The Gold Coast is certainly the place for sun, surf and sand but another popular 's' is shopping. In fact, if you contact Estrella Penn, she can lead you on a double 's': shopping spree!
Sure, you can saunter through the streets, window shopping and hoping to find a bargain or two, or that something you have never seen at home, but Estrella can tailor an exciting outing just for you, based on the sort of shopping you are interested in.
Estrella, who claims to be a born bargain hunter, has lived on the Gold Coast since she was five, so knows it inside out. A few years ago while on holiday in Melbourne, she took part in an organised shopping tour and decided something similar was needed on the Coast. Now she shows others how to shop while saving money.
Ninety percent of Estrella's shoppers are female, which isn't too surprising, and an average tour takes in 10-12 locations, with about 15 minutes in each one. There are pick-ups in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. Tours begin at Harbour Town, a paradise of 145 shops where a discount card is given to each participant.
Think Nike, Voodoo Dolls, Billabong, Polo Ralph Lauren, Esprit, Cue, Trent Nathan, Oroton, Hilfiger, DKNY and loads of other designers, all there at reduced prices.
If you are looking for some special additions to your home, then visit Mikasa, Royal Doulton, Orrefors Kosta Boda, Sheridan and Waterford Wedgwood.
At The Perfume Factory you can save up to 40 percent on a wide variety of fragrances, while the Body & Soap Factory specialises in sweet smelling things to make you (your partner and even your dog) smell delicious.
The excitement of being in shoppers' paradise builds up a hunger, so lunch is included in the price of the tour. You will also stop at the Coffee Factory, get some extra energy at the Honey Factory and visit the Chocolate Factory.
Comfortable and easy to get in-and-out-of shoes and clothing are highly recommended and if you are planning on spending up, maybe take an extra suitcase with you, though no doubt there will be somewhere during the tour where you can buy another bag or two for your purchases.
Tours take place each Wednesday, but it is possible to arrange one on another day. Just call Estrella. Children under five are welcome and there is no charge, but it is a long day for them so you may wish to consider another option while you are out stocking up!