There’s no denying that shopping in Christchurch has changed considerably over the last few years as 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 just some of the varied markets that are available in and around the Garden City.
1. Christchurch Farmers Market - Saturdays 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 market is held in the historic homestead’s grounds, alongside the river Avon.
If you’re a foodie, you won’t be disappointed as there is usually a dazzling of fruit and veg, meat and fish, dairy and of course fresh farm eggs.
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 is limited nearby.
2. Downtown Farmers Market - Sun 9.30 - 2.30pm, The Commons
The Downtown Farmers Market is the lastest market to pop up in the central city and is a varied and vibrant market with love music and kids activities, as well as the stalls. Like other farmers markets, its focus is on fresh, quality and local produce but also features a selection of giftware, plants, arts and crafts and furniture. There’s plenty of parking close by and is very family friendly.
3. Lyttelton Farmers Market, Sat 10-1pm, London St
Lyttleton Farmers Market has been running since 2005 and is one of the regions largest farmers markets. The market is a 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 the town, so we recommend getting there early to get the best produce and parking. Find out more details on their website.
4. Riccarton Market - Sun 9am- 2.00pm, Riccarton Park Racecourse
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. There’s plenty of parking spaces and there’s also wheelchairs available for use. Check here for details and to book a wheelchair.
5. Opawa/St Martins Farmers’ Market - Sun 9-12pm, 275 Fifield Tc
This weekly sunday 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 closeby, but as always we suggest getting there early! Details available here on FB
6. Mt Pleasant Farmers Market - 9.30-12.30pm, Sat, McCormacks Bay Rd
If you’re heading out to Sumner beach on a Saturday morning, then this little community market may well be worth stopping at on your way. The market sprung up after the earthquakes badly hit the local stores, giving the residents of the suburb an option to still buying locally. You’ll find a tempting array of locally made cakes, preserves ,organic fruit and veg and locally grown plants for sale. Check out the market’s FB page here
7. Lincoln Farmers and Craft Market – Saturday 10-1pm, Gerald Street, Lincoln
If you’re planning on venturing further afield outside of Christchurch towards Akaroa or Banks Peninsula, then it’s worth stopping by this small 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. Check the FB page for more details.
8. Ohoka Famers Market – Fri 9-12.30, 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 Ohaka 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, Sat 9.30-1pm (Oct - April)
Akaroa 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 Sun 10-2pm, Riccarton House & Bush
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 get the best spots!