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New South Wales Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in New South Wales

The best buys are opals, precious and semi-precious stones, Aboriginal arts and crafts, woollen and sheepskin goods and fashion by top Australian designers. There's plenty of retail therapy to be had in Sydney's central business district, which is chock-a-block full of department stores, speciality shops and high-end fashion boutiques. Paddington is a hotspot for emerging talent, and upcoming designers are found on the corner of Oxford Street. Pitt Street Mall, which runs off Market Street, and the 120-year-old Strand Arcade are prime shopping locations.

Woollahra is good for perusing antiques; or if you're after Australiana souvenirs, The Rocks area is your best bet. There's a market there on weekends which sells opals, Aboriginal art, handmade beauty products, unique homewares and an array of street food from local vendors. The best weekend market is Paddington Market, especially for funky fashions, books and designer jewellery. The Bondi and Glebe markets are top spots for art and jewellery.

Shopping hours

In Sydney, shops open Mon-Fri 0900-1730, Sat 0900-1700 and Sun 1000-1600. Many shops also stay open until 2100 on a Thursday.

Nightlife in New South Wales

Sydney is known for being a city that never sleeps, and has a diverse selection of bars, pubs, nightclubs and music venues. Kings Cross in Sydney is an exciting nightlife area attracting a very diverse crowd, while the famous Sydney Opera House (tel: +61 2 9250 7111; www.sydneyoperahouse.com) regularly hosts theatre, dance, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Philharmonic Choirs.

Theatre from amateur playhouses to large-scale productions can be found all over the city. Check out the Sydney Theatre Company (www.sydneytheatre.com.au), the city's premier theatre outfit, for upcoming performances. There are also some night-time cruises on Sydney Harbour offering dinner and dancing. If you time it right, the annual firework display from Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Year's Eve makes it a night like no other.