7 of the best local farmers markets in Queensland
Whether it grows on trees, under the soil, comes from a paddock or is plucked from the ocean, you can bet you can get it at the farmers markets in Queensland.
Queensland’s agricultural industry is the third-largest food processing industry in Australia, which makes sense considering the state is 81% farmland.
The best way to meet the farmers, makers and growers and fill your basket with the freshest local produce you can get is to visit a local farmers market. Here’s seven to try first.
Noosa Farmers Market, Noosa
You’ll find everything from organic fruit and veg to bush foods, freshly-squeezed drinks and the kind of homemade marinades that will leave your dinner guests asking ‘what was that incredible sauce you put on the burger?’
Bring a cooler bag for take-home treats like freshly-caught sustainable seafood, meats from Kilkivan and creamy Gympie Farm cheeses.
This is no hobby-market started by wannabe foodies. The owners also run the Noosa Food eTrail – a DIY food map of Noosa that uncovers where you can go fruit picking, take a farm tour or do a cooking school during your time on the coast.
Find it: 155 Weyba Rd, Noosaville, every Sunday 7am-12pm
Good to know: Get your mitts on the market speciality – handmade quality olive oils, olive tapenade and fresh olives from Kilkivan’s Fat Hen Farm.
Gold Coast Organic Market, Miami
Prefer your fruit and veggies served without a side of pesticide? A trip to the Organic Gold Coast Farmers Market is akin to walking through the gates of organic heaven.
Why? To even get a market stall on the Miami High School oval, all producers must be Certified Organically Grown, so you know they’re the real deal.
Spice up your morning smoothie bowl with ‘picked yesterday produce’ alongside more hard-to-find veggies like dandelion greens, daikon radish and chard.
Once you’ve stocked up on produce, crusty bread and fresh juices, you can start organic-ifying your house with cleaning products, cosmetics, clothing and bedding all found here.
Make like a local and pick up kombucha to keep you hydrated while you wander.
Find it: Miami High State School, 2137-2205 Gold Coast Hwy, Miami, every Sunday, 6-11:30am.
Good to know: Sick of having the same old breakfast each morning? Pick up homemade jams, sauces and nut-butters.
Jan Powers Farmers Markets, Brisbane Powerhouse
Within the stalls, you’ll find everything from fresh fruit and veggies, homemade bread, meat, and plants to fresh pastas.
Arrive with hands as empty as your stomach because this market is as much about produce to cook yourself as food trucks that have everything assembled.
With a focus on international cuisine, you can chow down on the likes of croissants, dumplings, pizzas and yakitori.
This market is completely pet-friendly too, so you can add it to your next pawsome Brisbane adventure.
Find it: The Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington St, New Farm, every Saturday 6am-12pm
Good to know: If shopping with little ones, New Farm Park is right around the corner if you need to trade 30 minutes on the swings for two hours of nag-free shopping.
Rusty’s Markets, Cairns
This is no run-of-the-mill market. Rusty’s is more of a three-day event that turns the base of Gilligan’s Backpacker Hotel & Resort into a hawker-style market that wouldn’t be out of place in the streets of south-east Asia.
Within its CBD footprint, Rusty’s packs 180 stalls of exotic fruit, vegetables, fresh breads and a host of international food stalls, which cover everything from hot and spicy samosas to Vietnamese coffee.
If you’ve never seen tropical fruits up close, prepare for bright colours straight out of a Lewis Carroll novel, like eye-popping dragonfruit, rambutans and mangosteens.
And if you have change left over from your weekly grocery shop, you can also splurge on the bric-a-brac on offer too.
Find it: 57-89 Grafton St, Cairns City, Friday and Saturday 5am-6pm, Sunday 5am-3pm
Good to know: You’ll find parking above the market and you get two hours free.
My Local Feast Farmers’ Markets, Toowoomba
The people behind Toowoomba’s farmers market aren’t just advocates for good food, but social change – with a mission to teach consumers exactly where their food comes from.
You’ll find the markets on the grounds of the Cobb+Co Museum, selling everything from fruit and vegetables from the Lockyer Valley and Southern Downs to organic meat, free from preservatives and direct from the farmer.
It’s not just exotic ‘maybe I’ll use that one day’ ingredients – My Local Feast cover everything from the basics like gourmet salt and pepper to stalls entirely dedicated to figs.
Find it: Cobb+Co Museum, 27 Lindsay St, Toowoomba, every Saturday from 9am-12pm
Good to know: You can find Australian-grown garlic in abundance here. Trust us, you’ll smell Budgee Garlic & Herbs before you see them!
Greater Whitsundays Farmers’ Market, River Street Twilight Market, Mackay
A basket for produce is a must along with a picnic rug to toss down under the stars to listen to live music along the riverfront.
There’s no need to race home from this market to quickly cook up your produce. Ever-changing food trucks will ensure you’re not doing your groceries on an empty stomach.
Find it: River St, Mackay, every second Friday of each month (except January) from 4-8pm
Good to know: Parking is a cinch for this market, making short work of lugging your pumpkins back to the car.
Urangan Pier Market, Hervey Bay
Between all the handicrafts, find a fresh produce scene that has locals beating a track to the waterfront markets each weekend.
Tune into the Facebook page for the regular specials and comings and goings such as The Seafood Smokery Bundaberg, loaded with the likes of macadamia-smoked Spanish mackerel loins.
The fish is served the traditional way, smoked with nothing but Bundaberg raw sugar, salt and a blend of local timber shavings.
Find it: Pier Park, Urangan, every Wednesday and Saturday 7am to 1pm
Good to know: Got a sweet tooth? Beware the Dutch pancake stand (poffertjes). Picture pancakes, fresh cream and drizzled chocolate and you’ve just found the breakfast of champions.