Thrift Shopping – Melbourne, Australia

I love to treasure hunt at thrift shops. In Australia they are called ‘op shops’, as in ‘opportunity’.  And that perfectly describes it, an opportunity to discover.

I made my way by train down to Chapel Street precinct.

This is where I was told that I would find second hand shops.


The absolutely most fun one I found was a charity shop run by MECWAcare. They had such a sense of fun. Old china plates, stacked to the ceiling. I asked the guy, “are those glued?” Yep.IMG_8784Wooden salad bowls made into a sculpture.

IMG_8775 IMG_8776Old vinyl records stacked into towers.

IMG_8783Fancy paper shopping bags used as decor. Cutlery spilling out from containers. IMG_8786Books piled as decorations.




IMG_8777 IMG_8778A tower lamp made from old aluminum tea pots and stainless steel bowls.

Generally speaking Op Shops in Australia seem to be very upscale. Maybe it’s the quality of the donations.

The Salvation Army tops the list of these. Branded as “SALVOS Stores” they are nothing like the Sally Anns’ in Canada.


Beautifully painted floors with chic industrial shelving.IMG_8793

And they played lovely music too.IMG_8794

One of the Salvo’s in downtown Melbourne looked like a designer dress shop.

In this Mission shop I asked for Australian made or designed clothes and the volunteer helped me find some perfect selections.IMG_8799

Mixed in with the op shops were designer clothing stores.

IMG_8802This shop owner was the knitter.

Every second building was a cafe with outdoor seating of some description and radiant heaters for the cooler weather.



My lunch was “The Forever Popular Smashed Avocado” at AMICI Bakery. Mashed avocado on toasted pumpkin bread, feta, lemon, cracked pepper and toasted pepitas.

Beautiful architecture well over one hundred years old.IMG_8830Admist all these shops were antique places too. Like this vintage mall called Chapel Street Bazaar.


A building FULL of stuff. This one’s for Steina!IMG_8809

Talk about being overwhelmed with sights.IMG_8814

I walked the whole breadth of Chapel Street in the drizzle. And I wasn’t disappointed at all.









2 thoughts on “Thrift Shopping – Melbourne, Australia

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  1. Thanks for sharing that. I’ve not heard the term “op shop” and love it. We live in the US and call the “thrift stores”. I like “op shop” better.

  2. I, too, really appreciate your informative post. I’ll be flying to Melbourne in November (from Oregon, USA), and will be looking for period-appropriate clothing for a Victorian social dance. Your post has saved me time and effort already! Thanks!

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