Helensvale’s new NightQuarter Markets are bringing creativity, colour and cuisine to Friday and Saturday nights.
Who would’ve thunk that a pile of unused shipping containers could be the catalyst for a creative new playground at the upper end of the Gold Coast?
Following the success of Eat Street Markets (a similar shipping-container-style market precinct at Hamilton on the outskirts of Brisbane’s CBD), NightQuarter markets launched two weeks ago offering “the Gold Coast’s newest creative playground”.
While Eat Street Markets is mainly about the food, NightQuarter offers more retail stores, crafts, emerging fashion labels, a super-fun kids’ area and a live music space complete with stage – a true sensory overload. On the night that we visited, there was a catwalk fashion parade, roving entertainers (including jugglers and bellydancers) and some really great live music.
Among the highlights for my family were:
Mum: The relaxed retail shopping experience. There was a wide variety of mini shops offering everything from luxe homewares, to collectable antiques, to really cool fashion labels and, wait for it, saucepans! Mum’s pick: The Porcelain Tree for its vintage pieces and Willow & The Little Gypsies for to-die-for kids’ clothes (that you wish were in adult sizes!).
Dad: We arrived at 6.30pm with grumbling tummies so Dad was all about the food. Full stop. There was SO much to choose from in Tapas Street, Hawker Street and The Depot. The other thing that caught his eye was the barber’s shop. Yep, a shipping container turned funky hipster barber’s shop. Ultimate cool. Dad’s pick: He got most excited by the American-style ribs but the Calamari stall also pleased.
Miss 9: When you’re nine, a mini fashionista, and have a pocket filled with gold coins from your piggy bank, there’s a little bit of excitement around NightQuarter. Miss 9’s pick: Zylo for its all-wooden beauties and trinkets. She spent all her pocket money in this one shop that, for such a dedicated little saver, was a BIG deal. She also had a whale of a time trying to learn how to walk on stilts in Sparky’s Carnival playland and conned her mum into buying her and her sister gorgeous dreamcatchers from another talented artisan.
Miss 7: This happy-go-lucky little soul was content to follow her mum and big sister around all night as they got excited about, well, everything. She enjoyed simply taking in the lights and sights and sounds and foodie smells, but there were a few stalls that stood out for her including the lolly shop (of course) but Miss 7’s pick was The Original Ice Tea Man. Random, I know. She was so chuffed about the take-home mason glass drinking jar, with lid, that you could have refilled at the markets as many times as you like for just $2. Weeks on, that jar still sits pride of place on her bookshelf, but rather than being filled with tasty liquid tea goodness, it is full of silver and gold coins.
NightQuarter is open every Friday and Saturday night from 4-10pm at 1 Town Centre Drive, Helensvale (across the road from Westfield Helensvale). Entry is $3 per person with under 12s free.