Cairns Shopping & Markets
All major retail outlets are located at Cairns Central Shopping Centre (in the CBD), DFO Cairns at Westcourt, Stockland Cairns Shopping Centre (south of the city) and Smithfield Shopping Centre (on the highway north). The CBD streets also feature shops dedicated to tourist needs and souvenirs. Smaller suburban precincts include handy pharmacy and basic needs shopping.
The markets scene in Cairns and its surrounds can’t be missed. The region around Cairns offers a wide range of local markets where the best of the area’s local produce and arts and crafts are available. They operate on different days from end of week into Saturday-Sunday and also at night. Indigenous paintings and crafts can be acquired, local memorabilia and produce and bakes are prominent and craft jewellery is a specialty.
Grafton Street, Cairns
Friday 5am-6pm, Saturday 6am – 3pm, Sunday 6am – 2pm
The heart of the city pulses at this market which is a magnet for locals seeking the freshest produce, sampling Barista Sista coffee, checking homemade bakes, picking up potted plants, admiring handicrafts, and listening to buskers. Don’t miss the cheese selections and charcuterie. There are also nearby cafes where a relaxing breakfast is available while you catch up on the news.
71-75 The Esplanade, Cairns
Open daily from 5pm-11pm
This night market fronts both The Esplanade tourist walk and Abbott Street and is popular with tourists seeking trinkets and collectables, Aussie clothing, massages and foot treatments. The range of goods available is reminiscent of similar precincts in towns in Southeast Asia, down to the variety of cafes and eateries and the spruiking of stallholders. Bargains are possible and bartering is advised.
Every Saturday, 8am-4pm, by the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon
There a fun atmosphere at this tent-city market set up beside the picturesque Lagoon on the main tourism strip along Cairns Inlet. The people-watching opportunities are plenty and there’s a huge selection of unique local arts and crafts, skincare products, souvenirs and snacks. And once you’re done, take a dip in the Lagoon, try the exercise equipment or fire up one of the free barbecues.
Collins Avenue, Edge Hill, Cairns
Last Sunday of the month, April to November, 9am-2pm
The Tanks has relevance back to World War 2 times and the location in itself is quite an experience. Vintage clothing and eclectic crafts are a specialty, odd collectables can be considered, and health treatments are available on site. A stroll through the adjacent Cairns Botanical Gardens makes for a relaxing Sunday excursion, including brunch or lunch.
Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove, Cairns
April to December, First Sunday of the month (unless otherwise specified), 8am-2pm
There are plenty of kids’ activities and family entertainment to make a visit to this market a multi-generational outing. As befits a market in this classy seaside town a short drive north of Cairns, the locally made handcrafts, jewellery, pottery and skincare products will tempt even the most discerning. And don’t overlook the opportunity to grab a bag of local produce or a rare potted plant.
Therwine St and Heritage Markets, Kuranda
Daily 9am – 3pm
The mood is lively, the produce is plentiful, the clothing and jewellery options are tantalising, and the focus is on healthy, organic foods. Quirky contrasts with sophisticated and earnest local. Look out for locally made honeys and chocolates and swap stories with stallholders who are open for a chat and will consider bargaining for best prices. It’s up the hill from Cairns by road, railway or cableway.
Anzac Park, Port Douglas
Sunday 8.30am – 1pm
The liveliest and carefree market in north Queensland, the range of fresh produce, skilfully designed and prepared foods, crafts, fashion, jewellery, and art is a joy to behold. Local musicians can be found strumming tunes and whether you visit for the cultural enjoyment or to just bag some local produce, your outlook for the rest of the day will be uplifted. There’s also a Wednesday market at the wharf.
Main Street, Yungaburra, Atherton Tablelands
Fourth Saturday of the month 7.30am – 12:30pm
A visit to this village market needs to be planned as part of a day trip because it’s on the Atherton Tableland and operates once a month. Run by locals for locals, it is swamped by visitors who add to the lively atmosphere. All sorts of arts and crafts are sold, there are big timber items and small collectibles available, and don’t miss the varieties of paddock-to-plate produce.