Who doesn’t love a market? We’ve been to a lot of them on our travels and Darwin has got to be one of the most market dense places we’ve been to. Almost every suburb seems to have a market, we’ve tried to visit a good amount of them and here’s what you need to know…
When and where
Throughout the dry season (April – October), Darwin and the surrounding surburbs hold most of their markets, however a few are available all year round. They’re usually either first thing in the morning or as the sun is going down over the palm trees. Here are the one’s we’ll be reviewing in this post:
- Mindil Beach Sunset Markets – Mindil Beach – 4pm-9pm Thursday and Sundays 26th April 2018 to 25th October 2018
- Rapid Creek Big Flea Market – Rapid Creek Business Village – 7am-1pm Sundays year round
- Parap Village Markets – Parap village shopping centre – 8am-2pm Saturdays year round
- Nightcliff Markets – Nightcliff shopping centre – 8am-2pm Sundays year round
- Malak Marketplace – Chambers Crescent Car Park – 4pm-9pm every Saturday starting 28th April until 27th October
- Palmerston Markets – Goyder Square – 5pm-9pm Fridays from April to October
Mindil Beach Sunset markets
Mindil is proabably the most popular and is always absolutely packed whenever we arrive. They’re held on Sundays and Thursdays (4pm – 9pm) and have a good variety of food, family entertainment and merch. There’s heaps of interactive activities like parrot holding and feeding, family circus acts/fire eaters/live music (dependent on day) and tarot readings.
The selection of food is almost overwhelming with every genre and country covered. Snacks, main-meals and dessert choices are all on offer, so there’s definitely something for everyone. Most of the goods stalls are full of homemade products, it’s a really great feeling knowing you’re buying something that supports the livelihood and passion of someone else. Everyone we’ve spoken to is friendly and always up for a chat as well.
The added bonus of Mindil is that it’s right on the beach, which often holds displays and events. We were lucky enough to catch an R.A.A.F demonstration, with fighter-jets and a signature hornet doing a speedy fly-over as the sun was setting.
Rapid Creek markets
The locals go absolutely mad for this market. On a Sunday morning all the surrounding streets and roads are packed with parked cars. You’re immediately transported to another country with 90% of the stalls being Asian owned with traditional cooking and dishes available. The fruit and veg there are all super fresh and you’ll also get more bang for your buck compared with Woolies and Coles.
Parap and Nightcliff markets
Parap and Nightcliff markets are both very similar and are around the same size. Both held on weekend mornings they’re a great place to meet friends and grab some breaky before starting your day.
At Parap markets we also met some great people trying to make all Darwin markets plastic free (as there is a lot of single use plastic at these markets). At most markets you can also borrow mugs for coffee, plates for food and cutlery. Handy hint: don’t forget you can always take your own tupperware and keep cups and ask vendors to use those!
We were a bit disappointed with Malak as we’d read such great things about it. The website boasts of a lively evening market with lots of food and drink as well as things to do. Unfortunately when we went it was super quiet and there was hardly anyone there. We’d love to hear if this one is worth another go! Saying that everyone was really friendly and there was a free origami teaching station for kids as well as a yoga demonstration, it was just a shame it was so quiet for them!
Another evening market, this is one for all the family. The smell of the food hits you as soon as you’re walking towards it, not only that but the sound of birds. There are hundreds of colourful lorikeets in the surrounding trees (watching and waiting for you to drop some food!).
The large square of green in the middle is perfect for a picnic with your chosen dishes as you listen to live music or watch the live sport on a massive screen.
There are so many different markets around Darwin you’ll never be stuck for something to do on the weekend. If you have any other recommendations please let us know!