This may be the first review on my blog about markets but it will surely not be the last because visiting markets is my go-to activity on ANY trip. Flea markets, night markets, Christmas markets, farmers markets, you name it and I’m down (if they’re good).
Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets only set up for business on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 5pm, so that required a bit of planning around on the itinerary since my husband and I were only in Gold Coast for a few days. We eventually decided on a Wednesday, and thankfully it wasn’t too crowded.
What I really like about the markets here in Australia, as opposed to other markets in some Asian countries I’ve been to, is that a large number of the vendors here actually make and create their products on sale. They aren’t mass-produced or bought at a cheaper price somewhere else and resold in bulk for a higher price. These unique items are a result of someone’s hard work, discipline and craftsmanship, which I feel is commendable in this day and age of automation.
I thought the most interesting one was a stall selling jewellery pendants hand-carved out of coins that came from countries all over the world. The vendor basically retains the key features of the coin while sawing out the white space around it. It was a wow moment watching him skillfully work on the smallest of coins but still managing to keep the tiny details intact.
After checking out all the stalls from one end to the other, I eventually bought a stick of lip balm from the Bee Natural stall because of the all-natural ingredient list and the fact that their products are handmade in small batches for quality assurance. IT IS AMAZING, totally regret not buying more then because later I found out on their website that they only ship to a limited number of countries (whyyy, I will pay for shipping pleaseee).
Even though there weren’t many stalls that we ended up buying from, it was really nice and relaxing walking along the market’s breezy esplanade next to the beach. The thing that makes markets an enjoyable experience for me is the liveliness and vibrancy of the atmosphere, and that was clearly evident here. Many vendors brought their dogs with them too (I love dogs!). We also saw a busker called Silver Steve, who would be as still a statue at one moment, then suddenly reach out to interact with the crowd at another, causing a few terrified reactions and much laughter.
My overall rating of the experience: 4 out of 5 stars. Although we didn’t make many purchases either because of the prices or the practicality of the items, the amount of skill and effort that was put on display and on sale at this market was a joy for me to experience – from the glassmakers, the cap airbrushers, and the jewellery crafters, to the entrepreneurs selling locally-sourced, all-natural products and handlers offering upclose photo-ops with various reptiles. The atmosphere was lively and fun, and I was pretty disappointed when we reached the end of the market stalls. Plus points for being conveniently located at Surfers Paradise and right next to the lovely beach. Did I mention the super cute dogs that some vendors brought along with them? ❤