As a region we are market enthusiasts, and always on the lookout for the next best find and excuse for a roady. To make things a little easier, we've compiled the Tropic Now guide series to breakdown the who, when, where of some of the region's most popular markets.
So grab your reusable shopping bags and join us on a journey to explore the region's bustling market scene. Let's kick it off with Cairns. And if you're looking to go further afield, stay tuned for our guides to markets down South, up North, and on the Tablelands.
Fri to Sun // 57-89 Grafton Street
Every weekend everyone flocks to Rusty's with the sights, sounds, and smells of dozens of stalls selling everything from tropical fruits and vegetables to exotic meats and seafood. Not just a place to buy fresh produce and unique products, it's a cultural experience that reflects the diverse community of Cairns.
Open daily // 54-60 Abbott Street
Cairns Night Markets offer a unique shopping and dining experience, with a wide selection of street food, live entertainment, and handcrafted souvenirs. Open every night, it's a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and you can't go past a $25 massage.
First Saturday of the month, Feb to Dec // Norman Park
A charming local market located in the heart of Gordonvale, featuring a variety of stalls offering fresh produce, locally made crafts, and handmade goods. You're also likely to catch some live music and entertainment, and a taste of the local culture and community.
Last Sunday of the month, Apr to Nov // Cairns Botanic Gardens
The Tanks markets are often a local favourite, offering up a great range of locally made creations such as art, crafts, jewellery, and clothing. Plus, there's always great coffee and food up for grabs, often supported by live music and glorious sunshine peaking through the trees.
First Sunday of the month, Mar to Dec // 106 Barnard Drive
A vibrant monthly market in Mount Sheridan, offering a range of stalls selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, and more. This one is great for children, with face painting often an occurrence.
Third Sunday of the month, Feb to Dec // 1 Pier Point Road
With its beautiful setting and eclectic mix of stalls, it's an ideal stop for those looking to supplement their morning brekkie or walk along the wharf. Often offering children's activities, it's a great option for families.
Third Saturday of the month, Feb to Dec // Clifton Village Shopping Centre
Held in the seaside burb of Clifton Beach, visitors can enjoy a range of stalls selling fresh produce, crafts, and clothing, as well as local food and drinks. A great excuse to hit the beach and browse the stalls.
Sundays, Apr to Dec // Casuarina Street
A haven for crafty creations and local goods, the market also often has secondhand clothing, food stalls, jewellery, you name it. Located just up from the waters edge, it's a prime spot to wander the dunes and browsing the stalls.
Alternating Fridays bimonthly, Apr to Dec // Xavier Herbert Park
Run by the Redlynch Valley Community Group, these markets are heavy on the community support, and offer a great way for locals in the area to get involved in their immediate community. The group also organises the Twilight Markets, also with the usual variety of products, food stalls, and live music.
First Sunday of the month, Apr to Dec // Williams Esplanade
A lush market experience, it's easy to get swept up in that coastal northern lifestyle. The Palm Cove markets offer a relaxed vibe for visitors to enjoy while browsing the stalls and taking in the famous views. Up for grabs are a range of local crafts, jewellery, clothing, fresh produce, and food stalls.