We Filipinos love malls. SM Mall of Asia alone has a total area of over 4,380,502 square feet (and growing, apparently), and it’s still swarming with consumers. Let’s not even talk about how many Glorietta or Greenbelt malls are in Makati alone.
With today’s local consumers being all the more brand-conscious and fashion-forward (that additional purchasing power helps too), our concept of shopping has come a long way from the days when Levi’s or Bench was the height of sophistication. However, if you’re looking for a different shopping experience and are also planning an Australian holiday soon, you may want to check out Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall.
At just 430,000 square meters, Queen Street Mall seems rather puny compared to Manila’s behemoth shopping centers, but it more than makes up for that with the quality of its retailers and the architectural beauty of its entire structure.
Located at the heart of Brisbane city, this destination is Australia’s most popular pedestrian mall and is visited by 26 million visitors every year. It hosts more than 700 retailers, from brands as familiar as The Body Shop to homegrown Aussie fashion houses like Tengdahl. Tucked inside the complex are retail centers that cater to shoppers of all tastes and budgets.
Ever wondered what a 20’s shopping arcade looks like? Duck into the Brisbane Arcade, a heritage-listed, three-story building that houses 50 specialist retailers in an elegant space furnished with Terazzo floors and dado panelling.
In need of extra undershirts or socks? Step right into Queensland’s largest department store at the enormous Myer Centre. It’s even got a supermarket that’s perfect for restocking the fridge at your AirBnB and an eight-screen Event Cinemas complex that can keep your kids occupied if you need more time to browse the 180 stores selling the latest in fashion, accessories, homewares, gifts, electrical appliances, and more.
Is your Amex Black card burning a hole in your wallet? Indulge yourself at the luxuriously high-end Queens Plaza, where the storefronts of world-class brands like Tiffany & Co., Aesop, and Alannah Hill wink conspiratorially at shoppers who know their Prada from their Pucci.
Staying at the nearby Hilton Hotel and looking for a mall that you can walk right into upon waking? Try Wintergarden, a futuristic-looking and highly-integrated shopping centre where flagship stores and high-fashion boutiques dwell alongside specialty food and lifestyle precincts. Brands like Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, and George Jensen can also be spotted here, along with a bowling bar and a 750-seater food court.
Even visitors on a casual stroll are welcomed here, as they’ve erected a 49-foot tall steel structure meant to provide a cool shade on the hottest days and a cover on rainy ones. More than a thousand events also take place at the Queen Street Mall each year, with various buskers walking through the streets each day and musical performances by The City Sounds every weekend. There is even a casino on the premises, and many of Brisbane’s galleries, museums, and parklands are within walking distance.
Whether you’ve come here to shop or simply to shoot the breeze while burning a few calories (with all the sights to see, it’ll be harder to remember that you’ve been walking for miles), Queen Street Mall is a great place to while away an afternoon or two (or three) should you find yourself on vacation in Brisbane.
Special thanks to Visit Brisbane for the images.