Shopping is one of the best ways to blow off a bit of steam, or have a little relaxing downtime. Sometimes, it's just a fun exercise in spending money. Luckily for us, Australia's towns and cities are blessed with great shopping facilities, from eclectic boutiques right through to the big names you know and love. The arty city of Brisbane in particular is chock-full of retail therapy options, so leap into your hire vehicle and dive right in!

Queen Street Mall

If you're really looking to do some hardcore shopping in Brisbane, the Queen Street Mall should certainly be your first port of call. Found in the beating heart of Brisbane's centre, this mall welcomes a staggering 26 million visitors per year. At half a kilometre long and comprised of five shopping centres and four arcades, the shopper within you will be spoilt for choice!

That vast army of shoppers can't be wrong – over 700 retailers have set up shop in Queen Street Mall, each different to the last. You'll find instantly recognisable international brands side by side with tiny independent retailers together in a one-stop shopping experience, housed inside intimate arcades in a throwback to older times, or within modern, cutting edge centres. 

Through each of the heritage buildings and centres that make up the Queen Street Mall, you'll find plenty of places to eat and drink when you need a break from shopping. There's also a farmer's market, a raft of beauty salons, three hotels and enough buskers for you to shake a ukulele at!

Fortitude Valley

'The Valley' is what you might call Brisbane's fashionista capital. It's here where you will find many independent clothing retailer selling their unique brands of fashion and urban chic, edgy street wear and all manner of styles that can't be found anywhere else.

 'The Valley', as it is locally known, is also home to several decorative and home furniture retailers, many of them chains but also some great independents. Winning Appliances, Harvey Norman, Nick Scali Furniture, Oz Design and Everyday Living all compete for your attention in this uber-cool area of the city.

Paddington and Rosalie

Paddinton and Rosalie are built onto the gentle, undulating slopes of Brisbane's hills, and these are two shopping areas that really are cut from a different cloth. The centuries-old charming cottages that make up the area have been transformed into quaint shops, artisan restaurants and homely stores. 

Here you'll find handmade souvenirs, beautiful antiques, second-hand goods, cool finds, artworks and a great range of both vintage and designer fashion.