The Northern Rivers Region, from Ballina to Tweed Heads on the north coast of New South Wales is filled with markets held every weekend as well as weekday Farmers Markets. It’s a great place to meet the growers, shop where the locals shop, sample home grown produce and buy unique handcrafted gifts. Here are some of the locals’ favourite markets.
Byron Farmers Markets
One of the most popular markets is the Byron Farmers Markets held every Thursday morning from 8am at Butler Street Reserve. There are a variety of stalls, some organic, allowing you to explore the locally grown seasonal produce and all year round favourites 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 The Bryon Farmers Markets where The Byron Farmer’s Market Association work closely with stall holders to ensure they are selling produce at a fair price while still maintaining a profitable business.
Ballina Community Markets
Known as the friendliest markets around, the Ballina Markets on Canal Road are held on the third Sunday of every month from 7am. Hosted by the East Ballina Lions Club, the markets offer something for everyone. Market stalls are very cheap to hire allowing stall holders to offer local produce, unique handcrafted arts and crafts and pre-loved goods at very reasonable prices. There’s also pony rides, live music and a big breakfast always on offer. All profits from the markets are returned to the community through Lions Club Projects.
Bangalow Village Markets
Just 20 minutes north of Ballina is Bangalow, an historical village lined with nineteenth century buildings that house gourmet cafés, boutique shops and beautiful restaurants. On the fourth Sunday of every month from 7.30am the Bangalow Village Markets are held in the local showground where about 300 stall holders come together to share their specialities. You’ll find farmers with local produce, artists, bakers, therapists and artisan’s with handcrafted gifts plus jewellery and clothing. Under the shade of the camphor and fig trees there’ll be live entertainment where a local musician plays creating a relaxing atmosphere. These markets give back to the area with a percentage of the profits being donated to local community groups.
Lennox Community Markets
Managed by the Westpac Surf Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, the vibrant Lennox Community Markets help to raise funds for the charity. Known for the fresh local and regionally farmed produce the markets offer food stalls, fresh farm products and homemade treats. There’s also activities for the kids and a skate park nearby. Held on the second and fifth Sunday of every month from 8am at the local community centre, the Lennox Community Markets allow you to buy products at reasonable prices while spending time with family and friends in a beautiful beachside setting.
Brunswick Heads Markets
The beautiful coastal town of Brunswick hosts the Brunswick Heads Markets on the first Saturday of every month from 7am. The markets, held in Memorial Park offer a mix of locally made and imported goods including plants, candles, soaps, coffee, clothing, fresh groceries and hot food. Many of the locals also hold garage sales on market day so there is always a bargain to be found. The picturesque holiday town is also a great spot for fishing, swimming in the river and enjoying a picnic lunch.
The Quality Hotel Ballina provides comfortable resort style accommodation in a great central location to many of the Northern Rivers Markets. Located across the road from Lighthouse Beach, the accommodation Ballina has an onsite restaurant called the Wild Prawn Café Bar and Grill, comfortable rooms, an outdoor pool and tennis court, hot tub and free wireless high speed internet access.