The Gold Coast offers a wide variety of markets that are guaranteed to please. Gold Coast markets offer residents the chance to purchase food directly from farmers and producers, to experience our growing arts culture, and to spend social time with family and friends.
“Besides produce, farmers’ and producers’ markets allow families to buy from a diverse field of cuisines,” one of the market managers tells us. “Everyone is happy because a family can dine together with everyone choosing what they want to eat.”
Whether it’s organic produce that you can’t live without, incredible street food that will make your tastebuds dance or unique handmade artisan creations that you just need to own, the following ‘must do’ Gold Coast markets are sure to please.
Art & Craft Markets
Broadbeach: Old Burleigh Road, Kurrawa Park. 1st & 3rd Sundays of every month, 8am – 2pm.
Burleigh: The Esplanade opposite 1st – 3rd Ave., Burleigh Heads. Last Sunday of every month, 8am – 2pm.
Coolangatta: off Marine Parade, Coolangatta. 2nd Sunday of every month, 8am – 2pm.
Local residents may be tempted to overlook their local art and craft markets, but they really shouldn’t. In fact, they’re some of the most diverse markets on the coast, with stalls featuring lots of unique handmade goods. All three of these markets are held beachside along the grassy verge between the shops and the beach, making them our most picturesque markets.
Children play on the jumping castle, owners walk their dogs, and families and couples intermingle, browsing in a relaxed atmosphere. At the Broadbeach market, we see handmade toys, jewellery, leather bags, clothing and beachwear, bonsai, honey and other produce. There is also a good supply of food including Dazarro BBQ, Dan’s Dim Sim (which I pick up for breakfast) and sweet treats such as poffertjes, churros and CrêParis’ crêpes.
What really catches my eye are a couple of photography stalls: Peter Bate, who documents his travels through France and Italy (his canvas prints are also available at the Coolangatta markets) and Peter Stagg, whose ‘beach portrait’ stall has been a stayer since this market first opened twenty years ago.
“The market is my shopfront,” Peter tells us, as we stand together looking over the beach. “My photojournalistic style is best suited to photographing people, and I love photographing on the beach.”
Each one of his photos holds a story all its own. Waves pound onto the sand just beyond us – such a beautiful setting to tell a story.
Bundall Farmers Markets
Gold Coast Arts Centre, Bundall. Every Sunday, 6am-11am in summer; 7am – 12noon in winter.
The move to the Gold Coast Arts Centre has been a good one for these markets. Bundall Farmers’ Markets spreads out from the lobby to the lake, stalls of fresh produce and gourmet delights brimming with vegetables and fruit straight from growers, fresh meat and fish, specialty foods, olives, cakes and slices, baked goods and bread, smallgoods, dips and biscuits, jams and pickles, and other gourmet delights as well as a few organic beauty products.
There is plenty of parking close by, and extra seating on the Arts Centre portico as well as around the back behind the Arts Café. It’s trolley heaven, with a mixed clientele of shoppers, from young families to retired couples. Like many families, we make market shopping a Sunday family excursion, stopping to chat to stall holders or friends. We grab a coffee from Kubil’s and linger over gozleme, bagels, sausages or gyoza for breakfast in the undercover area, dining to the sounds of live music. This is the closest many of us city dwellers get to the holistic ideal of buying produce direct from the producer or grower. Note that in summer the markets open and close an hour earlier than in winter.
Burleigh Farmers Markets
Burleigh Heads State School, Burleigh Heads. Every Saturday, 7am-12 noon.
Besides fruit and veg, Burleigh Heads Farmers’ Markets offer a different blend of produce and wares to other markets. There are gourmet foods and deli items, artisan bread and pasta, meat and fish, fresh flowers and plants, as well as handmade crafts and clothing, collectibles and some bric-a-brac.
There’s a good range of authentic global food to choose for a quick meal or takeaway: handmade gyoza without MSG (fantastic!), fabulously thin gozleme (from Gozleme World) served with carrot dip and hummus, German bratwurst from the Kransky Brothers, raw desserts, fruit-filled frozen yoghurt as well as coffee…to name a few.
