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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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...

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...

Paddington Markets

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

About 200 stalls crammed with clothing, plants, crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs fill this busy churchyard market (sometimes called Paddington...

Paddy Pallin

  • Specialty Stores

This should be the first stop for serious bush adventurers heading for wild Australia and beyond. Maps, books, and mounds of gear are...

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...

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 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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