Every Saturday in central Queenstown, artists and artisans from all over the South Island display their wares at the Queenstown Arts and Crafts Market. If you’re looking for unique souvenirs or gifts to take home, you’re bound to find something amidst the handcrafted jewelry, knitwear, bone carvings, pottery, paintings, and so much more.
The Queenstown Arts and Crafts Market is a great place to stop before you leave the city, or to pass a couple of hours shopping on a Saturday morning. Artists and craftspeople from across New Zealand’s South Island, from as far north as Nelson and as far south as Invercargill, set up stalls in Earnslaw Park, where locals and visitors alike browse one-of-a-kind, handcrafted art and goods—nothing here is second-hand or imported. The vendors and what’s for sale change weekly, keeping folks coming back week after week for everything from wood and metal artworks to soaps and flax weavings. Local musicians frequent the market as well, playing music from all over the world.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Queenstown Arts and Crafts Market is ideal for visitors wanting to find special souvenirs and gifts to take home.
- If you need a break from shopping, there’s lots of space to sit and relax in Earnslaw Park.
- Bring cash: although some stallholders accept credit cards, don’t risk missing out on a unique souvenir from a stall that doesn’t.
- Feel free to try some gentle haggling, but don’t be surprised if the vendor stands firm: you might have more luck negotiating a discount if you’re buying multiple items.
How to Get There
Located on the Lake Wakatipu waterfront, the market is easy to find in central Queenstown. Just head to Earnslaw Park: follow Shotover Street down to the Beach Street intersection and turn left.
When to Get There
The market is open on Saturdays year-round, though for slightly shorter hours in winter than in summer. Arrive when the market opens to beat the crowds, or just before midday if you want to hear the local musicians perform and take advantage of the midday sun. Keep your eyes peeled for extra dates: the market is sometimes open on Fridays during summer.
Purchase a Unique Memento
Pounamu (greenstone) carvings are sometimes available at the market; check the market’s website to see whether there’s anyone selling them that weekend. Be aware that some New Zealanders believe it is bad luck to purchase a taonga (treasure) like pounamu for yourself. Talk about this with the pounamu vendor before you purchase anything.