One thing travelers sometimes forget to take part in is local lifestyle and it’s a component of the Australian world that really can’t afford to be missed. One of the benefits of living in a warm climate is taking advantage of being outdoors so, rather than being trapped in shopping malls blasted with recycled air, Aussies love to do their shopping on Saturday and Sunday mornings outside at open air markets. Brisbane is home to some really fantastic ones with super friendly locals, farmers, artists, musicians and most importantly chefs! As with all markets, these start bright and early. As they say, the early bird gets the worm as some stands tend to run out of products pretty early. However, that being said, those stands that have lots leftover towards closing time will often give massive discounts and if you’re super friendly and lucky, you might even find a freebie or two!
Off-Beat and Alternative:
West End Green Flea Community Market:
Set under the shade of the fig trees, follow this long and winding walkway through stalls of international food, clothing, recycled items, and arts and crafts. Because of the neighborhood, these markets tend to get a more eclectic crowd and therefore have more interesting and exciting stands and finds, as well as the best people watching markets can handle.
Where: Davis Park
Corner of Montague St. & Jane St., West End
When: Every Saturday
Less of a specialty market than a place for people to sell their goods whether it be farmers or artisans. You’re sure to find plenty of variety here in both the people and the merchants as there are over 300 stalls at this location each and every week!
Where: Old Cleveland Road, Chandler
When: Every Sunday
Rocklea Brisbane Market:
These markets are best known for their produce as many stands sell organic and ridiculously fresh fruits and vegetables all locally grown. The stalls are clustered according to category so you don’t have to worry about walking ahead to find the best deal as the competition tends to all be within view. The breakfasts here tend to be a bit on the healthier side compared to other markets and there are plenty of other stands with pastries, sweets and meats as well.
Where: 250 Sherwood Rd, Rocklea
When: Every Saturday
The JanPowers Farmers Markets:
These markets focus on food and drink and have everything from farmers to specialty chefs and cooking classes. The stalls range from butcher’s meat and local breads to crazy cupcakes and a German smokehouse. As for the demographic of sellers they advertise that “80% of this market features Farm families from all over the State, 10% are local artisans and creative providores researching their new products [and] 10% are gifted buskers, performers or experts with good food to drink or eat on the spot.” They run four markets at varying times and locations so you’re always sure to catch at least one of them even if you’re in Brisbane for only a few days.
The JanPowers Market family includes the following:
Mitchelton Farmers Market:
Where: Blackwood St, Mitchelton
Between Samford Rd. and the train station
When: 1st Sunday of the month
Where: The Brisbane Powerhouse
119 Lamington St, New Farm
When: Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month
Manly Fresh Food Markets:
Where: Manly Esplanade, Manly
Between Cambridge and Cardigan Parades
When: Every 3rd Saturday of the month
Queen St. Market:
Where: Queen St. Mall, Bridge End
When: Every Wednesday
Clothing and Art:
The Boutique Markets:
Formerly known as The Designer’s Emporium, the Boutique Markets have stands of all sorts of artistic backgrounds including well-established clothing designers, painters, sculptors, craftsmen, jewelry makers and others. The vendors are locally based and most of the items are handmade luxuries. This market is a perfect place to pick up gifts for friends and family back home, or even for yourself.
Where: Portside Wharf
39 Hercules St, Hamilton
When: Every second Sunday of the month,
These are just some of the many markets that Brisbane has to offer. There are many others within the city itself and dozens of open-air markets in the surrounding more rural areas of Queenstown that are certainly worth looking into.