Op Shopping

Budget Travel : Op Shopping

Op Shopping


We love op shops and second hand stores. 


For under $50, Dave got his entire work wardrobe of three pairs of pants, five shirts, a pair of shoes and even a bag.  Juz scored Arnie’s autobiography Total Recall at a little book exchange in Perth for a fraction of the retail price.  We’ve picked up shorts, bikini tops, egg poachers, baking pans, thongs and loads of books from op shops and while we paid no more than a few dollars, these items have been invaluable!


We think op shopping is great and here are a few reasons why:

  • It’s economical! – Second hand clothes/furniture/books are much cheaper than new ones because items are donated and the staff are usually volunteers.  Cheap clothes are especially good while you’re travelling because shorts and tshirts tend to get tattered quickly so it doesn’t hurt as much to turn them into rags when you only paid a couple of dollars for them.
  • It supports charities! – Shopping at op shops contributes to charities that help people who are less fortunate.   You can donate further by giving your old clothes, books, furniture and home wares to your local Opportunity Shop.  Some will even collect larger items from your house.
  • Environmentally friendly! – Buying second hand goods is recycling and keeps perfectly good things out of landfill.
  • Unique! – Take the opportunity to find something truly special and one of a kind.
  • Quality! – Second hand clothes have stood the test of time and are very resilient!  We’ve found items at op shops that have lasted many years and are still around today.  Dave’s $2 thongs from Mount Gambier are a great example.  They were brand new, still in the wrapper and lasted all the way around the south and west coasts to Darwin, then it was finally time to let them go.
  • Variety! – Mainstream shops sell the same clothes and it’s hard to find something in particular if it doesn’t fit in with the latest fashion.  Op shops have a greater variety of colours, styles and sizes to suit every body type and personality.  Juz loves finding shorts that fit her butt just right.
  • Creativity! – If you’re equipped with the skill and a sewing machine, you can make a wardrobe of entirely unique items.  Perhaps you’ll find a dress with great fabric but the design is a bit frumpy – take it home and reinvent it!
  • Fun! – Go on the hunt for something that is hilarious, hideous or truly you!


Op Shopping


Sticking to a relatively tight budget while staying in Darwin, we chose to look for things we needed at op shops to see if we could get a bargain.  Here is a list of most of the op shops in and around Darwin, including Salvos, St Vinnies and Red Cross outlets, making this list probably the most complete list of op shops in Darwin on the interwebs.


City Centre

Darwin Red Cross, 12/32 Smith St, Darwin

Mon-Fri 9am-4.30pm, Sat 9am-2pm

Expensive – Mainly women’s clothes.


Darwin Memorial Uniting Church Opportunity Centre, 78 Smith Street, Darwin

Weekdays 9.30 am – 3.30 pm and Saturdays 10am – 12pm

Juz’s favourite.  Super cheap prices and super lovely staff/volunteers. They get excited about the bargains you’re getting! They do ticket sales and Dave scored a pair of work pants for $1.


Darwin Salvos, 45 Stuart Hwy, Stuart Park

Mon – Fri 9.30-5.30 and Sat 9am-1pm

Large, spacious store. Friendly staff. High-ish prices. Plenty of women’s clothes, some men’s clothes (mostly size large or bigger), lots of kid’s clothes, plenty of books, toys, bric-a-brac and some furniture.


St Vinnies, 2 Westralia St, Stuart Park

Mon – Fri 7:30am-6pm and Sat and Sun 9am-4pm

Cheap prices but a bit untidy.


Op Shopping


Northern Suburbs

Casuarina Salvos, 13 Scaturchio Street, Casuarina

Mon – Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm

High-ish prices. Quiet but Juz scored one of her favourite skirts from this location.


Nightcliff Salvos, 48 Progress Drive, Nightcliff

Mon – Fri 9am-5pm Sat 9am-2pm

Plenty of women’s clothes, quite a large amount of men’s clothes, toys and manchester. Home wares – some brand new.


Malak Red Cross, 84 Malak Cres, Malak

Mon-Fri 9am-4.30pm

Crowded, busy, Expensive prices. Lots of books, DVDs and bric-a-brac.


Anglicare Op Shop – St Peters, Cnr Sabine and Trower Rds, Rapid Creek

Mon – Fri 8.30am to 4.30pm Sat 9am to 2.30pm

Busy and crowded but untidy. There is lots of women’s clothes, some men’s clothes (Dave found a couple of shirts that were perfectly fine for his office job) and heaps of bric-a-brac.


Anglicare Warehouse, 5 Nemarluk Dr, Ludmilla

Mon – Fri 9am to 4.30pm Sat 9am to 2.30pm

Busy!  It’s a warehouse crowded with clothes, sporting gear, books and tonnes of kitchen stuff.  We scored two tennis rackets for $2 each!


Nightcliff Uniting Church Op Shop, 21 Cummins St, Rapid Creek

Friday 4pm to 6.30pm and Saturday 9am to 12pm

A community-based op shop with cheap prices and it’s always really busy.  The store can be a little messy at times but the surroundings are beautiful and they have a little café where you can purchase a coffee and piece of cake. There is plenty of bric-a-brac and women’s clothing, limited menswear, and they even have some free items. Dave picked up a couple of jigsaw puzzles for 50c each and they have a good selection of cookbooks.


Karama Uniting Church Op Shop, 53 Koolinda Crs, Karama

Thursday at 10am to 3pm and Saturday at 9am to 2pm.


Opportunity Knocks Op Shop, 2/69 Aralia Street, Nightcliff

Monday to Friday from at 9am to 2pm and Saturday from 10am to 3pm.


Your love is like a great op shop find.




Winnellie Salvos, 458 Stuart Highway, Winnellie

Mon – Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-3pm

Lovely staff, lots of books and women’s clothing, some furniture. They have plenty of men’s clothes and even fancy dress costumes that you can hire. Dave found a brand new pair of shorts for $8.


NT Secondhand Store, 474 Stuart Hwy, Winnellie

Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm and Sat 9:30am-3pm

Large range of furniture and home electronics. Prices are fair to expensive, but you can haggle them down a little and get some real bargains.


Lifeline Shop, 3/66 Coonawarra Rd, Winnellie

Tue-Fri 10am-4pm and Sat 9am-3pm

Dave’s favourite! Laura behind the counter is super friendly and loves her job. Low to average prices for plenty of women’s clothes and shoes, small range of men’s clothes (but with a wide variety of sizes), lots of books, DVDs and a room full of toys for the kids. Dave picked up several shirts for $5 to $8 each and a pair of almost brand new leather shoes for $5.


Op Shopping



Palmerston Salvos, 17 University Ave, Palmerston

Mon – Fri 9.30am-5.30pm and Sat 9am-2pm

Heaps of women’s and men’s clothes and a few shelves of books.


Palmerston Red Cross, 32 Essington Ave, Grey

Mon-Fri 8:30am-4.30pm, Sat 8:30am-1:30pm

Great selection of women’s clothes, friendly staff, heaps of bags and shoes and probably the cheapest Red Cross in Darwin.


St Vinnies, 3 Rolyat St, Palmerston

Mon-Fri 9am-4pm Sat 9am-12pm

Lots of books, clothes, furniture and bric-a-brac.  The place is very spacious and the staff are lovely.


Palmerston Uniting Church, 3 Bonson Terrace, Palmerston

9.00 am to 12.00 on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month.


Op Shopping


I Love To Op Shop

What’s the best thing you’ve ever found at an op shop?  Do you still have it?  We’d love to hear your story!