Our first Sunday was cloudy, but enjoyably spent at the ever-popular Queen Victoria Markets in the north of the CBD. The market is nestled in the midst of the downtown skyscrapers.
As one of Melbourne’s claim to fame, it is a popular tourist destination, but many locals were there utilizing the competitive prices on quality goods as their local weekend market.
The market was sprawling, covering two entire city blocks, and thriving at mid-morning Sunday. Hundreds of vendors had set out their goods hoping to entice the passersby. The location was an inside-outside feel, with a covered roof, open sides, and wooden stalls.
One of the largest segments of the market was the food sector. Not only were there prepared food stalls, but huge arrays of fresh produce, meats (even kangaroo!), seafood, pasta, pastries, sweets, and delicatessen items.
However, food was definitely not the only category of items sold. Think of any type of household good, apparel, kitchen tool, etc… it was being sold at the market! Some things were uniquely Australian: opals, didgeridoos, leather, Akubra hats, and Uggs. The early 2000’s novelty shoes “Heelies” are apparently making a comeback in Australia as Wheely’s.
As it happened, the day we went, the market was hosted a Mooncake Festival celebration. Mooncake Day is the Chinese mid-autumn festival. The Chinese Cultural Association of Victoria put on a Lion Dance Competition that was interesting and exciting to watch. The costumes were amazing! There was also a man in a stilted sumo suit handing out red envelopes filled with packets of soy sauce.