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10 new ways to support local in the NT

If you’re wondering how to support Territorians during this challenging time, and you’re in a position to do so, you don’t need to look far. There’s no time like the present to throw your support behind our homegrown businesses and organisations. Here are some tips on how to buy local.

1. Local retail

Local retail outlets are joining the digital marketplace in addition to their bricks and mortar stores. Some outlets are even offering delivery services! If you can purchase your clothes, books, games, furniture, electrical goods and more from local businesses, you’d be what we like to call a ‘great Territorian’.

Not sure where to start looking? Check out the Darwin City & Waterfront Retailers Association and this list of local businesses in Alice Springs that are open and ready for you.

2. Local art

Just because art galleries have temporarily closed, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the bounty of works created right here in the NT – cue online exhibitions! Some Northern Territory art galleries have opted to present full exhibitions online, and with all artwork available for sale, money goes back into the pockets of local creatives. We are especially spoilt in the Territory with the works coming out of remote Aboriginal communities.

Here are some exhibitions you can check out online:

Dino Wilson | Exhibited via Outstation Gallery

Roger Yambeing | Exhibited via UnTiTLED Gallery + Studio

Tangentyere Artists | Exhibited via The Design Files

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) continues to share inspiring works and unique Territory stories, whilst Watch This Space in Alice Springs shares online exhibitions as well as a bunch of activities you can enjoy from home.

3. Local independent artists

If you’ve been wanting to commission a local artist for your very own piece, there’s loads of talented people in the NT to help you out.

Pet portraits are a wonderful way to immortalise your special furry friends, and Jabiru artist Piper Kidd is renowned for creating bold and beautiful works. Walked the streets of Darwin and admired the colourful murals in the Darwin Street Art Festival? Believe it or not, you can get your very own slice of street art at home by the Proper Creative team.

And we’re all doing our best to stay home by creating ways to have fun – how cool would it be to look back on this time with some professional snaps? Local photographer Helen Orr is offering to capture your private, at home moments with isolation photo shoots.

4. Local entertainment

Musicians and performers are taking to the interwebs to bring you entertainment in the comfort of your own home. Most of these pages allow you to contribute directly to artists, so throw in some cash if you can.

Keep an eye on Darwin Live Gig Guide for live-streamed music, comedy and DJ sets. Support local bands by buying their merch – a bunch are listed on the Music NT website. Follow Lockdown Arts – a page run by NT creatives – for live-streamed events as well as great tips on how you can support the local creative community. And visit Off The Leash for a virtual calendar of online events from NT creatives in the Top End.

5. Local gifts & crafts

If you’re on the hunt for a special gift, the search is over. The Tactile Arts Gift Shop in Parliament House is home to a wide range of gifts and crafts from local artisans. Aboriginal Bush Traders’ online store offers beauty products, bush food (such as dukkah and Kakadu plum), art, homewares and fashion products. Provenance Arts has been working hard to get an online shop up and running, including some gorgeous spinifex weavings, so keep an eye on the website for more additions.

Tjanpi Desert Weavers in Alice Springs have put together learn-to-weave kits that can be ordered online; Tjanpi artists believe weaving to be a form of meditation and a great way to de-stress. And Jabiru’s Marrawuddi Gallery has an online store offering a swag of goodies from Kakadu-based artists – the perfect place to score a pair of Frieda Pettersson pandanus earrings!

6. Local food & drink

Territory pubs, restaurants and cafés deserve a gold star for the way they’ve been able to adapt. It hasn’t been business as usual, but it’s definitely been business!

If you’ve been looking for the perfect excuse to get takeaway more than once a week, this is it. You hereby have permission to order some delicious Indonesian fare from Sari Rasa, pizza from the Lucky Bat Café & Pizzeria or Sammy’s Pizza, burgers from Good Thanks, beer from Alice Springs Brewing Co, all-day brekkie from House of Tallulah, Mexican from Prickles in Darwin or Loco Burrito in Alice, home-cooked meals from Pony + Sid, grazing platters and French champagne from Hilton Darwin, cocktail gift bags from The Baravan and driveway-mixed cocktails from Dom’s Bar & Lounge. Yes, that’s right. Driveway. Mixed.

Find out what else is on the menu in Darwin and Alice Springs.

7. Local fitness and health

Gyms and fitness centres may be closed for now, but local businesses are thinking outside the square to keep their members fit and healthy. If you currently have a membership, rather than cancelling, see what your club is offering.

Family-owned Darwin gym Evolve Fitness has been delivering live daily workouts online, as well as interactive Q&A sessions where members can ask the trainers questions. They’re also releasing a 14-day mind and body challenge that can be done entirely from the comfort and privacy of your home. The helpful team at Anytime Fitness in Alice Springs are also on deck, offering members live-streamed classes, meal plans and wellness tips to stay fit and healthy.

Darwin Yoga Space and Yoga Territory are delivering yoga classes online, with options ranging from one-off passes to full unlimited access for the month, and classes are appropriate for beginners to intermediate. Om!

Taste of the Top End has the best tips on creating delicious, healthy recipes from locally sourced produce, which means you’re also supporting local growers. Need gardening advice on how to grow your own veggies? They can help with that, too.

8. Learn at home

And what better time to learn about more about nature in the NT? NT Parks and Wildlife has kicked off the Discover at Home program, presenting a series of free online videos to entertain and educate Territory families. Topics are presented by NT bush rangers and cover everything from tracking wild animals to what it’s like to live in the desert.

This exciting series is for children and big kids at heart. It follows the continuous work of the Territory’s incredible rangers that look after the places we love to visit. 

9. Give local!

If you’d like to support organisations that have had to put their events season on hold, there are things you can do to help. If you’re in a position to spend some money, you can make a donation to places such as Brown’s Mart Theatre, Tracks Dance and Red Hot Arts, or purchase gift vouchers from Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin Fringe and Darwin Festival. You can also score some fresh merch from Deckchair Cinema – their stubby holders are adorable!

10. Holiday Here

If you’ve been dreaming of a getaway, now’s the perfect time to curate your Territory trip. From Uluru to Nitmiluk Gorge, there’s a bounty of beauty to be found in the NT.

Tourism Top End and Tourism Central Australia have you covered for places to stay and things to do and see. If you’re in a position to book your accommodation for next year, go for it. If catching a barra is on your bucket list, start checking out those fishing charters!

Or simply create your own dream list of things you can’t wait to do in the NT when this all blows over.

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