Harbour Town Shopping Centre, located in Melbourne's Docklands precinct, is set apart from other shopping centres by its unique, semi-outdoor layout. The Docklands are known for being windy and cold at the best of times, but the shopping centre is constructed so that the shops block out draughts. Harbour Town has managed to strike the delicate balance between enjoying the crispness of the outdoors and avoiding the treachery of the elements.
With about two hundred stores, Harbour Town features discount outlets including Leading Labels, Fashion Brands Direct, Ritzy Lady, Sintra and even EB Games. There are also plenty of generally inexpensive stores, such as Cocolatte, Ice Designs, Lili and Valleygirl.
For even more discounts, sign up to the free VIP card, which allows you to redeem offers from participating stores and have access to exclusive competitions. Be warned though, you will also be subjected to their email newsletter.
Along with clearance stores, Harbour Town also boasts high-end shopping such as Laura Ashley and Angus & Coote. The opulent Designer's House, which you just can't go to Harbour Town without visiting, offers a cross-section of local and international designer wear.
Trendy cafes populate Harbour Town, with Le Cirque and The Groove Train being favoured for their cool ambience and unique fare.
Situated in the Waterfront City district of the Docklands, Harbour Town is surrounded by a variety entertainment options such as Wonderland Fun Park and Icehouse. Just next door is Australia's first Costco hypermarket, which is accessible by membership only.
Parking is free for the first hour then a flat rate of $5 thereafter. Or, there are numerous public transport options, with the 34, 70 and 86 trams all stopping just outside the shopping centre.