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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Ariel Booksellers

  • Books/Stationery

This is a large, bright browser's delight, and the place to go for literature, pop culture, avant garde, and art books. They also hold...

Balmain Market

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

In a leafy churchyard less than 5 km (3 miles) from the city, Balmain Market has a rustic quality that makes it a refreshing change from...

Belinda

  • Clothing

This is where Sydney's female fashionistas go when there's a dress-up occasion looming. From her namesake store that scores high marks...

Birdland Records

  • Specialty Stores

This institution for music lovers has an especially strong selection of jazz, blues, African, and Latin American music in multiple formats,...

Birkenhead Point

  • Shopping Centers/Malls

A factory outlet with more than 100 clothing, shoe, and housewares stores on the western shores of Iron Cove, about 7 km (4 miles) west...

Bondi Markets

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

This relaxed and friendly beachside market at Bondi is the place to go for clothes—vintage and by up-and-coming designers—plus handmade...

Cooee Aboriginal Art

  • Art Galleries

This gallery, open Tuesday–Saturday 10–5, exhibits and sells high-end Aboriginal paintings, sculptures, and limited-edition prints.

Country Road

  • Clothing

The fashion here stands somewhere between Ralph Lauren and Timberland, with an all-Australian assembly of classic, countrified his 'n'...

David Jones

  • Department Stores

The city's largest department store maintains a reputation for excellent service and high-quality goods. Clothing by many of Australia's...

Dinosaur Designs

  • Specialty Stores

This fun store sells luminous bowls, plates, and vases, as well as fanciful jewelry crafted from resin and Perspex in eye-popping colors.

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