In the aftermath of the earthquakes, Christchurch’s community spirit has brought in a new and exciting trend. Traditional markets, fully supporting local produce growers and artisans, have been popping up around this resilient New Zealand city as it picks itself up again. Here’s a look at some of the best of them.
Since 2003, local market goers have been setting their sights on Riccarton House as it transforms into Christchurch’s largest Saturday farmers’ market. The historic homestead’s grounds, which runs alongside the Avon, captivates all passing foodies as a wonderful display of fresh fruits, veggies, meat, fish, dairy, and ready-to-eat goodies props up in the morning. The Christchurch Farmers’ Market runs year-round from 9am until 1pm.
No one could ever have imagined that a car boot sale in 1989 would evolve into New Zealand’s largest outdoor market. But that’s exactly what happened with this iconic event in Riccarton. A visit to the Riccarton Rotary Sunday Market will expose you to an incredible assortment of items: from fresh produce right through to secondhand goods and antique furniture. Performances, face painting, and even a bouncy castle adds a jovial flair to the market too. The market is held every Sunday, rain or shine, from 9am until 2pm.
First held in the year 2000, New Brighton’s Seaside Market began as a small community event that was held every couple of months. By 2013, though, it had become a weekly fixture at the coastal end of New Brighton mall. This is a non-commercial market by definition – all surplus profits from stall rentals go directly into community projects. A typical Seaside Market consists of live performances, vibrant food stalls, and plenty of entertainment for children. Aside from a three-week break over the Christmas and New Year period, the market operates every Saturday from 10am until 2pm.
The Opawa Farmers’ Market puts emphasis on all things locally-grown and organic. Along with a great selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, the market is also known for its artisan breads, French pastries, free-range eggs, and locally-produced cheeses. Every January the market hosts a Berry Fest, and February/March has its own Tomato Fest too. The Opawa Farmers’ Market is held 9am until noon on Sundays.
A good place to stop by if you’re heading towards the Banks Peninsula, stock up on an array of nuts, oils and produce, browse the amazing handcrafted woodwork, arts and crafts on show, and embrace the great community vibes all around. Make sure to keep an eye on their Facebook page, as themed events prop up quite regularly. The Lincoln Farmers and Craft Market runs every Saturday 10am until 1pm.
Speaking of the Banks Peninsula, the Lyttelton Farmers’ Market is a great place to discover some of the Canterbury region’s finest produce. If you’re heading out that way, this community-driven event will be your source for fresh meat, fish, bread, cheese, and vegetables, among many other goodies. The market has been running since 2005, and they even pay local musicians to liven up their endeavors. You’ll find this vibrant affair on London Street, every Saturday from 10am to 1pm.
If you’re heading out to Sumner beach and its surrounds, the Mt Pleasant Farmers’ Market is right on your doorstep. This is a small community market that started up after the area’s local stores were badly damaged by earthquakes. Supporting all things local, this market is known for selling scrumptious home-made baking, as well as preserves, organic fruits and veggies, and an array of plants, too. The Mt Pleasant Farmers Market operates every Saturday from 9:30 am until 12:30pm.
A spring-to-autumn market in the historic settlement of Akaroa, the Akaroa Farmers’ Market will be your source of seasonal produce, freshly-grown herbs, locally-sourced honey, as well as olive oils, nuts, flowers, jams, sauces, preserves, breads, pastries, and lavender products. The market is open Saturdays 9:30am until 1pm from October until April.