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Your guide to the top markets in Cairns

Posted By Leanne On August 28, 2013

Take the Kids to Questacon Your guide to the top markets in Cairns

Heading to Cairns for your next weekend escape? This hidden gem in Tropical North Queensland is one of the most popular family holiday destinations as it's a great jumping-off point for visiting the nearby Great Barrier Reef.

However, what some people may not know is that Cairns itself has a vibrant city atmosphere with busy local markets. If you're travelling to the city for a weekend you'll definitely want to check out what's on offer at the various stalls and locations!

Whether you're just browsing or you have your heart set on snapping up a few choice bargains, there's plenty to see at the Cairns markets - here are our top picks for a great shopping experience during your weekend getaway.

Esplanade Market

The Esplanade Market kicks off every Saturday at 8am and finishes up around 4pm, so you can squeeze in a full day of shopping and still have some time to relax before dinner if you wish.

There's plenty on offer here, as the market showcases local artisans with quality stalls selling contemporary jewellery, woodcraft, leather work, pottery, airbrush tattoos and so much more.

It's the perfect opportunity to pick up a few little gifts for your loved ones or a unique souvenir of your trip to display once you get back home.

Delight your senses at the Australian Perfume Company's stall, pick up some gorgeous jewellery at the Opal Bar or get a glimpse of your future with tarot reader Carolyn Del Villar - the Esplanade Market has a huge range of things to see and do.


"Whether you're just browsing or you have your heart set on snapping up a few choice bargains, there's plenty to see at the Cairns markets - here are our top picks for a great shopping experience during your weekend getaway.


Cairns Night Markets

Every night is market night at the bustling Cairns Night Markets, a unique entertainment and shopping experience that's ideal for an after-dinner activity.

The Cairns Night Markets have a long history, having first been founded in 1991 by Hayden Redfern and Elise Warring, who wanted to bring a regular open air market to the city.

Now, the Night Markets consists of 130 stalls and is permanently based in an air-conditioned centre at the Royal Harbour Hotel.

You can take your pick from food, beauty, fashion, crafts, souvenir stalls and more, and you can even stop by the massage stalls for some traditional Chinese pressure point massages.

If you get peckish for some snacks while you're bargain-hunting, the Night Markets have you covered with a food court that has 13 different food outlets and a 200 seat capacity.

Tanks Arts Centre Markets

Tanks Arts Centre Markets are held on the last Sunday of every month from April to November of this year, bringing together local arts, produce and lifestyle stalls as well as musicians and entertainers for a fun day out.

Located at the Tanks Art Centre in the Cairns Botanic Gardens Precinct, this market is open from 9am - 2pm and best of all, it's all free!

You can sample the local arts and crafts on offer, have a wander through the art gallery or even get the kids involved in a free workshop - it's all happening at the Tanks Arts Centre Markets.

Rusty's Market

Located between Grafton and Sheridan Streets, at Rusty's Market you'll find a wide range of locally grown produce and exotic fruits to make your weekend getaway that extra bit sweeter!

As well as produce, the market also features arts, crafts, novelties and gift ideas so you're sure to find something you love - come on down between 6am - 5pm on a Saturday, and 6am - 3pm on a Sunday.


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