Steer clear of department stores and don’t ‘add to cart’. Keep your gift buying cool, considered and local by going to market.
We’re spoiled in Australia for a lot of things. Beaches, walks, animals, people – and yes, as per the point of this article, markets.
No matter where you are in the country, there’s a design market for you. Here are our picks…
QLD & NSW
More than 1,200 independent makers sell their wares at these biannual markets. Accompanied by live music and local food, the shopping here is stylish, creative and filled with one-of-a-kind finds. Melbourne has wrapped up for the year but can catch Brisbane’s market at The Showgrounds and Sydney’s at Barangaroo.
An insanely popular market, Gilles at the Grounds has been an Adelaide staple for over a decade.
Like many markets, this initiative encourages ethical fashion, through encouraging the purchasing of pre-loved goods, and reducing the negative effects of ‘fast fashion’.
Shopping is not always as fun by yourself, so why not bring your four-legged friend for a day out also? Gilles at the Grounds is a dog-friendly marketplace – as long as your pooch is well-behaved!
Merrrrry Niche-Mas! Quality Tasmanian Makers’ markets are a local institution and their European-style Christmas version lights up both Launceston’s Albert Hall and Burnie’s Arts & Function Centre (7 December) with the sparkle of fairy lights and A fifth of all sales going to Tasmanian children’s disability service, StGiles.
Three glorious shopping days, 50 of the west’s best designers and creators, DJs, a bar and the lovely expanse of Fremantle arts centre’s front lawn to wander.
Savvy market-goers may want to hit the stalls early in the weekend (6–8 December), so there is an evening session on the Friday to kick things off. think sculpture, timber items, uniquely crafted jewellery and limited-run fashion.
Big by name, big by nature. With more than 250 stallholders, this three-day event at the Royal Exhibition Building is the kind of operation you don’t want to miss if you want to knock off all your holiday shopping in one go. Gird your loins, Melburnians, and get ready for designer showbags and gourmet food, too (and there are free kids’ activities to ensure minimum tantrum time).
6. Round She Goes
SA, VIC AND NSW
Occurring only three times a year, Round She Goes is one of Adelaide’s biggest fashion markets, specialising in pre-loved fashion.
Sydney and Melbourne residents may be familiar with Round She Goes, as the markets come to them three times a year also.
For just $2 entry, Round She Goes promises a bargain and vintage treasures that will transform your wardrobe. And with over 50 stalls to choose from, marketgoers have a plethora of options to choose from.
Super-cool design markets and low-key community crafting have always been Canberra’s best secret for travellers in the know. Part of Design Canberra Festival, this one is run by the Curatoreum, the much-loved store within the National Portrait Gallery. Running in November, you’ll find art books, giftware and original pieces for your family and friends.
8. MoMa Market
Tassie’s much-loved Museum of Old and New Art thrives on controversy and its weekend markets are no different.
Launched late 2011, the market featured the sale of conversation-stirring ‘lady cakes’ and an unadvertised performance by American musical duo, the Dresden Dolls.
Since then, live music, foodie ‘how to’ workshops and a Minnie Mouse snake monster tent by New York artist Daphane Park have all made their presence felt; stallholders are required to undergo a fairly rigorous assessment process before their creations can be sold.