26 Nov 2018
Home to some of the city’s most recognisable icons, Melbourne Central [corner La Trobe & Swanston Streets] has been a prominent landmark for decades and continues to astound visitors to the city. Generations of locals and visitors have stood underneath the giant Marionette Watch as Waltzing Matilda is played every hour, and history buffs are often spotted making a beeline to the historic Shot Tower. The best-preserved of three 19th century bullet-making facilities in Australia, the Shot Tower is currently home to Melbourne’s flagship RM Williams store.
Of course, in addition to these attractions, Melbourne Central houses more than 300 major and boutique retailers, with recognisable brands such as Armani Exchange, Bonds and Windsor Smith found alongside local labels Gorman and Búl.
If you’re looking for entertainment you’ll find it at Hoyts Cinema and Strike Bowling, and with bars and restaurants in the complex as well, an afternoon of shopping can quickly become an evening of fun for everyone.
Contrasting the history that resides within Melbourne Central, neighbouring Emporium Melbourne [Lonsdale Street between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets] launched in 2014 amid much fanfare, and has provided Melburnians and visitors a high-class shopping mall experience. Connected to Melbourne Central, David Jones and Myer via pedestrian bridges and tunnels, it is home to the largest Australian designer precinct in the country with labels like Manning Cartell, Alannah Hill and Scanlan Theodore represented.
And if you’re peckish, simply catch an escalator or two to the top floor, where a café court is home to much more than your standard food hall. Popular restaurants from around Melbourne – including New Shanghai, Earl Canteen and Jimmy Grants – take residence here and the café court buzzes at any time of day.
After being reborn in 2015 with a more fashionable clientele in mind, Eastland Shopping Centre [175 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood] continues to draw shoppers, diners and those looking for a good time. With original David Bromley artworks adorning the walls, fine dining restaurants and cheap eats open until 10pm, plus valet parking available if you’re feeling particularly fancy, it’s worth the 40 minute drive or train ride [Belgrave/Lilydale lines] from the city centre.
Looking for the biggest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere? Look no further. Chadstone Shopping Centre [1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone] – or ‘Chaddy’ to the locals – has been one of the city’s preeminent shopping destinations for more than 50 years, and nowadays welcomes more than 20 million visitors annually. With every budget catered for, there are also bars, restaurants, cafés, a Hoyts Cinema and AMF bowling lanes sure to keep you entertained well after the sun goes down.
Originally opened in 1977 to serve the then-burgeoning western suburbs, Highpoint Shopping Centre [120-200 Rosamond Road, Maribyrnong] has established itself as the premier location for shopping and entertainment west of the city centre. With major brands like Zara and Apple onsite, not to mention cinemas and dining options, it’s also only 25 minutes’ drive from the city centre, and close to Maribyrnong River walking trails and the cultural hotspots of Ascot Vale and Moonee Ponds.