If you're interested in buying something uniquely Australian, try a dead branch from a eucalyptus tree eaten out by termites - commonly known as a didgeridoo. If you're able to grasp the fine skill of didgeridoo playing, you'll have the honour of mastering the world's oldest wind instrument. If you don't have a musical bone in your body, join hundreds of thousands of others and display the instrument on your wall. Aboriginal didgeridoo-makers will walk many kilometres through the bush to find branches left hollow by the voracious creatures. The branches are cleaned and treated. Each didgeridoo is painted with artwork unique to the individual artist and their tribe, then varnished with at least two coats of lacquer. A small ring of beeswax is placed around the mouth piece and - voila! - the didgeridoo is ready. The most expensive didgeridoo at the Didj Shop (149 Koah Road, Kuranda, Queensland, tel: 61 7 4093 7755; www.didj shop.com) costs A$8,550 ($52,000). For the price of a small car, you could be the proud owner of a valuable didgeridoo that depicts the story of the origin of water as told by the Jiddabul tribe. The first consideration when buying a didgeridoo is to make sure it is made from eucalyptus and not any other kind of material. Before buying an instrument ask the merchant how he protects his didgeridoos from splitting. Have a close look for hairline cracks and examine the bottom of the tube; a well-made didgeridoo should have been widened at the end with a chisel. The thickness of the wall should be fairly even and sealed on the inside. If you want to play a didgeridoo choose one of the following beginner's keys: F, F#, E, D#, D, C#, C or B. Didgeridoos differ widely in sound quality. Some sellers will give their instruments flowery descriptions or call them concert-class didgeridoos. You will need to shop-test yours, and don't expect 100 per cent quality from every piece of termite-chomped vegetation. The Tjapukai Gallery in Cairns has a wide range of didgeridoos (see email@example.com ). If you don't want to ship one home, and they can be cumbersome, consider buying a mini-didgeridoo ornament (from A$99) to remind you of your days in Far North Queensland. Tjapukai's top-of-the-range, full-sized model - hand-carved by Winston Gosam of the Jiddabul tribe and costing A$1,699 - has a traditional intricate rainforest design featuring native butterflies. A Noah's Ark of other paint jobs can be found at nearby stockists, costing an average of A$400.