Markets, whether small country town outdoor ones or big city permanent fixtures, are always something I like to seek out for a number of reasons. They can be quite a tourist attraction in their own right, with all the sights, colours and aromas and they give you a true feel for the region and its people. They are of course also a fantastic source for fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, seafood and meats. The atmosphere is always busy and buzzing with life which is something we’ve all missed for the past year, so it’s nice to feel some of that normal society busy life again.
The South Melbourne market is one we visited on our last trip to Melbourne and it was just as bright and chaotic as you would expect. It reminded me very much of the Adelaide Central Market in its atmosphere. The market opened in 1867 on its 10 acre site and like everything, has undergone changes over the many years since. Today it has a rooftop carpark which provides shelter for shoppers while capturing the rain water and supporting solar panels to generate electricity. It is Melbourne’s longest continually running market.
The market has traders for seafood, deli meats, farm fresh produce, Asian grocers, a Cannoleria, patisseries, poultry and so much more when it comes to food choices. There are also florists, homewares, fashion and plants and all up, almost 150 trader stalls. When it all gets too overwhelming you can take a seat in one of the many places to eat and watch the passing parade of life.
Adding to the colour of the market is some street art which was created by some of Melbourne’s best artists to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the market. They include murals by Cam Scale which depict the generations of people from all backgrounds, who have visited and worked in the market over the years.
Another mural by Knock, is called pollination and features a wattle bird representing growth and bloom and a plant’s cycle of pollination and new growth.
The South Melbourne Market is on the corner of Coventry and Cecil Streets in South Melbourne, around 3 kilometres south of the CBD, and it’s open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 4pm, and until 5pm on Fridays. There is car parking available on site and trams and buses are other options to get you there.
We found it easy to get metered street parking nearby too and as with so many parts of Melbourne, we found more street art in the laneways and streets we took on the walk to the destination.
Unfortunately I’m not sure of the artists responsible for these works but they all certainly do their bit to brighten up areas and cause interest.