As a market and festival fanatic, Australia certainly does not lack in this department. After an intense week of uni work, I love knowing there are heaps of Saturday markets and Sunday festivals to explore during the weekend.
Lesson Learned #4—If you’re looking for any of these things—love, art, expression, good conversation—well I have the one-word solution: Markets!
I can’t help but to notice the love, joy, peace, and happiness, felt within these marketplaces and festival spaces. Falling in love with each one is inevitable.
I reckon you’re probably interested in seeing some of the best markets to check out on the weekends. No worries! Let’s review some of the markets, festivals, food, and fun that I’ve had the chance to experience. First up on the list is Glebe Markets!
Location: Glebe Public Schools | Time: Saturdays 10 am – 4 pm | Entry Cost: Free
I have my sweet mate, Grace, to thank for bringing me along for my first market experience in Australia. Situated in Glebe, right next-door to Newtown, is a market filled with cast-off clothing, handmade jewelry, candles, sun hats, and books for sale. Not mention, there’s food galore. There is live music to enjoy, and mural paintings around the area to view. This bustling market has a bit of a hipster vibe to it, with free-flowing energy, art, and expression. I am unashamed at the amount of shopping I’ve done here—which has been quite a bit. Did I mention the food? I had a chance to try what has been called comfort food here in Sydney, Turkish Gozleme. It was filled with chicken, mushrooms, and spinach. Delicious. This kind of market is great for striking up conversations with locals. Since the market typically shuts down at 3 pm, it’s nice knowing that Glebe has some pretty quaint spots to check out afterward. Right across the street is a café, Sophos. It is tucked away behind a two-story bookshop. I stumbled upon it after leaving the markets, and found it to be a pretty chill place to hang out, do some reading and writing, or even get some assignments completed while sipping on my favorite flat white.
Sydney Night Noodle Market—2019 Edition
Location: Hyde Park | Time: Opens Mon-Fri 5 pm, Weekends 12 pm | Entry Cost: Free
This noodle market happens annually. During the dates of October 11-18, friends, families, and tourists alike, can come together, connect, chat, play games, and of course, eat noodles! It’s located right in the heart of central Sydney’s Hyde Park. Thankfully, I managed to go with UniChurch friends on its last night. The park was transformed into a populated scene, filled with chatter and laughter. Dangling from the trees were clear lights, to illuminate the night. Access inside the market is free, however, cost of noodles and games can vary depending on vendor. If you’re in Sydney around this time of the year, I highly recommend checking out this market.
The Grounds of Alexandria
Location: Alexandria, NSW | Time: Hours vary, usually closes 3 pm | Entry Cost: Free
The Grounds of Alexandria is more than a Saturday market. It’s a café, restaurant, bar, garden, bakery, florist, animal farm—truthfully…this place is a full-on event space, and you never truly know what newly-themed event you’ll be walking into. It has a rustic and industrialized feel to it. I’ve come here on both Saturday and Sunday. The garden is delightful, and food is delicious. From the restaurant, I’ve tried their lamb shepherd’s pie, brekky omelet, and popular tropical juice. I’ve been told the pizzas are amazing, but I’ll have to go back and check for myself. This place is usually crowded, but and its design is maze-like, so it’s very easy to find yourself wandering and getting lost. Situated toward the back of The Grounds is an open warehouse, where merchants sell an array of products. This was a great place to purchase gifts for family and friends back home. Prices are fairly reasonable too.
The Rocks Market
Location: The Rocks, NSW | Time: Fri-Sun, 9 am – 5 pm | Entry Cost: Free
I think this market has been my favorite just because I discovered it accidentally. While climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge, I saw this bustling market below. As soon as my climb was over, I ran straight to The Rocks Market. This small-sized market sits directly on the waterfront. It was the first place I spotted authentic Australian magnets. Don’t laugh! I’ve actually been on the hunt for these—my Mom loves them. There were so many handmade crafts on display. This was yet another opportunity to strike up conversation with locals. One stand owner from Katoomba—a town marked as a starting point for viewing the Blue Mountains and Three Sisters—chatted with me about Philadelphia football. No kidding. I am nearly 9,864 miles between my old home and my new home, and still finding Eagles fans! This market felt connected to the world, with vendors from Australia, Africa, Italy, and China. I indulged in my first Italian meal, thanks to street food vendor, Punto Pasta. The “Linguine Cacio E Pepe” is a favorite pasta dish created by this restaurant on wheels. What makes this dish such a signature recipe is the fact that the pasta is cooked, and then rolled in a cheese wheel! Yum! If there was one thing alone that sold me on this particular market, it certainly was the cheese-rolled pasta.
Before we hop on a ferry and head to the festival scene, as promised, I have some Aussie word quick trivia for you. Maybe you’ve noticed my use of heaps and reckon throughout this and previous posts…or maybe you haven’t. If you’re in Australia, it’s pretty difficult not to notice how frequently these two words are used. Take a crack at what you think they mean.
- Heaps—a) plenty b) more than one c) a lot d) all the above
- Reckon—a) know b) think c) figure d) all the above
See down the bottom of this post if you’ve chosen the correct answers!
UNSW Culture Festival
UNSW’s Culture Fest ran from Wednesday, October 23rd until Thursday October 24th. I’ve watched as the Quad has transformed into events like O-week and Sexual Health Week, but Culture Fest was massive. It bridged cultures all over the world into one outdoor space. I hadn’t planned on attending the festival with midterms and an oral presentation on the horizon. But, the thing about events that happen between upper and lower campus is that you’re often sucked into the festivities if you have to pass the area to get to class. Directly beneath the sun dial were the Soul Drummers, and the beat of their drums drew me in. Drums, maracas, and tambourines were set up in a circle for students, faculty, and even babies to bang their hearts out to the rhythm of the beat. The instructors even invited us to join them on stage to dance. This was the study break I didn’t know I needed, but UNSW is great with facilitating stress-free activities at the right time.
Rosé Street Fest
While this is marketed as a wine festival, it’s the color that caught my eye. This is an event situated on Watsons Bay, outside of the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. Because it is a wine festival, entry is not free. Ticket prices start at $30 AUD. However, there is both a park and beach area surrounding the festival, where families can also enjoy food and music from the festivities. Watsons Bay is accessible by car or bus. However, the ferry from Circular Quay (pronounced: key), is the most scenic option! It bypasses the Sydney Opera House as it heads through the Harbor and over toward Watsons Bay. The food, people, and PINK made this experience extraordinary. There were so many DIY projects on display to admire, dessert displays, and vendors from all throughout Australia. Tucked away behind Watsons Bay is Camp Cove at Vaucluse. There is such a great amount to do and see in this are, and thanks to this festival, I was able to see a piece of Sydney I probably might not have traveled to otherwise.
Quick Trivia Answers: Heaps – all the above, Reckon – either to think or to figure-it’s an opinion, not necessarily fact