When people think of the ‘Gee Cee’ they think beaches. Theme Parks. High rises. While these tourist attractions are certainly appealing… the real ‘Gold Coast’ can only be discovered by meeting it’s locals, sampling it’s produce and understanding it’s culture. Which is why the markets are a great place to start exploring this seaside city. So that's exactly what I did.
Come with me as I visit the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets, Miami Marketta and the Village Markets.
As for the rest of the markets, here's my top ten!
Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets Where: The Esplanade Surfers Paradise When: Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights Time: 5pm to 10pm (September to April) 4pm to 9pm (May to August)These markets are the largest on the Coast, in arguably the most idyllic location. Set along the stunning Surfers Paradise shoreline, pictures of this stretch of sand are seen around the world. It’s a great place for an evening stroll or someone searching for take-home souvenirs.Gold Coast Turf Club Farmers' Market Where: Gold Coast Turf Club, Racecourse Drive, Bundall When: Every Sunday Time: 6am to 11.30amBright and early every Sunday, Gold Coasters grab their fresh food basket and head to the turf club. With everything from locally produced fruit and vegetables, to meats, seafood, home made breads and coffee - it’s the perfect recipe for a relaxed Sunday morning.
Marketta Street Food
Where: Rabbit + Cocoon, 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami When: Every Saturday night Time: 4pm to 10pm
You could be mistaken for thinking you were in the back streets of Thailand, Barcelona or even New York City at the ultra-hip Marketta Street Food; as local food-stores serve up a mix of international cuisines.
Despite the multi-cultural flavour, there's a real local flair - with locally brewed beer, produce and entertainment. In fact, this night-market has become so popular that it's gone from a ‘weekend-treat' to a 'mid-week meet' - opening both Friday and Saturday nights, as well as on Wednesday for tapas.
Miami Marketta Arts Creative
Where: Rabbit + Cocoon, 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami When: Twice a month - the second and fourth Friday Time: 5pm to 10pm
Same time, same place (as Marketta Street Food) - but twice a month Miami’s Marketta takes a slightly different feel. As Gold Coast’s most talented designers and artists utilise the Arts Creative to showcase their stuff. While food isn’t the focus, there’s still some fabulous finds.
Marina Mirage Farmers Markets
Where: Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach When: Every Saturday undercover Time: 7am to 11am
Not as large as some other Farmers Markets on the Coast, the Marina Mirage Markets still offer locals and visitors the opportunity to pick up some locally-produced goods. It’s also a great excuse to catch up with friends and indulge in breakfast at the centre afterwards.
The Village Markets
Where: Burleigh Heads State School When: 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month Time: 8.30am to 1pm or Where: The Esplanade Parklands, Paradise Point When: 4th Sunday of the month Time: 8am to 1pm
Since its founding in 2008, The Village Markets has become a local favourite; even being named the ‘Gold Coast's Best Market in 2015’ according to the Bulletin. It has everything from men and women's fashion, to vintage clothing, high quality pop-up shops and handcrafted furniture - all created by the Coast’s best emerging designers. If you’re searching for that special ‘one-off’ you’ll most likely find it here!
Chinatown Street Markets
Where: Young and Davenport Streets, Southport When: 1st Saturday of the month Time: 4pm - 10pm
Only new to Southport, the Chinatown Street Markets are great for those living on the northern-end of the Coast. It can best described as an, ‘international food festival with a local flavour’; providing cultural displays and local entertainment. Each month it continues to grow as more people discover it!
Where: Gooding Drive, Carrara When: Every Saturday and Sunday Time: 7am to 4pm (Saturday and Sunday)
For more than 30-years, the Cararra Markets have been a permanent fixture within the Gold Coast shopping scene. With more than 400 stalls, kids entertainment and shows it’s a full-family day out. This is one for the kids Sanctuary Markets
Where: The Village Green, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary When: Every Friday night Time: 4pm to 9pm
This is one for the whole family! With a strong focus on local and international foods, families love the Sanctuary Markets for it’s setting amongst some of the Coast’s cutest and craziest creatures. Boasting the best in local entertainment, it’s a fun Friday night for all.