For some of us there is just something about markets that we can’t resist…
Perhaps it’s the anticipation of spotting a bargain, the lovingly handcrafted goods, the smell of freshly roasted beans at the coffee cart or the buzz of hundreds of people searching, buying and selling. If you love markets then a holiday to Tropical North Queensland might be just the ticket.
You can base yourself in Cairns at Rydges Esplanade Resort, Rydges Tradewinds or Rydges Plaza, all just minutes from some of the best market shopping the region has to offer. Here is a list of a few of the most popular markets in Tropical North Queensland:
Cairns Night Market:
Located on the Cairns Esplanade the Night Market started as a temporary open air market in 1991 and has flourished into a 7 nights a week, permanent air-conditioned centre housing 130 stalls. The Cairns Night Markets are within easy walking distance of all Rydges Hotels in Cairns and specialize in North Queensland souvenirs. There is also a 200 seat food court with 13 food outlets offering cheap and cheerful meals.
The iconic Rusty’s Markets has been offering fresh produce, fashion and flora since 1975 and has grown into a three-day event each week. Renown for its carnival atmosphere and colourful stallholders, Rusty’s boats over 180 stalls featuring exotic fruit, vegetables, and flowers, sumptuous delicatessens with fresh breads, diary, and seafood, a host of international food and beverage stalls, an abundance of bric-a-brac and specialty products including; clothing, jewellery, coffee, and chocolate. Rusty’s is open every Friday & Saturday from 5.00am to 6.00pm and Sunday 5.00am to 3.00pm.
The Tanks Art Centre Market:
The Tanks Arts Centre located at the Flecker Botanical Gardens hold Sunday Markets on the last Sunday every month between April and November each year. The markets showcase a range of local arts and crafts, fresh produce, natural health products, collectables, and vintage clothing.
Set amid the lush, tropical surrounds of the Botanical Gardens with live entertainment, workshops and art exhibitions, the markets showcase the unique culture and life of the tropics. This free event from 9.00am to 2.00pm is a family friendly and relaxing way to enjoy a Sunday morning.
Kuranda Heritage Market & Kuranda Original Market:
Kuranda Village is famous for its markets and the Kuranda Heritage Market and the Kuranda Original Rainforest Market are two of the best in the region, nestled in beautiful tropical rainforest. Both markets are open daily and easily accessible by car from Cairns or why not make a day of it and take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway or the Kuranda Scenic Train!
The quaint Original Market is a maze of small lanes meandering down the slope where you can spend hours perusing the locally designed arts, crafts, produce, unique cafes and fashion. While the Heritage Market offers an all-weather covered market displaying locally produced souvenirs, arts and crafts and clothing. The Heritage Market also features native wildlife attractions; Koala Gardens & Birdworld.
Port Douglas Sunday Market:
Every Sunday between 8.00am and 1.30pm at Market Park at Port Douglas comes alive with the locally famous Port Douglas Market. Located one hour drive North of Cairns, its picturesque location between the inlet and Warf Street provide a beautiful backdrop of the mountain ranges and Coral Sea. The market has been running for almost 20 years and since 1998 has been run as a ‘Cotters Market’ ensuring that all goods on offer are made by the stallholder or their immediate family – perfect for an authentic souvenir of your Tropical North Queensland holiday.