Auckland's market mania
New produce outlet adds to city's diverse mixBRIDGET JONES
Whether it is fresh fruit and veggies, homemade crafts or one-off fashion creations that you're looking for, the number of markets in Auckland has exploded.
Almost every weekend there are a handful of new, and old, favourites popping up in community halls, churches and street corners.
Some are one-time wonders, while others, like the newly opened Queen St Markets and the revamped Victoria Park Markets, are permanent fixtures on the retail scene. New kid on the block, Ponsonby Central, is also set to open its doors in October.
Heart of the City's Alex Sweny says the popularity of markets highlights the changing face of Auckland and what is needed to satisfy its communities.
"Auckland is a collection of precincts, and each has their own story to tell.
"And markets amplify the diversity of Aucklanders... they are all about choice, strength, variety and independence."
But with so many around, which are the best to visit?
Best night market
Pakuranga and Glenfield night markets - Saturday and Sunday nights
It might be cold on these winter nights, but that hasn't stopped around 20,000 people from hitting two of Auckland's biggest night markets every weekend.
On Saturday, it's at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Pakuranga and on Sunday it the turn of Glenfield's. Both markets have around 200 stalls, about 80 fresh food options, as well as arts, crafts, clothing and fresh produce, plus there is live entertainment to keep the whole family entertained.
Best French market
La Cigale - Saturday and Sunday until 1.30pm
69 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell
A weekly expansion of the French-style market, Parnell comes alive every weekend as seasonal veggies, cheeses, breads and tasty sweets tumble out of La Cigale. It's the perfect place to grab a coffee and a croissant, and savour the rather delicious sights and smells.
Best craft market
Crafternoon Tea - the third Saturday of the month
Trinity Methodist Church, Kingsland
Crafts are no longer the realm of nanas and the uncool. Crafternoon Tea showcases some of the finest designers in Auckland, with jewellery, kid's clothes, bunting, kitchenware and everything in between. Creating a community within a community, this monthly market screams fun and creativity, but in a friendly, welcoming voice.
Best produce market
Otara Market - Saturday mornings until 12pm
Otara Town Centre
This market is truly legendary. Not only for what you can buy, but also what you can see - it's a true experience in New Zealand culture.
The list you can take home with you is almost endless: Island doughnuts, pork buns, sushi, breads and hangi, plus the amazing variety of fresh fruit and vegetables from all over the Pacific.
Best new old market
Victoria Park - open seven days
This old lady of Auckland has finally had a bit of a nip and tuck, and is revealing herself slowly. Split into three stages of redevelopment, the first two are nearly complete, with a bunch of shops and restaurants open for business. And by December, there will be more shops, more restaurants, a stage and giant TV screen looking into the central courtyard. This isn't a place for shabby shops and dusty corners anymore.
- Auckland Now