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Published June 18th 2011
There's more to shopping in Melbourne than just the CBD. What most visitors forget when visiting Melbourne is, that there are loads of shopping opportunities out in the suburbs. For sure, good old favorites such as the high end boutiques of Chapel St and the classic Myer and David Jones on Bourke St are the ones to go to, but if one goes deep enough into the residential jungles of Melbourne suburbia, they will eventually find ample of opportunities for good shopping.
Chadstone Shopping Centre
Dubbed 'Australia's Fashion Capital', Chadstone Shopping Centre has certainly become a goliath of shopping giant in recent years. This huge shopping complex was first opened on 3rd October 1960, and with over 530 stores and 9500 free car parking space, it currently holds the bragging rights of being the largest shopping centre in Australia, and also apparently the largest in the southern hemisphere.
Chadstone definitely has all the needs for the serial shopper. From luxury retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Chanel and Ralph Lauren to a fashionable lesser known labels, shoppers all ages and genders have a serious risk of injuring their bank accounts.
Visitors from interstate or overseas are able to collect a free Visitors Passport, which entitles you to discounts of up to 30% from over 200 stores within the shopping complex. For more information on the Visitor Passport, just head towards one of the Customer Service Desks at Chadstone, and bring along some documents such as drivers license or passport to confirm your visitor status.
Getting there: With over 9500 free car park spaces, going to Chadstone Shopping Centre by car is the most convenient way. However even with that many car park spaces, finding a spot can be difficult at times, especially when sales and public holidays are happening. Be sure not to head to Chadstone during peak hour traffic as you will surely be stuck in gridlock traffic.
Chadstone Shopping Centre is conveniently located close to four train stations on four train lines: Oakliegh Station on the Dandenong line, Hughsdale Station on the Cranbourne line, Murrembeena Station on the Pakenham line, and Holmesglen Station on the Glen Wavely line. Upon arrival, a short bus trip will complete the journey to Chadstone from each these stations. Chadstone is located in Zone 1 & 2 on the public transport map.
Heading to Chadstone by bus is probably the most accessible options with 13 suburban bus routes stopping at the Chadstone interchange. For more information on bus routes to Chadstone, just visit the Metlink website
Knox City Shopping Centre
The former title holder of the 'largest shopping centre in Australia' still gives the impression that it's the biggest in terms of sheer size and space. Located in the far east of Melbourne suburbia, Knox City is a massive shopping complex filled with 350 stores and over 6300 free car parking spaces.
Knox City Shopping Centre is made up of two main shopping complexes, Knox City, the main indoor shopping section, and newer Knox O-Zone, an outdoor leisure zone filled with bars, restaurants and entertainment facilities.
This is a shopping centre that makes you feel as if you're in a city dedicated to shopping. The sheer size of Knox City is overwhelming, and the fact that there's an outside shopping area just means you can now lose yourself outside the shopping centre.
An interest side note to point out is that some scenes of Neighbors are actually filmed at Knox City!
Knox City Shopping Centre provides parking for around 6300 vehicles, so going by car would not be a problem. The fastest route from the central CBD to Knox City is via the Eastlink, exiting at Burwood Highway.
Knox City is serviced by 11 bus routes, including the SmartBus route 901, with the bus interchange located at the southern side of the main Knox City centre.
There are unfortunately no direct train and tram lines to Knox City Shopping Centre. The 732 bus from Box Hill to Upper Ferntree Gully provides a connection to tram stops on the 75 route heading to Vermont South.
For more information on bus routes to Knox City Shopping Centre, just visit the Metlink website
With over 410 retailers to shop from and 6000 free car parking spaces available, Westfield Southland is a shopping centre force to be reckoned with. Located in the southern suburb of Cheltenham, Southland posses one of the more architecturally impressive features out of any of the other shopping centres; a massive multi-level retail-pedestrian-vehicle bridge that hangs over the Nepean Highway.
Southland provides all the comforts and needs for all people and sizes, from ordinary shoppers to dangerous shopaholics.
As with Knox City and Neighbors, a large number of scenes are filmed here for the Australian comedy series Kath & Kim, used as a backdrop for Fountain Gate.
With over 6000 free parking spaces, going to Southland by car is very accessible. If you're heading from the central CBD, the best way to get to Southland is via the Nepean Highway.
Westfield Southland has a major bus interchange located on the corner of Karen Street and Nepean Highway with 11 bus routes passing by.
Travelling by train is also an option to Westfield Southland, with Cheltenham Station on the Frankston line, being the closest station to the shopping centre. Upon arrival, it's only a 15 minute walk or a short bus trip to the shopping grounds.
For more information on bus routes and train services to Westfield Southland, just visit the Metlink website
Highpoint Shopping Centre
Highpoint Shopping Centre is located in the western suburbs of Maribyrnong and holds over 400 stores and 6000 free parking spaces, making it the largest shopping centre in western and northern suburbs of Melbourne.
The four storey shopping complex has a nice selection of shops to choose from, an IMAX theatre to fully experience the pleasures of film, a plenty of eateries to enjoy a meal and a lot of western suburbs character to the place.
If you head out of the southern exit at the level 3 food court is, just a short walk away, there is a pleasant park area which runs along the Maribyrnong River, perfect for a Sunday afternoon stroll.
Approximately 10 kilometres west of the Melbourne CBD, heading to Highpoint by car is a good option and is made easy with over 6000 free parking spaces to choose from.
In regards to public transport, there are no direct trains that go to Highpoint, however 7 bus routes currently operate through Highpoint Shopping Centre.
There are also two tram services that can be used to go to Highpoint: Tram route 82, from Footscray to Moonee Ponds, which stops direct opposite to the shopping grounds; and Tram route 57, from Ascot Vale to Melbourne CBD, is about a 450 metres walk from the shopping grounds.
For more information on bus routes and tram services to Highpoint Shopping Centre, just visit the Metlink website
Westfield Doncaster, or more locally known as Donny, is located in the eastern suburbs of Doncaster and is the smallest out of our list with only 400 stores and 5000 parking spaces. However, what it lacks in size, it makes up for in quality; with shinny marble floors, classy interiors and a modern rustic panel exterior.
Westfield Doncaster holds a good range of shops from trendy well known brands to high end classy brands. This shopping centre also employs the noteworthy services of a 'Butler Service', which aims to provide visitors a very hotel style hospitality experience. For the right price, the Westfield Butler can do the shopping for you, wrap your gifts, do the dry cleaning and even park your car at the VIP parking lot.
The one true delight to Westfield Doncaster is having a meal at the food court, called the Drum. While you have your meal, you are spoilt by a beautiful and stunning view of the city skyline
Westfield Doncaster is conveniently located only 15 minutes from the city via the Eastern Freeway, exiting at Doncaster Rd. With around 5000 parking spaces, driving to Doncaster is an option, however be warned that on public holidays and weekends, parking can be scarce.
If you do choose to travel by car, Doncaster employs a technologically savvy system of sensors to show visitors the number of available parking spaces and where they are situated at. Parking at Doncaster is free for the first 3 hours, after which parking fees apply.
Inconveniently positioned between two train lines and with no direct tram services, Westfield Doncaster heavily relies on bus services for public transport. There are 15 bus services that operate at the major bus interchange, located in front of the shopping complex just off Williamsons Road.
For more information on bus routes to Westfield Doncaster, just visit the Metlink website