Sunday Morning at the Port Douglas Market, Australia

Rex's Outlook

Rex's Outlook

It's Sunday morning, and I've just knocked off an item on my bucket list-diving at the Great Barrier Reef in Port Douglas. Feeling excited about this, we hop in the van and head towards Cairns. On the way, we pass Rex's Outlook with its rugged beach line and mountains in the background. The next stop is the Port Douglas Market, held every Sunday on the waterfront at Anzac Park. This looks like a happening place with many locals and tourists browsing over 100 stalls. I've been to outdoor markets all over the world-one of my favorite past times. Let's see how this one stacks up.

The setting for this market is pristine. Bordered by Dickinson Inlet and Wharf Street, I browse the alleyways of the market with incredible views of the Coral Sea in the background.

There are 2 things I notice right off the bat; this place is bustling with thousands of customers, and it is very warm with temperatures in the nineties. I shed my heavy camera bag in the van so that I can peruse the market's aisles, frequently stopping at various stalls which shield me from the sun.


The market appears quite eclectic to me. There are some excellent arts and crafts, handmade furniture, jewelry makers, as well as some interesting food vendors selling locally produced foods.

I stop at a stall where this lady with a multicolored hat is braiding colorful strings into the hair of prepubescent girls. There is a lineup of at least 10 girls who are given numbers as if they are waiting for their turn at a bakery.


My wife, Lisa, has found a stall where a photographer has beautiful prints from his deep water shoots of marine life on the Great Barrier Reef. He tells me that he uses $7500 worth of equipment to produce these shots, including several different strobes. This amazes me!

A vendor is selling hand made guns. Despite having no interest in riflery, I'm taken aback by the craftsmanship of this incredible artisan. He tells me how he gets his materials from India and assembles each piece individually, a painstaking process.

I'm totally entertained by these 2 dudes at a stall on the far edge of the market grounds who are selling some kind of smoking paraphernalia. I feel like I'm catching a buzz just talking to them.

There is a lady at one of the booths with what appears to be a gypsy outfit on. I'm not sure where she is from, and she is too busy to talk to. This is clearly the kind of thing I like to see at an outdoor market.

The Port Douglas Sunday Market is unique in Australia. Designated a "Cotters Market" in 1998, each item that is sold here must be made or grown by the locally based stallholder or an immediate family member. This means that each piece is unique, a source of pride for each of the vendors.

I check my phone-the time has flown. It's time to pile into the van to head to the James Cook University Aquarium on our way to Cairns. The Sunday Market at Port Douglas has been way cool! I wish that it could have been about 10 degrees cooler, however.