If you are after one-stop under cover shopping complexes containing hundreds of shops ranging from large international chains to independently owned businesses, then there's plenty to choose from in Victoria.
The largest shopping centres can be found within Melbourne's suburbs.
Chadstone, located around 15 kilometres south-east of the city centre, was the first of the freestanding regional shopping centres to spring up in Victoria, opening in 1960. Now with over 550 stores, it is the biggest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere and home to many world class luxury brands. Chadstone offers a free shuttle bus to the centre from Melbourne's CBD for tourists or anyone that resides 50 kilometres or more from Chadstone. Referred to as "the fashion capital", Chadstone is home to around 50 Australian and international designer boutiques. You'll also find the large department stores, financial institutions, and a fine selection of food in small cafes and two international food courts.www.chadstone.com.au
Ringwood is a major eastern suburb of Melbourne, located 25 kilometres east of the city centre, and it is home to Eastland Shopping Centre. Over 400 stores can be found here including big name retailers such as Myer, David Jones, BigW, Kmart and Target. At the front of the centre is Town Square where restaurants and cafes overlook a large open meeting space with lawns and gardens.www.eastland.com.au
Highpoint Shopping Centre is located about 10 kilometres west of the Melbourne CBD in Maribyrnong. Along with over 400 awesome shops to explore, Highpoint also offers fantastic entertainment by buskers, an IMAX cinema and "Playtime" for games.www.highpoint.com.au
Located in Melbourne's affluent eastern suburbs, around 16 kilometres from the city centre, Westfield Doncaster provides visitors with over 400 shops and large department stores including Myer, David Jones and Big W. Premium services include valet parking, personal stylists and a butler service.www.westfield.com.au/doncaster
Located just to the west of Berwick in Narre Warren, Westfield Fountain Gate is Victoria's second largest shopping centre. First built in 1970, the centre has undergone a number of refurbishments and extensions over the years, and is now home to a cinema complex, eateries, supermarkets and over 440 stores including Myer, Big W, Kmart and Target.www.westfield.com.au/fountaingate
Knox City is another of the biggies as far as Melbourne shopping goes. Located around 17 kilometres east of Melbourne in Wantirna South and with over 350 specialty retailers, you could wander around Knox all day. Knox also has a Village 15-screen state of the art cinema complex allowing you to rest those weary feet for a few hours between shops. Or, if you're feeling energetic, or have kids with energy to burn, Knox O-Zone has an AMF Bowling Centre, a Timezone and a Fitness First gym.www.westfield.com.au/knox
Westfield Southland has over 400 stores and is situated 19 kilometres south of the city at Cheltenham. Southland is a great choice for all the major fashion brands as well as bookstores, food, gifts and other specialty shops.www.westfield.com.au/southland
Melbourne is well known for its direct factory outlets. These are shopping centres where manufacturers have their own dedicated retail shops, offering their products at huge discount off regular retail prices.
In Nunawading, 19 kilometres east of the city centre, you'll find Brand Smart. It consists of over 60 factory outlet stores all offering premium brands, as well as some cafes and restaurants. You will be captivated by the stunning architecture and carefully planned layout of this centre.www.brandsmart.com.au
The motto of these centres is "big brands, big bargains and big savings". Cheltenham has one of the bigger DFO complexes, with over 120 factory outlet stores under the one roof, located right next to Moorabbin Airport. Other DFOs are located at Essendon Fields Airport, South Wharf and Union Hill at Bundoora.www.dfo.com.au