In Part 2 of 'Things to do around Darwin' we explore the various markets on offer around Darwin. Markets are at the heart of Darwin's culture. There are over 50 nationalities calling Darwin home and with our close relationship and proximity to Asia you'll find a great mix of people, cuisines and crafts throughout. The weekend markets in particular are a highlight for not only tourists but locals alike as it's a chance to grab a yummy bite to eat while catching up with friends and family.
Please enjoy our locals guide below to Darwin's markets.
Thursday and Sunday 4pm-9pm Dry Season (end of April - October)
The biggest market in Darwin and the most crowded with tourists but don't miss it! With over 200 stalls overlooking Mindil Beach, be prepared and get there before sunset, pack a picnic blanket and grab yourself some delicious food from the vendors lining the beach and get a spot to watch the sunset. After dark is the best time to wander around the stalls, with the cool sea breeze and stars overhead. These markets are BYO. Hit the grass for a dance, local drum and bass legends eMDee will get you moving to their upbeat tunes on the digeridoo (yidaki). Read more: our locals guide to the Mindil Beach Markets.
Saturday 8am - 2pm
A great spot for brunch, you will find people queuing up for smoothies and tropical juices to beat Darwin's heat or last nights hangover! Laska is also a staple here, if you are wondering what all those people are lining up for - it's Mary's Laska! Join the queue. This is Darwin's best local craft market, so if you are looking for authentic NT made art, jewellery and crafts this is the place to shop. You will find Indigenous art and weavings, crocodile leather products, and a variety of locally made clothes, bags, jewellery, soaps and essential oils. If you would like to support local NT artisans and take home a souvenir or gift then you can find it here. Read more; our locals guide to the Parap Markets.
Saturday and Sunday 7am -2pm
Darwin's oldest market and a personal favourite of ours, this is a no fuss affair with over 100 stalls all crammed together, it reminds me of the bustling markets of Thailand, with its unusual tropical fruits and vegetables, stall holders joking and jostling and the delicious aromas of Asian cooking! This market is predominately a farmers market and where you will catch locals buying up their fruit and veg for the week and usually a few curries or samosas to take home for dinner too. Come and visit and check out some interesting tropical produce, take home some local cut flowers or some coconut rice pudding with mango for dessert (or breakfast if you cant wait that long!). Our hot tip is 'Borneo Intersection', a family owned food stall who specialise in traditional regional dishes, think home made roti bread, with jackfruit curry, coconut rice and crispy anchovies.
A favourite for parents with young children or those into live music, this family-friendly market is a bit smaller and less crowded (it is a Sunday after all) and centred around a playground with live music. A bit of everything, coffee, local crafts and food, Nightcliff market is a locals only affair. If you are in the area then it's worth a look.
Saturday 4pm-9pm Dry Season (May - Oct)
Our newest market, this an organic, local farmers market with an emphasis on clean living and sustainability. Don't forget your keep cup and shopping bags as limited single use plastic is available here. Boasting great live music and entertainment for the kids this is a family favourite night market without the crowds. There are healthy delicious food options and you can buy local produce while the kids hone their circus skills or get their face painted.
We hope you found this information handy and if you missed Part 1 of our 'Things to do around Darwin' series then please take a look. Keep an eye out for the next installment in the series which features the various Festivals held in and around Darwin.