Darwin Shopping Guide - Find where and what to shop and buy

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Darwin is a great place to invest in aboriginal art and craft since most of the work on sale in Darwin's many galleries and souvenir shops is produced by local artists. One thing that many tourists may want to be mindful of is that some local artists receive a very small percentage of the high sale prices. Galleries and stores that practice more equitable exchanges will advertise as such in their windows and brochures.

Fresh produce is an excellent buy too. Honey and jams made from local wildflowers are delicious and unique but taking them back home may depend on various quarantine laws. The markets at Rapid Creek or Mindil Beach are perfect places to pick up something special.

Contemporary fashions can be bought at any of Darwin's shopping malls and boutiques. These range from the latest collections of cutting-edge local fashion designers right through to international major name brands.

Casuarina Square

This is Darwin's largest shopping mall. There is a multiplex cinema here, and hundreds of retail shops in an air-conditioned zone. The Casuarina Square complex even operates complimentary shuttle buses between the mall and Darwin's major hotels. Free entertainment and performance events are held in the main plaza of Casuarina Square.

Rapid Creek Flea Market

Just outside the center of Darwin is the city's oldest market. Here, visitors can take in a massage, browse organic produce, flowers and unique bric-a-brac. The market is open every Sunday from 07:00 to 13:00 and the public bus network operates regular routes between downtown and the market during market day. 

Aboriginal Fine Arts Gallery

Darwin's Aboriginal Fine Arts Gallery contains what may be the world's finest collection of aboriginal arts and crafts. Aboriginal art is one of the world's oldest continuous forms of creative expression and the prices at this gallery are competitive, considering the exceptional quality of what is on offer. 

Darwin shopping tips

Most prices are fixed except at the night and day markets where subtle bargaining is acceptable. This is not Southeast Asia, however, and most artisans and growers of local produce are not too impressed with people wanting random discounts on produce that has been meticulously nurtured and which is reasonably priced to begin with. Discounts on bulk purchases are welcome. 

Cash is required at the markets but credit cards are accepted elsewhere. Visitors should show due respect when examining aboriginal arts and crafts. Picking up didgeridoos and blowing into them before walking away will only make everyone lose face. 

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