Sydney Shopping

Sydney's shops vary from those with international cachet to Aboriginal art galleries, opal shops, craft bazaars, and weekend flea markets. If you're interested in buying genuine Australian products, look carefully at the labels. Stuffed koalas and didgeridoos made anywhere but in Australia are a standing joke.

Aboriginal art includes historically functional items, such as boomerangs, wooden

bowls, and spears, as well as paintings and ceremonial implements that testify to a rich culture of legends and dreams. Although much of this artwork remains strongly traditional in essence, the tools and colors used in Western art have fired the imaginations of many Aboriginal artists. Works on canvas are now more common than works on bark. Much of the best work of Arnhem Land and the Central Desert Region (close to Darwin and Alice Springs, respectively) finds its way into Sydney galleries.

Australia has a virtual monopoly on the world's supply of opals. The least expensive of these fiery gemstones are triplets, which consist of a thin shaving of opal mounted on a plastic base and covered by a plastic, glass, or quartz crown. Doublets are a slice of mounted opal without the capping. The most expensive stones are solid opals, which cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. You can pick up opals at souvenir shops all over the city, but if you want a valuable stone you should visit a specialist. Sydney is also a good hunting ground for other jewelry, from the quirky to the gloriously expensive.

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Sydney Shopping

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Pitt Street Mall

  • Shopping Centers/Malls

The heart of Sydney's shopping area includes the Mid-City Centre, the huge Westfield Sydney Shopping Centre, Skygarden, Myer, and the...

Queen Victoria Building

  • Shopping Centers/Malls

This is a splendid Victorian-era building with more than 200 boutiques, cafés, and antiques shops. The building is open 24 hours, so...

R. M. Williams

  • Specialty Stores

The place to go for riding boots, Akubra hats, Drizabone raincoats, and moleskin trousers—the type of clothes worn by Hugh Jackman...

Rip Curl

  • Sporting Goods

This well-known Australian surfing company has been making surfboards since 1967. Stores proliferate around the country, and this Sydney...

Rox Gems and Jewellery

  • Jewelry/Accessories

Come here for serious one-off designs at the cutting edge of lapidary chic. ...

Scanlan & Theodore

  • Clothing

This is the Sydney outlet for one of Melbourne's most distinguished fashion houses. Designs take their cues from Europe, with superbly...

Strand Arcade

  • Shopping Centers/Malls

This ornate three-story shopping arcade built in 1891 runs between George Street and Pitt Street Mall and is one of Sydney's most elegant...

The Ken Done Gallery

  • Art Galleries

This is a great place to find the striking artworks of prominent artist Ken Done, who catches the sunny side of Sydney with vivid colors...

The National Opal Collection

  • Jewelry/Accessories

This is the only Sydney opal retailer with total ownership of its entire production process—mines, workshops, and showroom—making...

The Rocks Market

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

This sprawling covered bazaar transforms the upper end of George Street into a multicultural collage of music, food, arts, crafts, and...


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