The Northern Rivers is known for their markets and world-class produce.
Most residents are fiercely loyal to their local farmers and will find the majority of their weekly food shop from their markets and family butchers.
They shun the likes of Coles and Woolies due to expensive prices, stupid amounts of plastic packaging and tasteless fruit and vegetables that go bad within days. A great Choice article gives you the low down on what you’re actually eating when you buy from these chains.
Health regulations prevent you from taking pets to any of these markets which is really unfortunate. They are the perfect place to take your fury friend on a sunny day.
Here's our pick of the top five markets in the region.
Bangalow Farmers Market
The market is held in the Bangalow Hotel car park at 1 Byron Street Bangalow every Saturday from 8 – 11am. You can tie your fury friend up at the entrance and whip in and grab your goodies.
The Bangalow Farmers Market is fantastic for local produce. If you’re visiting and plan to cook, definitely head here. The vegetables are amazing, you will see a true rainbow of different goodies and there are numerous meat stalls with a variety of fresh and cured meats.
There are usually around 20 stalls so it’s not huge but the quality is fantastic.
Unfortunately there is no coffee stall but after the markets you can head onto Bangalow’s main drag to grab one. We recommend Sparrow Coffee at 32-24 Byron Street. Say hello to Alice, she’s awesome.
Our top picks
French bread stall – they are there without fail, the bread is top notch and the ladies are lovely.
Nimbin Valley Dairy – they are not always there but I always grab a few bits of cheese if they are. The washed rind and marinated goats cheese are both delightful.
Boomerang Creek Farm - Will runs a bio-dynamic farm and their produce, especially the garlic, is beautiful. Boomerang Creek basically starts at Nightcap Ridge so we know the water they’re using is the best in the world.
Apples - they can sit on the bench for weeks and still taste as fresh as the day they were picked. Apples aren’t really grown around the area so they come from a farm out at Stanthorpe.
The Bangalow Market is held on the fourth Sunday of the month from 9am – 3pm inside the Bangalow Showground. Get in early to beat the long lines of flash cars winding through Bangalow to get a park at the Showgrounds.
There is a great range of goods on offer with a definite artsy feel. You can find clothing, plants, art, records as well as hot food and the mandatory coffee.
The Showground is a lovely location for markets, especially in good weather. You wander under the huge trees and you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.
Lismore Car Boot Market
The Lismore Car Boot Market is held in the carpark under Lismore Square on the first and third Sunday of each month from 7:30am – 2pm.
On first inspection it looks a bit daggy but, like Lismore, there’s so much to love! It’s a huge market with a wide range of different items on offer and a great community vibe. There are four or five decent coffee stalls there but I recommend getting there early to beat the lines before you start wandering around.
You can find an abundance of fruit and vegetables, hot food, plants, bric-a-brac, antiques, records and books, linen tea towels, wool and crocheted blankets. Lismore has a rich musical history and you get a sense of it there with the fabulous buskers and performers.
Our top picks
Cupcake stall - walk in the main entrance on the corner or Uralba and Brewster Street and she is on the right. They are freshly baked and the flavours are always changing. She is such a delight as well.
Knitwear - there are many stalls with nice older ladies showing their knitted items such as beanies, jumpers, blankets and baby clothes. For the quality and time items would take to produce, it’s all reasonably priced.
Handmade furniture – we have purchased a few sets of Aidrondack chairs from OzMark Creations. They are made out of recycled fence posts so they will stand the test of time and the quality is excellent. Mark and Sue are lovely
Plants – I never leave the car boot sale without purchasing a few plants. My favourite stall is Miss Tree. Stephanie lives locally, in Rosebank and she always gives good advice.
The Channon Craft Market
Held at the Coronation Oval in The Channon on the second Sunday of the month from 9am – 3pm.
It’s known as the longest running market in the Northern Rivers. You’re in true hippie territory here and it’s awesome. The whole community comes out for the Channon Market and it has a bit more of a crafty, chilled vibe.
It has a great range of fruit and veg stalls, fruit trees and plants, hot food, clothing, baskets, and arts and crafts.
It’s held around the outside of Coronation Oval and they will often have musical acts in the middle where kids run around and dance and play.
I haven’t been there at the end of the market but apparently there’s a drumming circle in the middle and everyone joins in and dances.
I’d recommend getting there early and getting a park as the traffic can get a bit hectic (for country standards!) around lunchtime. Have a gold coin ready for entrance to the carpark.
Our top picks
Tridosha – they’re a small family business from Bangalow who make salt, pepper and spice blends. You buy the shaker, which is a really nice gift, and you can buy packet refills. The Mediterano blend goes with just about anything.
Shopping baskets – the hand-woven baskets are a must-have for market shopping!
Waffles – their waffles with banana and ice cream are pretty awesome.
Mullum Farmers Market
Held every Friday morning from 7 – 11am at the Mullumbimby Showground located at 51 Main Arm Road, Mullumbimby.
The Mullumbimby community is known for their clean, green way of life and the market is a perfect example of this.
You will find all of your fruit and vegetables as well as homemade jams, local meats, baked goodies and a wide range of other items. You wander under the massive fig trees and there’s always really good live music and a great community vibe.
Our top picks
Alive Foods – if you’re into fermented foods, you will love their traditional Sauerkraut and Kim-Chi.
Bangalow Potatoes – their Dutch Cream potatoes are absolutely delicious and perfect for your potato salad and great for frying. They’re also at Bangalow Farmers Market.