Best of all, we love the organic section of the market, including organic coffee, plants, and vegetables. The markets are set on a grassy flat on the school grounds, flowing into undercover areas of the school, giving it a country feel right in the middle of a beach suburb. With plenty of seating and lots of free parking on the oval beside the markets, it’s a great way to begin the weekend; a real social occasion.
Corner Gooding Drive and Manchester Road, Carrara. Every Saturday & Sunday, 7am – 4pm.
The largest permanent market in Queensland with over 400 stalls, the Carrara Markets is open every weekend over two days. Haven to the fabulous and flimsy, the terrific and the tacky, you can buy anything from bedside lamps to carpets, from paintings to tools, from clothing to kitchenware and plants to trinkets. Whether you’re a tourist looking for trinkets or locals picking up some plants for the garden, you’ll find treasure (as well as a bit of trash) at Carrara, be it handmade, imported and second-hand.
The food department covers produce, pantry items and multicultural food to go. After all, someone has to feed the market goers as well as the stallholders every weekend! Apart from a fair range of vegies (some the cheapest on the coast), there are providores (such as Carrara Spices, Backa Smallgoods and Taswegian Deli) and food to go – ChurroCafe, Fingers and Bones, Idospices, and the very popular Silo Café, whose excellent coffee and retro sized serves are great tummy fillers.
“It’s all very relaxed here,” Carrara bakery owner Wayne tells me, and it seems that way, with sellers chatting to locals and cracking jokes. Everything’s in Wayne’s shop is made from scratch and baked on site, which brings enough return customers to buy 50 dozen pies on a winter weekend. Now that’s a lot of tummies filled! “Every weekend day at 2pm we reduce everything to half price,” Wayne tells me. That’s a great tip for a weekend lunch!
Emerald Lakes Gourmet Food and Craft Markets
The Boulevard, Carrara. Open 3pm to 7pm every Thursday.
When we’re going away for the weekend, Emerald Lakes Market is one of those quiet little markets we can pop into on the way home, pick up a few fruit and veg to tide us over and grab a quick meal for a tenner each and we’re on our way! With delicious French cheese for sale from Le Fromage Yard, pizza, crêpes, French patisserie, Thai food, meat and hot and cold seafood as well as fresh produce, all the bases are covered. You can not only do your late night shopping so you can have your weekends free and have dinner in the same outing, you can also take your dog for a walk.
“Many people who live here have a small dog,” market manager Terri tells me, “so a pet-friendly market makes a lot of sense.” Fortunately, the owners have their dogs well trained. The market is spotless!
Gold Coast Design Collective Markets
Coolangatta State School, Open 8am – 2pm, 4th Sunday of the month
Want to check out undiscovered design talent on the coast? Then these are markets we can recommend. Run by the Gold Coast Design Collective, it’s a nursery for budding artists, designers and creators. Jewellery, clothing, homewares, handmade cards and stationery, children’s clothing and giftware… there were lots of stalls holding that special gift for just the right person. Some artwork is complete, such as Holly from 2H Artistry’s magnificent airbrushed surfboards, while others, like ChalkO’s shabby chic distressed paint and instructions, allow you to create your own upcycled arthouse furniture. We pick up some hand painted lead-free crystal glasses from Kel Hinds Art, lust after Claudiaeve Designs’ floral cushions and deckchairs, and check out the Burleigh Roadsters’ Tiki Hut wares. (If we knew someone setting up a tiki bar, the set of six shot glasses would be just the thing!) When we visited, there were a number of food stalls set up around the stage, The Dapper and Chic a new one to us, serving Beer battered king prawns in Cajun spice, and Baton Rouge pork slow-cooked in bourbon stuffed into a baguette. Oh yum!
Gold Coast Organic Farmers Market
Miami State High School, 2137 – 2205 Gold Coast Highway, Miami. Every Sunday 6am – 11.30am.
Leave your mobile phone at home, relax, and join the growing number of Gold Coasters who enjoy an organic shopping experience every Sunday, 6am – 11.30am.
