, Sancia, and Zulu & Zephyr.

You can find Salt Living nestled in Coolangatta’s The Strand.

Kirra Surf – get ready for the waves

Whether you’ve been riding the New Zealand swell for years or you’re keen to start surfing once you reach the Gold Coast, Kirra Surf is a must.

The store itself is a massive warehouse but the incredible staff make every visit feel personal. They’re passionate surfers themselves and love nothing more than helping others pursue the waves!

Drop by the store and they’ll guide you through their impressive selection of iconic brands like Volcom, Roxy, Billabong, Rusty, Rhythm and Von Zipper, as well as up-and-coming labels like Thrills and Rollas.

They also sell boards, skateboard decks, and skating and surfing accessories.

The store is right across the street from Kirra beach at 8 Creek Street, Coolangatta, so you can head straight from their front door to the waves!

Gather – eclectic fashion, homewares, and art

“Raw – Crafted – Botanical” – that’s the slogan of the dreamy little store called Gather.

The store was created by two sisters-in-law from New Zealand. They grew up in regional communities where the tradition of artisanal crafting was still strong, and it’s that tradition that informs the aesthetic and business practices of Gather.

All the homewares, furniture, artworks, books, plants, and clothing you’ll find at Gather were hand-crafted by Australian artists and artisans, many of them Gold Coast locals.

You’ll find gorgeous ceramic mugs, rattan stools crafted by hand, palm oil-free soap bars that look like artworks, and so much more.

Mind you, ethical shopping isn’t cheap – this is a place to carefully select items you'll treasure, not go on shopping sprees.

You can find Gather nestled in an industrial arts precinct at 1/56 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters.

Hot tip: drop into Dust Temple Cafe next door for a caffeine and art experience like no other!

The Freedom State – boho fashion boutique

If you have a bohemian heart and want to express it through your fashion, then The Freedom State is the boutique clothing store for you.

Tucked away in an old arcade, this store will seduce you with a wealth of luxurious boho styles, ranging from ultra-casual to laid-back formal. Their range of hats is a highlight even in such an amazing range, with strong nods to the old west and the 1940s, you’ll be stylish and UV-protected!

They stock a huge range of label including:

  • Spell
  • Free People
  • St Agni
  • The White Raven
  • The Wild Unknown
  • Andean Collective
  • A Beautiful Weirdo

And, of course, they stock plenty from The Freedom State Label!

You can find this boho boutique in the Old Burleigh Theatre Arcade, shop 4.

Premium shopping centres

Unique boutiques are all well and good, but sometimes more is more. If you like your shopping on an epic scale, it’s time to explore the Gold Coast’s incredible selection of shopping centres!

Pacific Fair

(Photo by Kgbo on Wikimedia)

Head to Pacific Fair for a shopping emporium that combines open-air mall areas with undercover retail – not to mention heaps of restaurants, a cinema, a pool, and a plethora of special events!

You’ll find all the major outlets you’d expect – such as Kmart, Myer, David Jones, H&M, Zara, and JB Hi-FI – alongside 260 speciality stores.

Robina Town Centre

(Photo by Kgbo on Wikimedia)

Robina Town Centre is incredibly popular on the Gold Coast and, with $390 million worth of expansions carried out since 2007, it’s also one of the largest!

As well as major fashion, homewares, and leisure retailers – not to mention more than 300 specialty stores – Robina Town Centre also boasts a cinema, mini-golf, laser tag, a bowling alley, and even an art gallery.

Harbour Town Premium Outlets

(Photo by Kgbo on Wikimedia)

Harbour Town is not as massive or sprawling as Pacific Fair or Robina, but it offers charms all of its own.

As well as offering the charm of outdoor shopping with plenty of seating, this award-winning centre features over 120 premium fashion and homewares outlets – and they offer ongoing discounts of up to 60% compared to regular retail prices!

Stores you’ll find include leading names like:

  • Adidas
  • Armani
  • Bed Bath n’ Table
  • Calvin Klein
  • EB Games
  • Kathmandu
  • Peter Jackson
  • Tarocash
  • Victoria’s Secret

Paradise Centre

(Photo by Robert Lynch on PublicDomainPictures)

A huge part of the appeal of Paradise Centre at Surfer’s Paradise is its location. Sure, there’s stunning alfresco dining and more than 120 speciality stores and major outlets. But what really sets this place apart is the most popular beach on the Gold Coast, right across the street!

The centre is open every day until late, so you can drop in for some shopping in the morning, swim all afternoon, and come back for dinner.

Cornerstone Stores

If you can’t decide between visiting some local stores or diving into a major shopping centre vortex, you can find a quaint and happy medium at Cornerstone Stores.

This is a carefully curated retail district housed in a striking architectural space. Cornerstone features just 7 carefully chosen stores, a cafe-plus-bar, and a company that creates marketing for luxury travel companies.

  • Little Loves – kids’ and babies’ clothing so cute you’ll scream
  • Kind Curations – curated women’s fashion and artisanal homewares, both local and international
  • Quince Fromagerie Cellar – the best wines and cheese from around the world, plus sauces, olives, and cured meats
  • Prae Store – eco-friendly activewear from Australian brands
  • Zanzi Hairdressing – haircuts, head massages, and herbal tea
  • The Body Method – yoga, pilates, barre, and meditation with a view of the treetops
  • Earth Essence Beauty – salon treatments with beauty products that are natural, organic, and cruelty-free

Once you're done shopping, grab a coffee or a cocktail and some amazing food at Stable Coffee and Kitchen.

Open-air markets

(Photo by Gold Coast Bulletin)

For a very different shopping experience, browse some of the Gold Coast’s intoxicating open-air markets:

The Village Markets – support local artists

The Village Markets – locals just call it TVM – is packed with boutique homewares, art, fashion, candles, footwear, ceramics, food trucks, and so much more.

Almost everything you’ll find was hand-crafted by a local. Buying direct from their stalls means you know you’re supporting local artists and makers, so you get a warm glowy vibe along with your retail therapy!

You’ll find TVM at the Burleigh Heads State School on the first and third Sunday of the month.

Carrara Markets – open every weekend

One of the downsides of markets is they sometimes only open one or two days a month. Not Carrara Markets, though, you can check them out every Saturday and Sunday.

Carrara is the largest permanent market anywhere in Queensland, with a seemingly unlimited variety of products from more than 500 stalls! Browse plants, fresh produce, clothing, shoes, arts & crafts, jewellery, tools, leather goods, toys and more.

You can get in early for a market breakfast from 6:30 am – in fact, we advise this to get a headstart in the crowds of up to 25 000 people who visit. The markets run until 4:30 pm both days and there’s plenty of food, coffee, and beer on offer, so you can make a day (or a weekend) of it.

Find Carrara Markets at Manchester Road and Gooding Drive in Carrara.

Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets

They’re not the biggest markets, but the night markets on the beachfront at Surfers Paradise offer an unbeatable atmosphere.

Browse more than 100 stalls with the sound of waves tumbling onto the sand just metres away, the light slowly fading into night, and the smell of delicious food wafting on the ocean air.

You can find locally made clothes, accessories, crafts, artworks, beauty products, homewares, and jewellery, and there’s live music, too.

The Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets run every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday evening from 5:30-10:00 pm in the summer, and from 4:00-9:00 pm in winter. Find them on the Esplanade between Hanlan Street and Elkhorn Avenue.

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