Visit any city or country town on a Saturday or Sunday and you are bound to come across an an open air market of some sort. Sometimes you will even find them on during the week or of an evening. Spending a morning at a local Art, Craft and Farmers Markets ticks a lot of boxes for me. They can be a great place to purchase a souvenir of your trip or stock up on your fresh produce for the week.
Since we moved house a few weeks ago I have rediscovered my local Farmers Market here on the Gold Coast. I have enjoyed heading out early on a Saturday morning to grab some fresh produce. Most markets offer plenty of food stalls and there is always fresh coffee available. Often you will find a nice little sweet treat like the Lemon and Coconut Slice that my favourite vendor Sweelicious makes.
Entertainment is often a part of local markets and mine are no exception. The last couple of weeks I have seen a duo who were singing Colombian folk songs. I also saw a jazz/blues duo who sounded like they could have come straight off the streets of New Orleans.
In our travels I have come across some great markets that I can highly recommend.
Here are my top 4 picks.
Mindil Beach Sunset Market, Darwin,NT
Even though it has been 20 years since I visited Darwin, I have fabulous memories of Mindil Beach Markets. As the name suggests, these markets are located along the popular Mindil Beach. These markets are a huge mix of craft and food stalls. In fact, I think it is safe to say, that whatever cuisine you want to sample you will be able to find it at Mindil Beach. The added bonus of these markets is that Mindil Beach is THE place to watch the sunset over the water. A truly spectacular sight with the most vivid colours you will ever see.
Byron Bay Markets, Byron Bay, NSW
Byron Bay on the north coast of NSW is arguably one of the most popular tourist destinations in NSW so it is no wonder that these local markets are so popular. Held at the Butler Street Reserve on the 1st Sunday of every month, these markets have a little bit of everything – from food right through to clothing and arts and craft. The secret is to get there early so you can actually find somewhere to park! If you are staying locally though it is an easy stroll from the centre of town. If you don’t happen to be in town on the first Sunday of the month there are plenty of other markets around the local area within easy driving distance. Bangalow and The Channon are both great as well.
Eumundi Markets, Sunshine Coast, Qld
A trip to the Sunshine Coast would not be complete without a visit to the iconic Eumundi Markets. Held each Wednesday and Saturday they are extremely popular, which is no surprise considering the huge array of goods for sale. You can literally spend the whole morning wandering around these markets. The markets were started in 1979 with just three stalls and has grown to over 600 stalls, with annual visitor rates in excess of 1.6 million people. There are loads of food stalls, art, craft and fresh produce available.
Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets
The Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets are held every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights starting at 4pm. They are a great way to spend a couple of hours browsing the many stalls. Plus the added bonus is that you have a fantastic view of Surfers Paradise Beach while you are there. You will be sure to find a unique souvenir of your visit to the coast and when you’re done browsing, it’s only a short walk over the road to the many restaurants in Cavill Mall for dinner.