Been to the market lately?
In Melbourne, try the Queen Victoria Market, said to be the southern hemispheres largest open-air market offering a variety of fresh farm produce and, on Sundays, a wider range of merchant items which turn the market into a modern Arabian Nights bazaar.
The Queen Victoria Market is an historic Melbourne landmark and a Melbourne institution dating back to more than 120 years ago.
It hasnt been just a market. At different times in the past it has been a cemetery, a livestock market and a place to sell fruit and vegies (vegetables) wholesale.
Officially opened in March 1878 as the Queen Victoria Market, it had operated even before that time as a motley market of goods and produce.
While it's mostly an open-air market, some areas are roofed and buildings have been added through the years.
For the visitor to Australia, the Queen Victoria Market offers a type of local experience in the buying and selling of goods. It is also an open-air bazaar, particularly on Sundays, with a range of uniquely Australian items and souvenirs to take back home, as well as being a source of bargain-priced local and imported goods.
A similar market in New South Wales would be Paddys Market adjacent to Sydneys Chinatown. For farm produce, the traditional place to go in Sydney would be the Flemington Markets, away from the heart of the city.
In Tasmania, think of the Salamanca Market in Hobart.
Aside from the variety of wares offered at the Queen Victoria Market, buskers and street entertainment are a market feature, particularly on Sundays when Queen St is closed and becomes a place of cafes, carnival rides and other activities.
And there's always the sound of spruikers cajoling visitors into buying their goods, and you can haggle for the best prices you're able to get.
Within walking distance
The Queen Victoria Market is sited on seven hectares located in two city blocks, the Lower Market bounded by Elizabeth, Victoria, Queen and Therry Sts, and the Upper Market by Queen, Victoria, Peel and Franklin Sts.
It is very much centrally located, and within walking distance from either the Elizabeth St exit of Melbourne Central Railway Station or Flagstaff Station on the corner of Latrobe and William Sts.
If taking a tram, one heading north along Elizabeth St or William St will take you there.
The Queen Victoria Market trading hours are 6am to 2pm on Tuesday and Thursday; 6am to 6pm (with the general merchandise section closing at 4pm) on Friday; 6am to 3pm on Saturday; and 9am to 4pm on Sunday.