The Organic Gold Coast Farmers Market is the only market where all produce is guaranteed certified organically grown. Produce includes fresh and dried herbs, heritage vegetables and seedlings such as kale, dandelion greens and daikon radish, sourdough breads, organic lifestyle and skincare products, safe cleaning products, honey, eggs and nut products.
Held under tents on the oval and car park area of Miami High School, this market is growing in both size and popularity, with patrons travelling from all over the Coast to buy fresh, nutritious produce, straight from the farm.
Helensvale Farmers Markets
Helensvale State High School, Helensvale Road, Helensvale. Every Saturday, 6am -11.30am.
Although completely shaded by canopies, it’s best to visit Helensvale Markets early during the summer months. Held on the basketball courts at Helensvale State High School, this market is well worth a visit because of the stalls which are only located at this market.
Miami Marketta Street Food
23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami. Wednesday Tapas Club 5pm – 9pm; Street Food Market Friday 5pm – 10pm & Saturday 4pm – 10pm.
There’s a real family feel happening in this now twice-weekly Street Food Market (Friday and Saturday nights). Situated in the laneway running through the arts precinct of the Marketta, the event is part street food market, part pop up, part festival of food, part permanent craft and clothing stalls, part live music event. Street food is trendy, and judging by the turnout and crowd enthusiasm, you could have mistaken it for an annual foodie event in a very hungry town.
Celebrating our ‘United Nations’ of food French, Hungarian, Mexican, Turkish, Spanish, Indian, Thai, Brazilian, Venezualan, Japanese, German, Italian…it’s all there. Much of it is traditional regional street food, the noteworthy difference being the venue – a clean environment and rubbish bins, rather than the dirty litter-laden thoroughfares of many world cities. There’s a good range for vegetarian, vegan, and omnivore palates, with an emphasis on healthy, alternative and regional world cuisine. Some of it we’ve seen before, but it’s a great mix of familiar vendors and newcomers, throwing in a few stalls run by local restaurants. Quell the beast at The Hungry Hungarian or Double T for tacos and tortillas. Vegans dwell in the Hungry Belly, have a Veggie Attack or dip into one of the raw food stalls. There’s an eclectic mix of woodfired pizza, gozleme, arepas, pad thai, quesadillas, sushi and gyoza, kransky, world burgers, even soft shell crab from Fingers and Bones! Let’s not forget sweets, located in the dessert hall! With seating for 450 and two bars to cater for thirsty patrons, this is casual dining heaven for everyone! Our favourite dining time is early enough to avoid the queues…Love it!
Mudgeeraba Markets Shopping Centre Markets
Mudgeeraba Markets Shopping Centre, Swan Lane, Mudgeeraba. Every Friday – Sunday 8am – 2pm.
Mudgeeraba has a real village feel which we love. It’s small enough to band together, yet large enough to enjoy some great facilities. The Mudgeeraba Markets is held inside the local shopping centre over three days on the weekend. Already a welcoming, plant clad space, the courtyard comes alive when local growers sell their produce to the public (organic and fresh local on Friday and Saturday, organic on Sunday).
“The tomatoes sold here have never seen the inside of a cool room. They taste so sweet you’d believe you were eating sweets,” Lesley, one of the market managers, tells us. We’re converts!
Nerang Produce & Craft Markets
Lavelle Street, Nerang. Sunday 7am – 12 noon every Sunday.
The Nerang Markets in Lavelle Street is a local favourite. We love the fact that it’s compact and clean, held in a closed off street, with plenty of parking in nearby streets. This is a mixed market with lots of fruit and vegetable sellers, some of whom are farmers, some specialty stalls with retailers selling seafood, meat, jams, cakes and breads, nuts and olives. There’s a fair sprinkling of organic produce, however it’s not the main focus of the markets. There’s also a small range of handicrafts and clothing available.
For breakfast, we tucked into a Brockwurst sausage and sauerkraut on a roll from German Sausages and a Banoffee Crepe from Magique Mouthfuls, checked out spices and nuts for sale and the stall of intriguing Turkish cuisine. Simply scrumptious! Eat as you shop or just enjoy a stroll up the stall-lined street. You’ll catch up with friends and make some new ones in this family atmosphere.
