New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published June 4th 2016
Update September 18th 2017
Salvos Belconnen on this list has moved from Josephson St to 3-4 Weedon Close, Belconnen.
A comprehensive guide for this weekend
Op Shopping is an enjoyable way to track down bargains and find items that you never needed, but somehow realise that you just can't live without. When our family first moved to Canberra we were missing some essential furniture items, so Op Shops were the first point of call to see what we could "upcycle" with some sanding and a lick of paint. We have traipsed around Canberra's Op Shops with our trusty tape measure, trying to find cupboards or wardrobes to fit the exact location in our home. We have since searched for winter jackets, toys, work uniforms, suits, picture frames, washing machines and more.
There are rare times that we have gone home empty-handed (staggered by some of the price tags at some locations) and other times we come home with a car boot full of essential items and a few extras. If you are looking for a few things at once, here is a list of the biggest and best ones in Canberra to start your search - perhaps print out this list to take with you. With so much choice around the city you are sure to have at least one near you, so get ready to rummage.
Salvo's Mitchell is the largest Op Shop on the north side of Canberra. It has a good range of items with long aisles of clothes, a large furniture area, toys for all ages and plenty of books, homewares and accessories to browse. There are also new items to buy including brand name shoes and clothes. This is my personal favourite north side Op Shop, where I usually walk out with at least one item that I have been looking for. Allow plenty of time to explore this store as it literally has everything for you and your home. See website here for opening times. Address: 32 Hoskins Street, Mitchell. Tel: 02 6242 6900
Vinnies Mitchell is only a short drive away and also has a good range of clothing and books in particular. Although not as large as the Salvo's, it has a good selection and helpful staff who will help you track down what you are looking for. See website here for opening times. Address: 10 Buckland Street, Mitchell. Tel: 02 6234 7310
Salvo's Belconnen is a spacious and popular store, with an extensive range and it is always busy with other shoppers sifting for a bargain. In particular their clothes, bedding and books have large areas and it is located on a main road, with plenty of parking in nearby streets. There is a small amount of furniture to choose from. See website here for opening times. Address: 88 Josephson Street, Belconnen. Tel: 02 6251 0843
Vinnies Belconnen is just down the road and is the same in size and range. There is a small area for furniture, a small wall dedicated to toys (however some can be on the pricey side), a good variety of homewares, dress up costumes, clothing, books and magazines. See website here for opening times. Address: Corner of Rae & Purdue Streets, Belconnen. Tel: 02 6234 7490.
The Green Shed, Mitchell isn't an Op Shop as such, however it is a must for any second-hand shopper. If you are looking for a big place to shop, you can't get much bigger. The Green Shed is located at the Resource Centre (ie. the tip), however the items on sale have been donated to the warehouse shop to sell, instead of going to landfill. Most items are salvageable, however many are broken or don't work, which is a risk you take when buying from the Green Shed. In terms of size, the Green Shed Warehouse is the biggest second hand store in Canberra, with another located on the south side in Symonston. It is a rare day that you will walk out of this warehouse empty handed. See website here for opening times. Address: Mitchell Resource Management Centre, Flemington Road, Mitchell. Tel: 0467 830 011
Just one small outside area at the Green Shed, Mitchell
SOUTH SIDE OF CANBERRA
Salvo's Fyshwick is the biggest Op Shop on the south side of Canberra, and also the biggest in Canberra. Although the Salvos at Mitchell is large, the Fyshwick Salvos has the top level full of clothes and furniture and downstairs is the Bargain Basement which is half the size again of the upper level. Downstairs you find an exceptional range of toys and homewares. This Salvo's has the largest second-hand furniture area of all the Op Shops and they also sell new mattresses and whitegoods for sale. This is the standout favourite out of all the Op Shops, with good prices and discounted ticket days. Due to its popularity, parking can be scarce on the road outside so there may be a short walk from your car if you park further up the road. See website here for opening times. Address: 15 Mildura Street, Fyshwick. Tel: 02 6239 0113
Salvo's Phillip (Woden) is another large store, with a huge range of clothing, furniture, toys, paintings, books, homewares, shoes and accessories. This is another store that has a good furniture range if you are looking for that certain piece of furniture for your home. There are soft couches in one area to choose from, as well as wooden dining tables, bookshelves, desks and dressers in another area. See website here for opening times. Address: Shop 7, Corner of Hindmarsh & Botany Streets, Phillip Market Place. Tel: 02 6260 3128
Salvo's Tuggeranong is another spacious Salvo's, with a well stocked furniture area and a large clothing department, neatly looked after by the many staff and volunteers. This store has good prices in most cases with clothing, furniture and homewares available. The toy area is small in this store, however they have a good amount of children's clothing and board games.The furniture in particular has a quick turnaround time in this store, so if you like something ensure you grab it when you see it. See website here for opening times. Address: Units 1-3, Cnr Anketell & Reed Streets, Tuggeranong Square, South Greenway. Tel: 02 6293 2780.
The Green Shed, Symonston is the second location of its kind in Canberra. Although not as big as the Mitchell warehouse, it is large in size and has homeware goods inside as well as bikes, play equipment, timber, tiles, doors and trade materials outside. For a full article on the Green Shed Symonston, see here. See website here for opening times. Address: Resource Management Centre, Mugga Lane, Symonston. Tel: 0433 337 125
If you love markets, there are a number of weekly and monthly markets around Canberra that sell second hand wares and furniture. In particular the Rotary Trash and Treasure Markets at Jamison (north) and Lions Woden Market (south) are two good weekly markets to bag a second-hand bargain. See here for more details.
Also throughout the year there are specialised markets for recycled fashions and accessories. Two of these are Three Sixty Fashion Market and the Fash 'n' Treasure market. These markets are particularly popular, so get in early and enjoy shopping for upcycled designer fashions or vintage creations.
If you are after a special item, or even if you find yourself at a loose end on a rainy day, then Op Shop hopping between these locations makes for a fun day out on your own or with a friend. You can enjoy your shopping whilst also knowing you are giving back to the community and stopping what you buy from ending up in landfill. With so many large Op Shops in Canberra, who knows what bargains you will find?
For a full list of Op Shops around Canberra, see below.
Our latest buy: $10 Children's Kitchen with free frypans and pots from the Green Shed, Mitchell