Shopping in the Star Arcade

This is my favourite place in Darwin.  The Frangipani trees send dappled shade across the pavers and the umbrellas and sails shade the takeaway tables.  The passageway into the courtyard tells a fascinating story about the old Star cinema, a classic open air picture theatre which operated from 1929.  There’s even an old film projector sitting in the alleyway. The courtyard is bursting with interest and it’s where the locals hang out at lunch time. Sometimes they just pause for a while – read a newspaper or get a coffee. Or they stay a little longer, try on new dresses or latest design shoes.

I can’t talk about the Star Arcade within mentioning Mamma Car. She’s a stray cat and has lived here for 15 years. She is a treasure and a mascot. She nestles up to us all as we sip our coffee. She hangs out with Angie from Damadi Skincare until breakfast arrives.

Damadi Skincare

The bright green grass and the bright pink butterfly zing across the bottom of the bay window. Peer through the glass and there’s an irresistible mix of colourful bars of soap from green and honey lemongrass to “chocolate” bars dripping with gold, all pure and fresh with no artificial ingredients. There’s also a range of body and face products made from soft, gentle and natural products like pure Rose oil, Shea butter or Aloe Vera. Visit Angie’s web site.


Frond has style. The ambience is quiet, the jewellery is chunky yet cool and the gifts quirky and inviting. The diverse range of product includes light and flimsy cotton frocks, floaty tunic tops and soft, pastel coloured shirts, all perfect for the hot and steamy tropical climate.

Me and My Llama

The name is so intriguing you just have to wander over and peer through the windows. There’s a pair of leopard-skin-look wedge shoes perched alongside a shiny high heeled shoe of beige leather. Then in the wet, bright pink, orange or lime green plastic shoes, not just “flatties”, creep into the store. Co-ordinating accessories of colourful evening bags, crocodile skin belts and sparkly earrings make this store just irresistible. Check Kim’s facebook page.

Vintage Twist

Flimsy see-through lace, flocking dresses or satin, matched with little clutch bags of sequins and velvet. This is a haven for one-off pieces of clothing. There are also 1950s dresses with those enviable tiny waists, dresses for The Ball, dresses for every occasion.





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