Monday, March 7, 2011

Queen Victoria Market, Suzuki Night Market

Queen Victoria Market is Stop #8 when you go on the free Melbourne Tourist Shuttle. I was on board the bus and the driver was making additional commentary about the market as we approached it. The market is a historic landmark and a leading tourist destination; it is said to be the southern hemisphere’s largest open-air market. However, it was Wednesday and the market was closed. 

(Note: The market is closed on Monday and Wednesday and on special days like Good Friday, Anzac Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. Trading hours are 6 am to 2 pm on Tuesday and Thursday;  6 am to 5 pm on Friday (except the general merchandise section which closes at 4 pm); 6 am to 3 pm on Saturday; and 9 am to 4 pm on Sunday)

Then the bus driver said something that caught my attention; there was going to be a night market (called the Suzuki Night Market) and being Australia Day (January 26), there were surely going to be added attractions. So that night my hubby and I took the tram heading north along Elizabeth St; the market was within walking distance from the stop.

The night market was such a great experience! There were so many people, and such a variety of food, merchandise, services and live entertainment! There was this food stall offering a sampler consisting of emu, croc and roo! Of course I could not resist their teaser “Are you game?” and ordered a plate. I had previously tasted crocodile in a burrito (in Manly) but the emu and roo were a novelty. I liked the roo best! There was also a stall offering temporary tattoes and so I got a dragonfly painted on the nape of my neck!

The 2010/2011 Suzuki Night Market Season ended on March 2. You can view a video on the Suzuki Night Market here

The next day my hubby and I were on board the tourist shuttle again and got off at Stop #8. That morning the place was just buzzing! It seemed that everything was sold at the market; it reminded me somewhat of Paddy’s Market in Sydney but on a much grander scale and it was very organized too! The Market is divided into a number of market precincts: the Deli Hall, Elizabeth Street Shops, F shed laneway, Vic Market Place Food Court, Fruit and Vegetables, The Meat Hall, Organics, General Merchandise, Victoria Street Shops and the Wine Market.

The market was just pulsating with life! In the fruits and vegetables section particularly, the vendors were very lively, cajoling visitors into buying their produce. And of course there was haggling! As closing time drew nearer, activity seemed to peak and sellers were almost screaming to advertise the reduced prices of their goods!

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