SOMETIMES girls just want to have funds. To shop, to play. And nothing tastes sweeter than savings.
The 'hunter-gatherer' instinct is in our blood and that could well be an argument as to why many women love a little retail therapy. On the Gold Coast you'll find it at Harbour Town - one of the biggest outlet shopping centres in the country. The best way to shop here? Make a day of it.
Harbour Town is home to 220 stores - from Coach, Ralph Lauren, Victoria's Secret, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Nike, UGG, Oroton and more. Expect to save up to 70% on retail prices.
Red discount stickers are dotted like confetti on clothing tags, then don't be surprised if stores also have a further 25%-40% store-wide. In six hours I bought a complete outfit for $157.85 and saved $321.90 off the original prices. How can husbands argue with that?
9am: First stop, picked up a map from the Tourism Centre. Next, The Coffee Club for a caffeine kick.
9.15am: Novo Shoes. I think I died and went to shoe heaven. There's lots of summer styles on sale with extra discounts, but who can complain when the weather has been so glorious. iPanema sandals and thongs from $10. Bargain.
9.45am: Seed Heritage. I'll admit this in one of my favourite labels at the moment. The store was buzzing with bargain hunters. There's a 10-minute queue at the change rooms, but it was worth the wait when my arms were full with red tag sale items, plus an extra 40% off today only. I score 100% silk black harem pants for $47.97, reduced from $229.95, a cotton dress and tee for less than half price.
10.30am: Portmans. Another day, another one day-only 25% off all stock sale. Pick up a work dress for $30-$40. I spot a denim jacket and off-the shoulder top. Paid $55.95. Saved $73.95.
10.50am: City Beach, Billabong, Quicksilver, Rip Curl, Rusty stores. Surf wear for the price of peanuts, literally.
11.45am: Active wear. At Lorna Jane, tops range from $40, crops from $50 but nothing in-store is more than $70. Rockwear also has me forking out the cash with most items from $30-$50 for everything from crops to tights.
Noon: A quick peek in Bed, Bath and Table. I spot the same bedspread I bought at Christmas for less than half the price I paid. Don't you love that?
12.15pm: Lunch. When it comes to cafes and restaurants there's lots of choice, from Fasta Pasta, Guzman Y Gomez, Nonna's Seafood and Steakhouse, Sumo Salad, sushi and more. But hardcore shopping calls for a mean burger from Grill'd.
1.15pm: Jo Mercer - shoes. Oh, the smell of leather. Hello new winter boots. Here you'll find new designs as well as sale items at a smidgen of the price. The pair that took my fancy was originally $300, I pick them up for under $80.
1.30pm: Ooh, Movenpick Ice Cream Gallery. Ok, just one scoop, actually make that two.
2pm: Mimco, Kate Hill, Oroton, Coach, Ugg, R.M. Williams. All swoon-worthy.
2.45pm: Back-to-basics. Cotton On's mega outlet is a mecca for those basic fashion staples - tees, singlets etc and they'll cost you some loose change a piece. Winning.
3pm: Home time. Arms full of bags but I'll be back for more.
Harbour Town provides a free shuttle service for tourists from four convenient locations, including Surfers Paradise, which will pick you up and take you straight there.
Don't forget to visit the Tourism Lounge and grab a free Tourism Club Card for even more shopping discounts.
WIN THE ULTIMATE GIRLS' WEEKEND AWAY: Enter here,
Prize includes: three nights' accommodation in an ocean view twin room at QT Gold Coast, QTea for two including a glass of Perrier-Jouet Champagne per person, spaQ one-hour experience for both ladies, dinner for two in the Bazaar Interactive Marketplace and a $1000 Harbour Town shopping voucher. For details on how to enter, terms and conditions, see the advertisement below.
SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP:
Harbour Town is located at 147-189 Brisbane Rd, Biggera Waters, Qld, 4216.
For shuttle bus information or the latest promotions, visit http://www.harbourtown.com.au.
STAY AND PLAY:
QT Gold Coast
Located at 7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise.
Three Night Stand: $368 pp, includes three nights' accommodation, breakfast daily at Bazaar, one dinner at Bazaar, $50 credit for Stingray Lounge. Available now until December 24.
QTea: $39 per person includes QTea for two served with tea and espresso coffee, or $54 per person includes QTea for two served with Champagne Perrier-Jouët, tea and espresso coffee.
- The staff in every store were friendly and helpful
- So much retail variety
- Promotions on already discounted items
- Some stores have sample items - one offs.
- Discount cards available and free shuttle services for tourists
- Sometimes only small sizes are left in particular styles
- Trailing between shops outside and you'll work up a sweat in summer. Air-con is a relief once you're inside a store.