Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published November 15th 2017
For tourists and locals this is a great place to shop
While it helps if the gifts are one-offs from an area, there is also a certain satisfaction in saying 'I bought this back for you from Canberra' or wherever your travels might take you. Or in other words, 'I thought of you while I was away.'
Thus, after a morning spent at the Floriade , I turned my back on the bright sunny day, the mirror surface of Lake Burley Griffin with its shooting water fountain and instead headed to a mall in the wilds of an industrial estate in Fyshwick.
The day was hot and I felt I had done enough walking. Little did I know how much more walking would be in store for me at this large shopping centre.
I was off to visit the Canberra Outlet Centre (COC), which I found listed in one of my travel brochures. A friend, who lives in Canberra, told me the locals liked to call it by its acronym COC, which seemed a bit cheeky.
The main attraction for me was the Nike Outlet. A son in his early 20s was likely to be more impressed with some branded gear than a model of Parliament House or a photo of our handsome PM.
The Nike Outlet is huge with endless boxes of fashionable running shoes and racks of shorts, t-shirts and singlets. Some racks were 40% off the already marked down sale price, but I couldn't quite get the size I needed for my son. L is a common size and therefore sale racks are often overflowing with XLs or XSs.
Then came the announcement 40% off everything in the store until 4pm that day, so I shopped with a vengeance. Most of the items that had not been marked down already were the size I needed. I walked out of there with three pairs of running shorts in different colours, two t-shirts, two singlet tops and an attractive long sleeved winter top all for $140. Getting 8 items for around $17.50 each is a fantastic price for Nike gear and a bargain shopper's high.
I didn't risk buying the running shoes being too far away from home to exchange them if needed, but if the wearer was on hand, then there would be lots of chances of getting Nike's famous runners at bargain prices.
My family love Lindt chocolate and the outlet shop had every kind of Lindt variety imaginable with all those coloured baubles of melt-in-your-mouth delight just perfect for Christmas. As well as the usual dark and light chocolate, I noticed fillings including coconut, mango and cream, sea salt caramel and strawberries and cream
There is also an American lolly shop where you can get a wide range of overseas lollies, chocolates and drinks. Great to have something a little different on the scene.
You can't fault the service at the Skechers store. My sales assistant seemed a little weary as it was almost closing time but still went through all the benefits of various styles of shoes.
There are quite a few homewares stores including Freedom, Homemakers, Snooze, Bose and Adairs. There is also a JB Hi-Fi HOME. Add Royal Doulton, Cue, Asics, Puma, Harris Scarfe and Villeroy & Boch into the mix. For a full list of shops, click here.
While there are plenty of other touristy things to do in Canberra, I found COC a bit of a respite from the heat. But while all under the one roof, you will find there is still plenty of walking as this is a well set out but a warren of bargain shopping for you to enjoy.
These shop dummies look so life-like. Perhaps they are. I'll leave you to puzzle that one out. - photo Nadine Cresswell-Myatt
I love outlet stores, you can get some great deals. I once got a leather purse for £2 - and it was a large purse with lots of compartments too. I probably would have cleared the store of all its Lindor if I had seen them at 50% off.