From Ballina to Tweed Heads on the north coast of New South Wales, the Northern Rivers region is packed with amazing community and farmers markets.
There are around 25 regular or semi-regular markets in operation and they’re a great way to meet growers and makers, sample local specialties, and buy unique handcrafted gifts.
Here are five of the best Northern Rivers markets to tick off. Book your stay in Ballina with Choice Hotels.
1. Byron Farmers Market
One of the most popular markets in the region is the Byron Farmers Market, which is held every Thursday morning. There are a variety of produce and food stalls (some organic). Browse the seasonal fruit and vegetables, along with specialties like macadamia nuts, freshly squeezed sugar cane juice, locally farmed prime cuts of beef, fresh prawns, baked goodies, honey, olives and coffee. Locals love supporting this market, and the Byron Farmers Market Association works closely with stall holders to ensure they are selling the goods at a fair price, while still maintaining a profitable and sustainable business.
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2. Ballina Community Market
Known as one of the friendliest markets around, the Ballina Community Market on Canal Road is held on the third Sunday of every month. Hosted by the East Ballina Lions Club, this market offer something for everyone. Having a stall here is very reasonably priced, allowing lots of small stallholders to offer local produce, plants, unique handcrafted arts and crafts, and pre-loved goods. There are also pony rides and live music, and a big breakfast is always on offer. Proceeds from the market are returned to the community through Lions Club projects.
3. Bangalow Market
Situated just 20 minutes’ drive north of Ballina, Bangalow is a village of 19th century buildings that now house gourmet cafés, restaurants and shopping boutiques. On the fourth Sunday of the month the Bangalow Market is held at the local showgrounds. Around 300 stallholders gather to sell their wares, including farmers, bakers, artisans and alternative therapists. Relax in the shade of the camphor and fig trees and enjoy live entertainment from local musicians. It’s a really lovely and relaxing atmosphere. A percentage of the profits from the day is donated to local community groups.
4. Lennox Community Market
The vibrant Lennox Community Market raises funds to support the work of the Westpac Surf Life Saver Rescue Helicopter. Best known for fresh local and regionally farmed produce, the market also features food vans and is a delicious way to start the day. There are activities for the kids and a skate park nearby. Held on the second and fifth Sundays of the month, the Lennox Community Market will give you a tantalising taste of the best of the region in a beautiful beachside setting.
5. Brunswick Heads Monthly Market
The coastal enclave of Brunswick Heads hosts a community market on the first Saturday of the month. The market is held in Memorial Park and offers a mix of locally made and imported goods, including candles, soaps, clothing and jewellery, alongside fresh produce, coffee, baked goods and hot food. Many locals also hold garage sales on market days, so there’s always a bargain to be found. Head for one of the riverside parks afterwards and enjoy a picnic lunch of gourmet goodies that you purchased at the market.
Need a place to stay?
Comfort Inn All Seasons is located just a short walk from the Ballina riverfront and is the perfect accommodation option for families. Enjoy the fabulous tropical pool and outdoor recreation area.
Cover image: Byron Farmers Market. Image: Destination NSW
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