The Best Shopping in Cairns
Designer label and boutique fashion shopping, homewares, local arts and crafts, pearls and souvenirs – you will find it all in a city that has built its retail experience around locals and holidaymakers with time to shop. Cairns also has a DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) for shoppers keen to save on fashion and accessories. It’s about 10 minutes out of town, but you will find lots of discounted lines from top brands.
Cairns Central shopping centre is the main shopping hub in the CBD (it also has a cinema), and you will also find fashion, gifts and jewellery at nearby Orchid Plaza. For upmarket boutiques, galleries and gift shops head to The Pier, Cairns, located on the Marina. Shop after dark at the Night Markets on the Esplanade dailyfrom 5pm where you’ll find local arts and crafts as well as opals, silver, fashion outlets and Australian food products.
Our top picks
The Pier, Uniquely Cairns
For a one-stop, resort shopping and dining experience, it’s hard to go past The Pier and, in particular, the way it hosts the work of some first-class local fashion designers and artists. Look for the striking prints and plains at Wild Sugar, gorgeous made-to-order cotton batik at Zook Island, or craft and art at Red Chair Gallery. At the Louise Broadbent Gallery, you can even take an art class or hire an easel.
1-21 Mcleod Street
For a more mainstream shopping experience, try Cairns Central, the biggest shopping centre of its kind in North Queensland with more than 180 shops offering high-street fashion brands, lots of surf and swimwear boutiques and the department stores Myer and Kmart. There’s a food court, coffee and an Event cinema complex.
Shop like a local
Locally grown, harvested and baked – whether its exotic fruits, deli lines, bread, seafood, flowers or international food to go, you will get the freshest, straight-from-the-farm food at Rusty’s Markets, which have become a Cairns institution. There are specialty items too: bric-a-brac, jewellery and clothing. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday between Grafton and Sheridan Streets in the CBD. If you are an early riser, the action starts at 5am.
If you are looking for top labels with discounts of up to 70 per cent, DFO is the place for you. It’s a 10-minute trip from the CBD to Westcourt and if you don’t have a car, Sunbus routes 141 and 143 will take you there from the city bus station in Lake Street. Outlet branches includeJeans West, Lorna Jane, Man Overboard, Oroton, Polo Ralph Lauren, Quiksilver and Rivers.