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Torrens Island Market

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by Steve Hudson (subscribe)
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Published December 5th 2014
Adelaide's outdoor fish, fruit and vegetable market
Open every Sunday from 6am to 1pm, the Torrens Island Market has fresh fruit, vegetables and fish for sale. The market is located at the end of the Grand Trunkway in the suburb still known as Port Adelaide. The market gets its name of Torrens Island Market due to the close proximity with the island. I took a trip to the market last Sunday to check it out.

Torrens Island Market
Torrens Island Market - Steve Hudson

Torrens Island Market
Coffee Van - Steve Hudson


The market comprises three areas; an entrance area with a coffee and soft serve ice cream van, the main area that hosts the fruit and vegetable market stalls, and the Fishermen's Wharf where fishmongers dock to sell the recently caught seafood. As coffee and ice cream don't usually mix for me, especially early in the morning, I bypass this area and head in to the main fruit and vegetable zone.

Torrens Island Market
Market Stalls - Steve Hudson

Torrens Island Market
Market Stalls - Steve Hudson


A walk down the centre aisle of the fruit and vegetable area reveals around 40 stall holders selling produce, the majority being fruit and vegetables. There was also a few stalls selling some bakery items (breads, rolls etc), eggs, flowers, and a couple of stalls selling some boutique pies and pastries. But by far and large (and loud) were the fruit and vegetable traders where customer traffic and sales seemed to centre around the loudest voices.

Torrens Island Market
Fresh Seedless Grapes - Steve Hudson

Torrens Island Market
Fresh Pineapples - Steve Hudson


The prices varied at many of the stalls, as did the quality. Typically it is earlier in the day when the prices are at their highest, which correlates with the quality of the produce. But as the morning passes, and the better produce has been sold, the prices fall in order to ensure that none of the produce is taken back home. And while I didn't stay to the end, it appeared as though some of the traders were happier than others judging by the lesser amount of produce that they had left to sell. It also pays to check below the top layer of the produce in order to get a good understanding as to why the price is what it is. Often the quality is lesser the lower that the produce is within the various containers.

Torrens Island Market
Fruit and Vegetables - Steve Hudson


Next stop, and located on the water's edge was the North Arm Fishermen's Wharf where the fishmongers dock and sell their recently caught fish, squid and mussels. Again the competition is hot as each seller seeks to outdo the others in terms of voice volume, with the hidden belief that the louder they cry the more I will buy.

Torrens Island Market
North Arm Fishermen's Wharf - Steve Hudson

Torrens Island Market
Eager Sellers - Steve Hudson


I take an opportunity to watch the buyers as the sellers increase their intensity. It was at that point that I noticed that others were interested in the day's events. A pod of pelicans had gathered on the water behind the wharf, and were eagerly awaiting any throwaways or leftovers. And judging by the eager sellers, they weren't in a hurry to please the pelicans today.

Torrens Island Market
Eager Pelicans - Steve Hudson

Torrens Island Market
Fresh Fish - Steve Hudson


For some fresh fruit, vegetables or fish why not head down to the Torrens Island Market. The Market is open every Sunday from 6am to 1pm, and is located at the end of the Grand Trunkway just before the Torrens Island Bridge. Entry is free.
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Why? Fresh fruit is good for you
When: Sundays from 6am to 1pm
Where: Grand Trunkway, Port Adelaide, South Australia
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Thanks for covering this Steve! We haven't been down there yet, but those photos make it look very enticing. Time to set an early alarm and check out the produce.
by Laura Turner (score: 2|476) 944 days ago
I prefer going earlier to the Torrens Island Markets as it is not as busy with people pushing and shoving!! However around 11am many of the traders start to reduce prices. You can get some good produce at great prices. Last time I went I came home with boxes and boxes of fruit and veg. Admittedly I spent hours washing it all. However, we were able to give some away to neighbours and friends, and make lots of stuff to freeze. Although it is crazy - some people get a bit manic!! One trader was selling boxes of bananas for $5 - there was a lady wanting to go through the boxes to see the quality. The trader became cranky and told her to either take a box as is, or to nick off. Fair enough. I bought a box of bananas - put them in the fridge, and they lasted a good 2 weeks. When they started to go a bit soft I whizzed them up in a food processor and put the banana liquid in ice cube trays to use in smoothies. I do the same with mango, passionfruit and stone fruit.
by toodl (score: 1|75) 929 days ago
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