Whether you’re after some fresh fruit and veg for your holiday home, a souvenir to remember your travels or a tasty bite from a local food vendor, try your luck at these best Townsville markets.
Shopping at Townsville’s markets is a win-win: it’s practical and fun at the same time. Find one-of-a-kind North Queensland souvenirs to take home, meet local creatives and farmers and listen to their stories, sample produce and delicacies grown and made in the region, enjoy live music and performances by local artists, all while supporting small businesses.
1. Cotters Market, Flinders Street
No matter what you’re looking for – a handwoven basket? A fresh bunch of blooms? Local honey in bulk? – you’ll likely find it at North Queensland’s largest market. Held in Flinders Street, in the heart of Townsville’s CBD, Cotters Market is a fun-filled morning out, with a diverse collection of more than 150 vendors, live entertainment, fresh produce, food trucks to feed rumbling tummies and a host of free events such as yoga and fitness classes, wildlife presentations, Q&As and more.
When: Every Sunday, 8am – 1pm
2. Willows Sunday Markets, Willows Shopping Centre Carpark
This bustling farmers’ market is a short drive from the CBD, with its stallholders touting locally grown fruit and veggies, as well as handmade preserves and food, for 20 years. Handmade arts and crafts, clothing, homewares, and an assortment of other treasures, make up the 100-plus stalls. It’s a great place to stock up on fresh produce if you’re staying in a holiday rental, then grab a coffee, browse the goods and enjoy some live entertainment.
When: Every Sunday, 7:30am – 11:30am
3. Strand Night Markets, Strand Park
Townsville’s balmy evenings are best spent on The Strand, the city’s waterfront promenade dotted with cafes, bars, and kids’ playgrounds. On the first Friday of every month, The Strand Park (pictured above) becomes a shopping and entertainment hub too, with lively night markets. Shop for locally made souvenirs and gifts, grab a bite to eat at one of the food trucks and relax under a darkening sky as you listen to live music from local acts.
When: First Friday of each month, 5pm – 9:30pm
4. Magnetic Island Markets, Horseshoe Bay Foreshore
A visit to beautiful Magnetic Island isn’t complete without a jaunt to Horseshoe Bay. If you’re here on a Sunday – or staying a few days over a weekend – you’ll find this leafy foreshore bustling with stallholders and shoppers for its weekly market. Under the shade of palms and sheoak trees, just steps from the tranquil waters of this favourite beach, Magnetic Island Markets comprises locally made arts and craft, jewellery, fashion, homewares and food vendors, and live music by local musicians.
When: Every Sunday, 9am – 2pm
5. Blak Art Markets, various locations
Held by Big Eye Theatre – a small community-based performing arts organisation, which promotes First Nations stories and artists – Blak Art Markets is a unique market showcasing authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts. Held at different locations every weekend, market-goers have the opportunity to buy genuine Aboriginal art, meet the artists themselves and listen to their stories first-hand, as well as enjoy cultural performances, dance and workshops, all while supporting the local indigenous community.
When: Check Facebook page for upcoming dates and locations
6. Renegade Handmade, Currajong School Hall
Forget mass-made trinkets: this boutique market is filled with authentic North Queensland souvenirs to remember your Townsville travels. Held on the second Sunday of each month, just 10 minutes from the city, Renegade Handmade is made up of just 60 stalls run by local creatives selling handmade products. Think clothing in bright, poppy fabrics, pottery, hand-painted accessories, original artworks and more.
When: Second Sunday of each month, 8am – 1pm
7. Bushland Beach Markets, Bushland Beach
Twenty-five minutes from Townsville, Bushland Beach is a popular beach in the region and on the first and third Sunday of every month its markets are another reason to visit. A great all-round market featuring stalls that sell handmade goods, woodwork, jams and preserves, pottery, candles, kids’ clothing, and more. There’s always live entertainment, food and coffee, and occasionally they have a dog wash (handy if you’re travelling with your four-legged friend) and kids’ entertainment such as a petting zoo and pony rides.
When: Every first and third Sunday of the month, 9am – 1pm