When Are The Port Douglas Markets On?
Markets are the heart of many communities, and in Port Douglas, where they’ve been holding two a week for over twenty years, it is no different. Exploring the wares on offer on the Port Douglas market stalls will give you an amazing insight into the local culture as well as the opportunity to purchase unusual gifts and souvenirs not found in any of the mainstream shops. There’s also lots of produce on offer at the Port Douglas market from local farmers too which is guaranteed to be as fresh as if you’d picked it in the field yourself.
If you enjoy shopping at markets, you’ll want to do the same while you’re in Port Douglas. Does your visit to Port Douglas coincide with a market day? To find out, there’s one thing you’ll need to know – when the Port Douglas markets are on.
Port Douglas holds markets on Wednesdays and Sundays every week – weather permitting. The Port Douglas Wednesday Market or Marina Market is at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina on Wharf Street. The Port Douglas Sunday Market takes place in Market Park which is adjacent to Anzac Park on Wharf Street.
Port Douglas Sunday Market
The Port Douglas Sunday Market is a “Cotters market” which means everything sold on the stalls is handmade or grown by the stallholder. The market opens for business at eight in the morning in probably one of the most picturesque settings for a market you’re ever likely to find. There are beautiful views of both sea and mountains from the market, and many of the stalls sit under the shady fronds of tall palm trees.
Browse around, and you’ll find plenty of eclectic handicrafts from Port Douglas and Queensland artisans. Expect to see things like weird wall masks carved from coconut shells, articles created from driftwood, plus kangaroo-leather wallets and belts to name just a few examples. Trading at the Port Douglas Sunday Market continues until around one thirty in the afternoon. Don’t be surprised if while you’re there, you get roped in to pedal the cycle-propelled machine used for squeezing juice from sugar cane or even asked to blow a couple of notes on a didgeridoo. They’re all part of the fun of visiting the Sunday Market in Port Douglas – so be prepared.
Port Douglas Wednesday Market
The Port Douglas Wednesday Market, or Marina Market, is a lively affair held on the boardwalks of the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina. The stalls are set up and waiting for customers by midday and carry on trading until the sun begins to set at around six in the afternoon.
While not as big as Port Douglas’s Sunday Market, you’ll still find plenty to see and buy at the Marina Market and enjoy the live music being played while you stroll around. After the hustle of the market, head to the terrace of The Lure bar and restaurant or to Hemingways for a relaxing sundowner while watching nature’s spectacular daily event as it streaks the Port Douglas skies crimson and magenta.
After the Marina Market has finished, you’ll find you’re also in the perfect spot to jump on board a luxury yacht for a sunset cruise. The cruises leave the marina at five o’clock and sail along the coastline for one and a half hours as the sun goes down. It’s an unforgettable way to round off a day of shopping in Port Douglas.
Is there any food at the port douglas markets?
Yes. There are pop-up food stalls at the Port Douglas markets which sell snack foods and sweet treats. You’ll find donuts, sweet and savory crepes, chocolate coated bananas and vegan-friendly meals served in coconut halves.
Can you buy alcohol at Port Douglas markets?
There is no alcohol on sale at either of the Port Douglas markets, but there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby the markets where alcoholic beverages can be purchased.
Other Markets Near Port Douglas
If after visiting both markets in Port Douglas, you still haven’t had your fill and want to see more, make the twenty-minute journey to the neighbouring town of Mossman or the hour’s drive to Cairns early on a Saturday morning.
The stalls of Mossman market take over the town’s Foxton Avenue from seven in the morning on a Saturday until lunchtime. Many of the stallholders are the same as at the Port Douglas markets so if there was something you regret not buying and really want to get, then make Mossman market your chance to grab it before it’s too late.
After the market has closed, a great way to spend the rest of your trip to Mossman is by making an afternoon visit to the nearby Daintree Rainforest or exploring Mossman Gorge. Don’t forget to take walking shoes, swimming gear, and a towel, the gorge has some beautiful hiking trails and fantastic shallow pools perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot day especially after you’ve been wandering around Mossman market.
The market in Cairns is held on a Saturday on the waterfront Esplanade from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon. There are lots of stalls selling handcrafted leather, jewelry and pottery alongside small boutiques with one-off clothing items. Go hungry as there are free barbecues throughout the day.
After shopping at Cairns Market, while it might be tempting to spend the rest of the day chilling by the lagoon, making the most of a self-drive rental by hitting the Kennedy Highway and heading to the Kuranda Village is a far more exciting option. There are several lookout points during the thirty-minute drive where you can stop to take some incomparable photos of the Coral Sea, the mountains and the rainforest before returning to Port Douglas.
Alternative Places to shop in port douglas
If markets just aren’t your thing, but you still want to go shopping in Port Douglas, don’t worry, you won’t be short on choice for where to go.
Macrossan Street is the central, pedestrianized shopping zone in Port Douglas. There you’ll find everything from souvenir shops to designer boutiques and enough bars and restaurants to try a different one every day of your stay. Don’t miss popping into some of Macrossan Streets art galleries to see works created by local artists and Indigenous handcrafted items.
Port village shopping centre
You’ll find the Port Village Shopping Center as you walk along Macrossan Street. Inside the center, there are coffee shops, restaurants, and fashion retailers as well as bottle shops, a supermarket and lots of places to tempt your sweet tooth. There is also a gym where you can work off any overindulgence if you’re feeling guilty.
Portico Shopping Center
The Portico Shopping Center is an early morning till late at night center just as popular in Port Douglas for its cocktail lounges as it is for its stores. Located on the intersection of Macrossan and Davidson Street, the Portico’s central position means it’s always busy. Head there to buy surfing gear, baby wear or just to grab a pizza or an ice cream and soak up the atmosphere.
What Is There To Do Near The Port Douglas Markets?
Once you’ve exhausted your market spending budget or seen enough of the stalls, take advantage of being in the vicinity and add these places to your must-do when in Port Douglas list.
Port Douglas Court House Museum
The Court House Museum is a restored timber building on Wharf Street just a short walk from the locations of both the Port Douglas Sunday Market and the Marina Market on a Wednesday. The museum houses various exhibits relating to the history of Port Douglas and hosts re-enactments of the trial of a local woman hanged for murdering her husband.
ANZAC War memorial
Take a stroll through Anzac Park after the Port Douglas Sunday Market, and you’ll come across the Anzac War Memorial. The white marble plinth bearing the names of all the men who lost their lives in WW1, WW2, and Vietnam, is topped by a statue of a soldier from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp.
rex smeal park
The Rex Smeal Park And Gardens is an extension of Anzac Park and the perfect place to relax and unwind after being at Port Douglas’s busy Sunday market. The palm tree-lined waterfront of the park has a beautiful beach area ideal for pulling up a chair and watching the sun go down over the Coral Sea.
St Mary's By The Sea
St Mary’s By The Sea is a picturesque, white clapboard church at the Dixie Street end of Anzac Park. The non-denominational church which is surrounded by tropical palms was built in 1914 and was added to the Queensland Heritage Register as an important historical and cultural building in 1992.