As far as I'm concerned, once you've been outlet shopping it's very hard to go back to paying full price at your run-of-the-mill shops.
Brisbane has a couple of different outlet-style shops, but my pick of the bunch is definitely DFO Brisbane, located over near the airport. And yes, before you ask, the money you save on all those purchases will make it well worth paying the Gateway Motorway toll to get there.
During my last DFO visit, I managed to update my entire swimwear collection for a ridiculously low price thanks to the 70 per cent discount being offered at the Roxy store. My husband usually undertakes his annual clothes shopping trip here - picking up five or so identical-sized shirts and board shorts from one of the surf shops, usually Billabong, Rip Curl or Quiksilver. Last time he was feeling particularly brave and even ventured into Cotton On. Putting it simply, we can usually expect to pay as little as $200 for 10 or so brand-name items, which would be unthinkable down at the local shops.
As well as an extensive range of (high and low) fashion options, DFO is also well served in the areas of footwear, beauty, homewares, jewellery, sport, electronics plus more. For a full list of retailers, check out the DFO Brisbane website.
If the idea of spending any serious time shopping is a bit overwhelming (or your other half - like mine - hates shopping with a passion), there's a well-stocked food court, perfect for that coffee hit. You can even have a proper sit-down meal at one of the eateries just outside the centre, with options including Burger Urge, Burrito Bar and Caffe Cherry Beans among others.
The only downside of DFO Brisbane is that it's not exactly a hidden gem - meaning it can get very busy at certain times such as weekends and school holidays. To counter this, we usually plan to arrive right on opening time, so as to get in and out before the crowds really build up. There's also plenty of parking at this time, too. For a few dollars you can even park undercover, which I reckon is money well spent on a scorching-hot Brissie day.