Street markets are where Australia started as a nation, and nowhere is this more evident than in sometimes stately Melbourne, which has some of the oldest and best.
Everyone knows the Queen Vic, at the heart of the city for more than a century. You can still buy the freshest of produce â meat and vegetables â but these days this landmark market also has areas for imported gourmet delicatessen and even cosmetics, fashion and souvenirs. Nearby is the String Bean Alley Sunday Design Market, near M Shed, where you will find some of Melbourneâs coolest craft ware in brightly coloured shipping containers.
Melbourne's Camberwell hosts a famous Sunday flea-market, and there are also the Rose Street Artists Market in Fitzroy every Saturday and the super-trendy Greville Street market on Sundays. This is a tad 'alternative' and 'hippy' but it's a great place for vegan food or to get your fortune told either by a palmist or a tarot reader.
There is no shortage of similar markets in Sydney either. Try Balmain Market, squeezed into the grounds of the old cathedral at the corner of Curtis and Darling Road, open every Saturday, which has the additional advantage of selling beer and pub grub so you can eat and browse at the same time.
Sydney's permanent fish market is located at Blackwattle Bay and opens daily at 0700, which is when you'll get the best and freshest of the 70-odd tonnes of seafood sold there every day â most sold to the city's restaurants.
The Glebe Market on Saturdays is unashamedly arty and features a large grassed area where the youngsters can play while you shop.
Sydney's most famous open-air venue though is The Rocks, just a stroll from Circular Quay. Brose the hundreds of knick-knack stalls and then eat at one of the many trendy cafes and small restaurants in the area.
With its all-year warm climate, Brisbane sometimes seems to be one massive street market. Right by the pier at Elizabeth Street is The Riverside Markets, somewhere to go in the CBD on a Sunday, when you could also be wandering South Bank. There, every first Sunday of the month, is the Young Designer Markets, showcasing the latest in local fashions.
But Brisbane's Fortitude Valley suburb is the Queensland mecca of markets, hosting James Street and Valley Markets, the former now housed indoors and open seven days a week, the latter still specialising in outdoor stalls serving old clothes and jewellery and just ideal for a weekend wander.