Answers from Our Experts (2)
When deciding what to bring home from Sydney, consider Aboriginal instruments, which make wonderful gifts as they double as artwork. A yidaki, or didgeridoo, will look beautiful in your home. The instrument, a tree branch hollowed out by termites, produces a deep drone sound. Didgeridoos are difficult to master but fun to play, and can often be found with eye-catching dot-paint patterns featuring Australian wildlife. However, make sure you're buying certified authentic pieces that actually help provide money for the artists themselves; there are a number of cheap imitations out there that won't play as well and don't support Aboriginal artists. Other Aboriginal instruments, like clapsticks and bullroarers, are also ideal take-home options.
Just like every other city, Sydney is also inundated with souvenir shops. You’ll find them at Circular Quay (most expensive here), the Rocks, Bondi Beach, in Chinatown and on almost every main street of Sydney CBD. But the art of souvenir shopping is one that’s hard to perfect. You could either get sucked in with duplicate ‘Made in China’ t-shirts or end up with boomerang that wouldn’t even pass through customs.
Depending on what you wish to take back – traditional or quirky - below are my suggestions for the best souvenir shops in Sydney, and what they offer.
Paddy’s Market: This shopping haven has a history that goes back 150 years, especially for the availability of fresh produce, handmade goods and novelty items. However today, Paddy's Market is home to really affordable jewellery, home decor items and clothes. You won't find the best quality items here, but it's a great place to purchase cheap, one-time-wear sundresses and tees from.
The Rocks Market: A tourist must-do activity, these markets at the central hub of The Rocks have exclusive and original pieces of art, furniture and souvenirs. There are food stalls, face-painting stalls, traditional Aboriginal arts and craft and live music. Open every weekend from 10am-5pm.
Supermarket: If you spend even a couple of hours in Sydney, you probably would hear all about Tim Tams – a chocolate-wafer biscuit – that is only available in Australia. It’s an Aussie tradition that tastes like a party in the mouth. Try it and take a suitcase-full for friends back to your homeland.
Items that you must take back with you:
- A didgeridoo
- A boomerang: You'll be able to find some beautiful painted ones at The Rocks Market.
- Crocodile and Kangaroo jerky - it's like beef jerky, but not.
- Fridge magnets
- A piece of original, traditional Aboriginal art