Smith Street Mall is the retail heart of the central business district (CBD). Shady Raintree Park at the northern end is popular with tourists and locals at lunchtime, and many outdoor concerts are held here during the dry season. A walk down the mall between May and the end of August will reveal buskers from all over Australia who have travelled north to beat the southern winter. Plazas and small arcades reveal shops where visitors can buy Aboriginal art, locally made jewellery and tropical clothing. Halfway down the mall is the Victoria Hotel, a Darwin landmark and one of its oldest pubs. Almost directly opposite is Star Village Arcade, which used to house the old open-air Star Theatre. At the southern end of the mall are some of the city’s grandest buildings where it is possible to look at or buy South Sea pearls – one of northern Australia’s most valued exports.
Across Bennett Street, Smith Street continues south towards the harbour past Brown’s Mart, which was built in 1883 and is now home to the Darwin Theatre Company.
Behind Brown’s Mart are the Darwin City Council Chambers, where an ancient banyan tree known as the Tree of Knowledge casts a huge umbrella of shade. Planted at the end of the 19th century, the tree has been a meeting place, dormitory and soapbox for generations who lived in or passed through Darwin. At the southern end of Smith Street is Christ Church Cathedral, built in 1902 and damaged by both Japanese bombers and cyclone Tracy.
Window-shopping for pearls in Smith Street Mallcomments powered by Disqus