advertisement

Darwin's best buys are Aboriginal art and crafts, pearls, opals, and diamonds.

You will find many shops and galleries selling authentic Aboriginal artworks and artifacts at reasonable prices. To make a heavyweight investment in works by internationally sought-after artists, visit the Aboriginal-owned Aboriginal Fine Arts Gallery, on the second floor at the corner of Knuckey and Mitchell streets (tel. 08/8981 1315; www.aaia.com.au). Its website is a useful guide to art and artists.

The world's best South Sea pearls are farmed in the Top End seas. Buy, or just drool in the window at Paspaley Pearls, at the Bennet Street end of the Smith Street Mall (tel. 1300/888 080 in Australia or 08/8982 5515; www.paspaleypearls.com). The World of Opal, 52 Mitchell St. (tel. 08/8981 8981), has a re-creation of an opal mine in the showroom. If you fancy a pink diamond (the world's rarest) from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Kununurra, you can get them at Creative Jewellers, 27 Smith St. Mall (tel. 08/8941 1233; www.creativejewellers.com), an Argyle-appointed supplier that buys direct from the mine. It also stocks the champagne diamonds, for which Argyle is renowned, and other Argyle diamond colors, as well as South Sea pearls and opals. The jewelers try to fashion pieces for overseas visitors in a short time to match your traveling schedule.

Jokes about "snapping handbags" abound in croc country. For your own croc-skin fashion statement, head to di Croco, in the Paspaley Pearls building in Smith Street Mall (tel. 08/8941 4470; www.dicroco.com). You'll find bags, purses, wallets, card holders, belts, pens, and other accessories, all made from saltwater croc skins farmed locally.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.