The tourist capital of Far Northern Queensland, Cairns boasts more than its fair share of great places to go shopping. From quirky little souvenir stores to boutiques purveying exquisite, locally-produced artwork and high end designs, the city caters for everyone from budget-conscious backpackers to the most discerning jet-setter.
Situated on the iconic Esplanade, overlooking Trinity Bay, the Cairns Night Markets is one of the city’s most popular shopping destinations. With over a hundred stalls selling a wide variety of fabulous goodies, the markets have now been enticing shoppers, both locals and visitors, for many years. More than just another market-place, they incorporate a sizable food court, while beauticians, hairdressers and Thai massagers offer their services close by.
Despite their name, Cairns Night Markets are open all day, starting at 10.00am, and closing late at 11.00pm. If you’re a visitor who’s away on tours and cruises throughout the day, this is very convenient. I strongly recommend visiting in the early evening, after strolling along the Esplanade and watching the sun set over Trinity Bay. The numerous diverse stalls are the perfect place to do some souvenir shopping, and you’ll be certain to discover some special mementos for yourself and your loved-ones.
If it’s unique Australian wares that you’re after, Cairns Night Markets is the place to be. For fans of the traditional bushman look, Aussie Bush Hats and Oilskins at stalls 90 and 91 is a great place to start shopping. At this store you can find all the right gear including Drizabone jackets, Akruba hats and RM Williams clothing – great for either city or country wear, and therefore a very practical souvenir.
Far Northern Queensland is especially famous for its rich Indigenous culture, and therefore another great spot to head for is Cairns Didgeridoo, at stalls 58 and 59. Unlike many other souvenir shops in Cairns, this one only sells items crafted by local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, and the selection is awesome. The artisans they work with come from various tribal groups throughout the region, making the range of products much more diverse. As the shop’s name indicates, it specialises in didgeridoos, and these are available in a terrific variety of sizes and styles – plain, painted and burnt. They also stock beautiful Aboriginal paintings, and these can be made to order. If you want to shop online, check out the Cairns Didgeridoo website.
Jewellery-lovers will also enjoy perusing the exquisite creations at Silver Gem, a shop that purveys a wide variety of products, both local and imported. Specialising in Queensland boulder opal and other rare Australian gemstones, set in Stirling silver, it’s the perfect place to find a special memento or gift. Inch of Gold is also worth visiting, as they sell a beautiful assortment of 18 carat gold and silver chains that can be purchased according to the length you desire.
Springwood Crafts is another place to check out for quality local handicrafts, while Lemongrass House is my favourite spot for gorgeous natural cosmetics and spa products. Of course, these suggestions are only a few of the many stalls that can be found at the markets. To find out more about all the businesses that are based there, take a look at the Cairns Night Markets website. Many of these places also offer online shopping, so if there’s somewhere that especially interests you, look up their website.
If you’re craving some pampering or a bit of ‘me’ time after a busy day diving or sightseeing, Cairns Night Markets also offers a selection of places where you can indulge. Naturally Me Nail and Beauty Salon is located at Stall 20, while a hairdressing salon can be found next door at Stall 21. Finally, several other establishments offer massages – a great way to conclude a busy day in one of Queensland’s most beautiful cities.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a quality shopping experience in one of most spectacular locations in Cairns, you really can’t beat the Cairns Night Markets. Open from 10.00am until late in the evening, they’re a great spot to explore, seven days a week.
Cairns Night Markets are located at 71 – 75 The Esplanade, opposite the Lagoon. To learn more about the markets and the businesses they house, take a look at the Cairns Night Markets website or call them on 07 4051 7666.
Address: 71 - 75 The Esplanade, Cairns, Queensland, 4870