At one time or another, I’ve visited almost every major shopping centre in Sydney. Over thirty years as a resident, I’ve watched my favourite, comfortable shopping haunts grow from easy-to-access ‘shops’ to small cities, gentrified with every convenience known to man.
I now avoid large shopping centres like the plague and yearn for that little suburban retail space, where I can park with ease and access the most essential services, grocery outlets and department/variety stores. Might this be a thing of the past?
Warriewood Square has had a facelift - photo c/o- Warriewood Square Facebook page
On the bustling Northern Beaches, with an exploding population and constant demands on infrastructure, Warriewood Square provides the closest to a traditional shopping centre I have found, within a comfortable travelling distance.
Locals might remember Warriewood Square pre-upgrade and long for the days you could be in and out within a few minutes. Well, there’s no stopping progress and the centre needed a facelift, a wider variety of shops and greater capacity parking. The northern peninsula, which stretches all the way from Manly to Palm Beach, was also in dire need of a viable alternative to Warringah Mall, which has become a nightmare of traffic and construction during its upgrade.
There is no shortage of popular women's fashion - photo c/o- Warriewood Square Facebook page
‘The Mall’ is looking beautiful inside now and it has almost everything you need but it doesn’t have a Roads and Maritime Service and it is becoming less accessible by the day, with Brookvale's traffic congestion and lingering construction around the main carparks.
But I guess if you are considering making the switch from a bonafide ‘shopping mecca’, you might need some more convincing.
Loads of school holiday activities - photo c/o- Warriewood Square Facebook page
For me, the new Warriewood Square is a one-stop shop almost always, acknowledging that there are some specialty stores and banking services I need to access occasionally at The Mall.
Shopping for the Family – What You Need
• Kmart: It’s everyone’s go-to discount department store.
• Variety store: cards, wrap, novelty items, crafts etc.
• Shoe stores: fashion, sports and school footwear.
• Women's fashion: includes Katies, Sportsgirl, Millers, and W-Lane.
• Men's fashion: more limited but includes Lowes and Surf, Dive N Ski.
• Pharmacies and health stores.
• Toymate: best discount toy shop for kids' birthday parties.
• Play area for under 5s.
• School holiday activities and events.
• Gifts: Homewares, cards, books and jewellery/accessories.
The Food Court has great variety - photo c/o- Warriewood Square Facebook page
Essential Services for Life Admin – What You Need
• Newsagency / stationery.
• Medicare: assistance with MyGov terminals for online claims.
• Service NSW which includes RMS – yay, it’s car rego time!
• Banks: St George, NAB and CBA.
• ATMs: Suncorp, Westpac, ANZ and CBA.
• Australia Post: another big plus.
• Drycleaner, florist, key cutting, tailor, shoe repairs.
• Beautician / massage: one for the mums!
• Family hairdresser.
• Travel Agent.
Food and Groceries – Spoilt for Choice
• Aldi (brand new), Coles and Woolworths: catering to all budgets.
• Liquor stores including a licensed ALDI.
• Food court with healthy and traditional options and generous seating.
• Specialty coffee shops dotted around the centre.
• Public transport access is limited. Most locals drive and park.
• The new multi-storey carpark has ample spaces.
• An all-indoor retail space with good wet-weather access.
• Car parking is FREE with no ticket machines. How long will this last?
• Spaces reserved for disabled patrons and parents with prams.
• The retail space is single-level with wheelchair accessibility.
• Good, clean toilet facilities, with baby change and feeding rooms.