There’s no denying that shopping in Christchurch has changed considerably over the last few years as the central city recovers from the earthquakes.
But as retail returns to downtown, there’s another trend on the rise as traditional markets pop up around the city and surrounding districts, providing the chance for visitors to purchase locally grown produce and artisan crafts.
We’ve pulled together a list of ten of the best markets that are available in and around the Garden City.
1. Christchurch Farmers' Market – Saturday 9am-1pm at Riccarton House & Bush
Since 2003 market goers have flocked to the beautiful, Heritage One listed Riccarton house for some of Canterbury’s finest fresh produce. The Christchurch Farmers' Market is held in the historic homestead’s grounds, alongside the Avon. If you’re a foodie, you won’t be disappointed as there is usually a dazzling display of fruit and veg, meat and fish, dairy and more. There’s always a great selection of food vendors on site too with all sorts of international offerings to tempt you, from cornish pasties to japanese dumplings. Our advice is to get there early as parking nearby is limited.
2. Saturday Seaside Market – Saturdays 10.00am - 2.00pm, New Brighton
The tradition of the New Brighton market is one that goes back years, but it has had something of a revival in recent times. Situated down the beach end of New Brighton mall, you can enjoy the fresh sea air while browsing through crafts, foods, arts and crafts, and bric a brac. There's also live entertainment, a bouncy castle for the kids to enjoy, and free facepainting. Check out their Facebook page for more up to date info. And with the exciting news that salt water baths are going to be built in Brighton, this community based event will only go from strength to strength!
3. Lyttelton Farmers' Market – Saturday 10am-1pm, London St
Lyttelton Farmers' Market has been running since 2005 and is one of the region's largest farmers markets. The market is community run by Project Lyttelton, and its focus is promoting the best local food and local musicians each week. There’s no better place to discover the amazing produce that Banks Peninsula has to offer, with fresh fish, meat , bread, cheese, vegetables and plants available every week.
The market has expanded and now takes place on the main street of this portside town, so we recommend getting there early for the best produce and parking.
4. The Riccarton Market – Sunday 9am- 2.00pm, Riccarton Park Racecourse
The Riccarton Market is the largest market in Chrischurch and has been held at its current location since 1995. It has over 300 stalls that offer a wide variety of items, from fresh produce to second hand goods, furniture, clothing, plants and much more. There’s plenty of food and drinks vendors on site, as well as entertainment for the children including buskers, bouncy castle and a painting stall. Parking capacity is generous and there’s also wheelchairs available for use. Check here for details and to book a wheelchair.
5. Opawa/St Martins Farmers’ Market – Sunday 9am-12pm, 275 Fifield Terrace, St Martins
The weekly Sunday Opawa Farmers' Market has been supporting local growers for the last few years and offers a large array of organic and spray free produce. You’ll also find a great selection of bread and baked goodies, cheeses, honey and eggs. And of course there’s always the option to grab some ready to eat food or a coffee whilst you’re shopping. Parking is available close by, but as always we suggest getting there early!
6. Mt Pleasant Farmers' Market – Saturday 9.30am-12.30pm, McCormacks Bay Rd
If you’re heading out to Sumner beach on a Saturday morning, then the Mt Pleasant Farmers' Market may well be worth a stop en route. The small community market sprung up after the earthquakes badly hit the local stores, giving the residents of the suburb an option to still buy locally. You’ll find a tempting array of home made cakes, preserves, organic fruit and veg and locally grown plants for sale.
7. Lincoln Farmers' and Craft Market – Saturday 10-1pm, Gerald Street, Lincoln
If you’re planning on venturing outside of Christchurch towards Akaroa or Banks Peninsula, then it’s worth stopping by the Lincoln Farmers' and Craft Market community market. There’s a wide range of locally grown and made produce, including nuts, fruit and veg, olive oil, herbs, handcrafted woodwork, local art and more. In addition to the regular weekly market, you’ll also find themed events onsite at certain times of the year.
8. Ohoka Famers' Market – Friday 9am-12.30pm, Ohoka Domain
If you fancy a bit of retail therapy on a Friday, then Ohoka Farmers' Market gives you the option to browse up to 55 stalls outside of the weekend. Started in 2009, the market celebrates organic and GE Free produce from the Waimakariri area. The market is held weekly at the beautiful country Ohoka domain, and has plenty of parking as well as a playground for the kids. Alongside the usual array of farmgate produce, you’ll also find a selection of artisan crafts, including pottery, woodwork, clothing, jewellery, soaps and homewares.
9. Akaroa Farmers' Market – Saturday 9.30am-1pm (October - April only)
Akaroa Farmers' Market is each Saturday from Spring to Autumn, taking advantage of the abundance of local produce that Banks Peninsula has to offer at this time. You’ll find locally grown fruit, veges, herbs, honey, olive oil, olives, nuts and flowers plus locally produced preserves, pickles, jams, sauces and more.If you’re thinking of heading over to Akaroa it’s well worth getting up early and beating the rush as during peak season the township can get very busy, especially if there’s a cruise ship in town!
10. Sunday Artisan Market – Sunday 10am-2pm, Riccarton House & Bush (October - April only)
During the summer months, Riccarton House is lucky enough to boast two superb weekend markets, with the Sunday Artisan Market joining the Saturday Farmers’ market. With plenty of stalls selling locally made craft, jewellery, woollen garments, as well as gourmet food stalls and fresh produce, it’s a great place to spend a lazy Sunday morning. Parking is limited, so we suggest getting there early to avoid having to walk too far with all your purchases!