Shopping in Brisbane is certainly a unique experience as the city has 1,000 shops and 700 of them are in the Queen Street Mall! The mall is so large it is advisable to get a map so you can plan your shopping! The other main shopping streets are Edward, Adelaide, Albert and Elizabeth streets. There is a good array of shops including top international brands, department stores and several stores showcasing the work of local designers so if you are after something fashionable – but different, you are highly likely to find it in Brisbane! There are also several quirky stores selling things that make original gifts!
With so many good shops to explore in Queen Street Mall, it is not surprising that there are many bars, cafés, and fast food shops situated in the surrounding streets.
1. Seek out some great craftwork!
Artisan Fortitude Valley on Brunswick Street is a hub of creativity, art, and design and is a great hunting ground for work made by local artisans and there are some really lovely items of clothing, ceramics, textiles, glasswork, and jewelry to choose from.
If you are looking for a quirky gift or souvenir, this is where you may well find it!
2. Think recycled!
If you are a conservationist and are keen to do your bit to save our planet, you will find the Reverse Emporium in Woolloongabba (in the south of the city) fascinating. This treasure trove is part of the recycling shop Reverse Garbage and it has a great range of products made by local artisans using upcycled goods. There are items for your home and office as well as some fun jewelry.
3. Choose some kangaroo leather!
There are plenty of different gifts to choose from made from kangaroo leather, ranging from key rings to belts, wallets, purses, footwear and bags. Kangaroo leather is not particularly cheap, but you are buying tremendous quality as it is said to be the best and most durable type of leather in the world.
4. Enjoy some delicious local honey
Bee One Third is a local company that works closely with the city’s beekeepers and has 115 rooftop beehives! The company sells honey and a range of honey products through several shops in Brisbane and online.
5. Discover fantastic chocolate made in Brisbane
This is a great place to combine your passion for good chocolate with souvenir shopping! The Noosa ‘Dark Chocolatier’ is situated in Adelaide Street and was established in 2009. The factory produces 60 handcrafted seasonal chocolates and these are freshly made every day using fresh fruits and nuts and are irresistible! There is a free gift-wrapping service but if you are buying some chocolates as gifts, buy extra because you will be tempted!
There is the chance to see some of the stages of production and to relax with an excellent cup of coffee or a mug of rustic hot chocolate – no wonder this place is popular!
6. Taste some locally made liqueurs
Tamborine Mountain Distillery has won many awards for its liqueurs and if you taste them you will understand why! The names of the different liqueurs sound tempting enough and include Waffle Toffee, Lemon Myrtle and Eucalyptus. These flavors are all very Australian and there is the chance to sample before you buy – cheers!
7. Or some great Australian tea!
If you are a tea drinker, you will love the selection of teas that is available in the city! Tea has been grown commercially in Bingil Bay in northern Australia since 1884 and Queensland is the main area for the tea industry. On the outskirts of Brisbane, there is a large tea production plant. Brisbane Breakfast Tea is the most popular type, but there is a good selection of other teas available in many specialist shops including exotic flavors like Mango.
Bubble Tea Shop is one of several tea specialists in the city and the company sources top quality leaves from plantations in Australia and around the globe and promises from crop to cup, that it produces the very best quality loose tea.
8. Invest in some Ugg boots!
What better way to keep your toes warm in the cooler months than by wearing a classic pair of Ugg boots? Uggs come in a variety of styles and they are not cheap because they are beautifully made from twin-faced sheepskin with a fleece lining and man-made sole. Uggs were originally made in the 1960s as a functional item of footwear to be worn by surfers but by the 1990s they had become iconic winter footwear the world over!
Ugg boots were originally unisex but in the modern range, there are designs decorated with buttons and bows in a variety of colors including pink, blue and fuchsia. Along with the traditionally styled boots, there are now slippers, shoes and even trainers in the Ugg range. A pair of traditional pair of Ugg boots is probably the most popular souvenir of all from Australia and they are available for all the family.
9. Treat yourself to some fine wine
The Yarra Valley is well known for its excellent wines which include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, sparkling wines and other cool-climate varieties. Although Yarra Valley is in Queensland, it is quite a distance from the city, but every year in the early summer, there is a Yarra Valley Festival held in Brisbane offering the chance to try the wines as well as Napoleane ciders and beers which are also made in the same area.
10. Or a bottle of Bundaberg Rum
Known by Queenslanders as ‘Bundy’ this popular rum has been made in the area since 1888 when seven local men decided to make rum commercially as it would be a good by-product of the sugar cane industry and would be successful as imported rum was already a popular drink. Bundy is widely available in stores selling liquor, but why not visit the distillery which is situated four hours north of Brisbane on the Bruce Highway?