Freelance writer with a BA double majoring in Literature and Australian History who loves finding random places of social or historical treasure whilst travelling around visiting festivals, markets and quaint cafes with my husband and baby
Published September 20th 2014
A fantastic new market on the Northside worth visiting
The new North Lakes Farmers Market fills a desperate need for a market of this type in the outer northern suburbs. Open from 6.30am to 11am every Sunday, and situated on top of the Westfield North Lakes Shopping Centre, this market is ideally situated to have a tasty Sunday morning breakfast and do some market shopping, before continuing your weekend shop at Westfields.
After visiting many markets in my time over all of South East Queensland, I find that there are some key ingredients to make a good market. It must have good parking. Obviously, being situated on top of Westfields North Lakes carpark at a time when most of the shops don't open until 10am, parking is not a worry here. You can always get a good parking spot. The second key ingredient is great coffee. When you're hitting the markets at the crack of dawn on a weekend, good coffee is imperative. I'll discuss the coffee more further down this article, but needless to say it gives an impressive caffeine hit for the morning.
Locally grown and made items are for me a must in a good market. The North Lakes Markets have stalls from as close as Dayboro, with a couple of vendors travelling from Gympie and northern NSW. Everything here is from producer to the market. There's no middle man. The organisers are working hard to add more organic and locally made stalls to the lineup each week.
Lastly, a good market must have a good atmosphere. Wide smooth paths and live music make the North Lakes Markets a pleasure to walk around. They regularly have kids activities, some weeks face painting, other weeks jumping castles or similar fun things. The atmosphere brings a lot of energy to the lovely family environment these markets have.
Now for the low down on the stalls. If you're looking for organic, spray free, chemical free produce, you'll find it here. With a better variety than you would find in any supermarket, and at better prices, these markets serve up some great tasting produce.
But it's not all about produce at these markets. You'll also find a good variety of gluten free, soy, and allergy sensitive goods and products. It's all about being wholesome, from paddock to plate.
The famous Dayboro Butcher has a stand here selling his award winning gourmet sausages.
We bought some lovely items from the stalls showcasing handmade children's clothes and accessories. We were also taken with the stall selling a fantastic variety of homemade dog biscuits - every variety and flavour your canine friend could want is found here.
As I've mentioned above, these markets make a lovely breakfast stopover before you hit Westfields. There's a cute children's area to sit down in the shade while you eat, and the food stalls have enough variety to keep you coming back each Sunday in the month to try something different. Live music sets the mood while you enjoy your brunch.
One point to note that sets these markets apart is the free Yoga every Sunday morning from 6.30am to 7.15am. It's easy to find, just head to the markets and you'll see the designated yoga area at 6.30am. A great initiative by the organisers which makes these fledgling markets a bit different from the rest.
Now for the coffee. There are two coffee stands here, and honestly, if you don't come to the markets for anything else, come for the coffee. One of the coffee stalls dedicates itself to a fantastic variety of caffeine from lattes to syrup added cappuccinos and everything in between. The other coffee stand sells Papua New Guinean coffee. Never having tasted coffee roasted in PNG I was unsure what to expect, but I can honestly say I'll be going back to the markets for the PNG coffee alone. It was one of the best takeaway coffees I've ever had and was definitely a highlight of a great morning.
The North Lakes Farmers Markets are open 6.30am to 11am each Sunday and are getting bigger each week. Check their Facebook page for updates. Although this isn't the largest market you will find, it is good quality and has a great atmosphere, and it's getting bigger each week. I highly recommend people visit this market run by two lovely ladies as it fills a need for a good Sunday market in the area.