Australia’s highly multicultural society means there are always interesting finds to be discovered in our quirky vintage and antiques stores.
Tucked away in dusty corners, sometimes in piles or cupboards that haven’t been touched for years, you can find the most remarkable and mysterious objects with incredible stories to tell. Enthusiasts know that part of the thrill of exploring an antique store is finding a treasure that was once much-loved, but eventually discarded or left without an owner. Every object offers insight into the people who once inhabited the town or city you are visiting. These antique stores are a window into the past. Curious collectors, are you read to peek in?
Old Favourites, Sandgate QLD
This vintage shop is located in a hundred-year-old tin shed in the seaside Brisbane suburb of Sandgate. Owner Rachel McGregor transforms furniture from shabby to chic. We’re talking tables, chairs, dressers, lamps, teapots and even ceramic knobs. Each piece is truly unique and will pose as a talking point in any room of your house.
Bloodworth Bellamy, Paddington NSW
In the heart of Paddington, one of Sydney’s most interesting antique stores is owned and curated by Nick Cadey. The three cornerstones of the shop are art, antiques and heritage. Or, as Nick prefers to say, beauty, value and history. Wandering Bloodworth Bellamy is an enchanting experience, and perhaps just where you need to be to find that something special for your home. They have items ranging from 1950s toys, vintage vinyl and 1930s science fiction to taxidermy and tribal objects.
Studio Thrifty4, Albion QLD
Although this vintage clothing store is tucked away in a warehouse, it looks anything but industrial. Mirror balls hang from the ceiling and bright colours litter the walls and racks of clothing. With all items capped at $5, you can stock up on everything from evening gowns to retro tees without going bankrupt.
Bruthen Bizarre, Bruthen VIC
With items pouring out their doors onto a cute sunny patio, this small-town antique shop is anything but a stuffy home for relics. Their aim is to recycle, reuse and repurpose items to foster creativity in the arts. They’re slowly building a community of converts; those who used to turn their noses up at the old and discarded, but now embrace their potential for a new use. This is vintage with a conscience.
Antique Emporium, Devonport TAS
This huge, four-story warehouse of historical treasures claims to be the number-one tourist attraction in Devonport; and it is most definitely one of the biggest antique stores in Tassie. You could almost spend a whole day here, lost in a sea of relics. You’ll stumble across all kinds of treasures including a pirate ship display with life-size statues and more than 15,000 vintage books. Okay, maybe two days.
Makers and Finders Market, Murwillumbah NSW
This crazy mix of local makers, growers, artists, recyclers and vintage collectors comes together to create a vibrant hub of handmade goodness. On the third Saturday of each month, you can experience if for yourself. There are two locations – an outdoor flea market in Knox Park and across the road at the M-Arts Precinct, inside a classic art deco building. Once you’ve perused the market, grab a coffee and do some people watching in the park.
Grass Roots Vintage, Hahndorf SA
Searching for both unusual and functional pieces? This mostly outdoor vintage store has become a destination for locals and tourists alike who are in the same boat. They also have an online store to meet their customers’ needs. But you better hurry – items are only available online for seven days!
Vintage Twist, Darwin, NT
This to-die-for boutique takes you on a journey back in time to the elegant fashions of the 1940s, 50s and 60s. In addition to outfits cut to suit every figure, they sell accessories, children’s gifts and furnishings. The store has quite a high turn over, so each time you visit, you’ll find a new wardrobe staple to take home.