One of the best ways to get to know locals while traveling is by visiting a farmers’ market, and in Cairns, Rusty’s happens to be one of the best in the country. What started in 1975 as a sparse handful of stalls has since ballooned into a long-running and beloved weekend marketplace. Every Friday through Sunday, more than 180 vendors gather a delectable array of exotic fruits, flowers and vegetables, not to mention cooked food stalls, seafood vendors, fresh baked bread and much more.
Whether you’re looking to stock up on fresh produce for your vacation, or you’d simply like to browse, the wares on offer are indicative of the down under melting pot of Northern Queensland, with indigenous foods from Australian Aborigines alongside unique produce from the Torres Strait Islands, and a mix of cultures from China, India, Papua New Guinea and beyond.
Rusty’s Markets is open every Friday and Saturday from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. You’ll find the market under Gilligan’s Backpacker Hotel and Resort, just three blocks in from the Esplanade between Grafton and Sheridan streets.