Palm Beach Farmers Markets
Palm Beach Currumbin State High School, Thrower Drive, Palm Beach. Every Saturday 6am – 11am (Summer); 6am – 12 noon (Winter).
Palm Beach Farmers’ Markets is one of the most popular and easily manoeuvrable markets on the Gold Coast. Set in the school quadrangle of PBC, it’s arranged in an open square, with some stalls in the middle. There are about 80 stalls that carry a great range of fruit and veg, gourmet deli goods, ethnic specialty foods, dried fruit, cakes and pastries, gelato, donuts and bread, meat and seafood, gourmet sausages, as well as food suitable for either breakfast or lunch.
This market is popular with old and young alike, with many people buying breakfast to be enjoyed on seating under the shade of several Poinciana trees. Our tip is to shop early, as parking in the nearby streets can be tight.
The Village Green, Currumbin Bird Sanctuary, Currumbin. Every Friday 4:00pm – 9:00pm.
Every Friday night the Currumbin Bird Sanctuary Village Green is filled with street food from Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, South Africa, Chile, India, Italy, Turkey and Greece. Fresh fruit and vegies are for sale in the spacious car park, arts and crafts stalls are housed inside, along with a bar stocking local craft beers from Burleigh Brewing and wines from Sirromet.
The market has enjoyed a strong following since opening. When we visited recently, the Sanctuary’s veranda was packed with local families enjoying the live music. Some tourists, exiting the wildlife sanctuary at the end of their day, could also be seen stopping at market stalls to buy meals and fruit.
We met as an extended family, each one having our own food preferences – vegans, gluten intolerants, dairy-free – yet everyone found interesting food which pleased them: Vietnamese bowl food, dim sum, pizza and sweets, with many more choices left to try another time. It’s an affordable night out for families, a place to socialise and meet friends and enjoy live entertainment with food to please every palate.
Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets
The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise. Every Wednesday, Friday & Sunday night 4pm – 8pm. 5pm – 10pm September to April; 4pm – 9pm May to August.
During late afternoon and early evening, The Esplanade along the beach becomes a hive of activity when a hundred or so colourful stalls set up for the Beachfront Markets. We find it interesting to take a stroll along the foreshore to check out the microcosm of life on the strip with a spot of crowd watching, to watch street performers such as Silver Steve (who’s busy doing nothing, literally), teens playing volleyball on the beach or tourists enjoying sand between their toes for the first time.
While we’re there, we wander the stalls investigating new gizmos and gadgets, unique products and paraphernalia, buying presents for relatives overseas. The wares on sale are fairly touristy, carrying goods such as jewellery, home wares, fashion, beauty products and Gold Coast oriented tourist wares. While some of the goods are made elsewhere, the emphasis is on locally made or produced. We especially love the seashore-inspired jewellery and the beautiful metal-mounted photographs of Surfers Paradise by Geoff Edwards. Take a pleasant evening stroll with your family and dine along the foreshore while you’re there.
The Village Markets (TVM), Burleigh Heads
The Village Markets, Burleigh Heads State School, 1750 Lower Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads. 1st & 3rd Sunday of each month, 8am -1pm.
The Village Markets, Paradise Point Park, Cnr. The Esplanade & Ephraim Island Parade, Paradise Point. 4th Sunday of each month, 8am – 1pm.
We always love visiting the Gold Coast’s original boutique creative markets, The Village Markets, because there’s a surprise around every corner.
On our last visit to TVM Burleigh there was an abundance of food trucks and stalls – tons to eat and lots of handmade creative goodies for sale from up-and-coming designers. With the market’s emphasis on creative/artistic, you can pick up a special handmade gift or piece of clothing here that has not been seen elsewhere on the coast.
Started by Gold Coast entrepreneurs Marissa Bowden and Sarah Schoeller after both were made redundant from marketing jobs in the lead up to the GFC, TVM now has well over 100 stalls. There’s a great mix of arts, creatives, clothing, jewellery, cushions and candles, live music and gourmet food – a unique market that’s been a launching pad for so much creative talent!
Although the Paradise Point TVM is smaller than Burleigh, it’s a great idea to combine a visit to the market with lunch in this beachy suburb.