Otara Flea Markets: a South Auckland Institution

Otara Flea Market is full of colour and music

Otara Flea Markets is full of colour and music

My first visit to Otara Flea Markets took place before dawn. We arrived early and saw the stall holders setting up for their 6am start. I have vivid recollections of the exotic fruit and vegetables and lively Pacific Islander / Māori atmosphere.

This trip (which took place on a morning after) was less well-planned. I can tell you from first hand experience that arriving at 10.30am is a challenge to anyone’s sanity. But after spending 15 minutes trying to get a park, my mango juice restored me and it was well worth it.

A large part of the market is fruit and vegetables – and it’s easily one of the best places in Auckland to get them. I love that you can buy taro root and whole fresh turmeric here (I freeze it and grate some off as needed). There’s also an assortment clothing and craft stalls, with keyrings with rude slogans, Gangnam style t-shirts, hand-knitted baby clothes, colourful jewellery, knock-off kettles and leis.

Apart from being a treasure trove of fresh produce, it’s just a fun place to brunch. Takeaway food stalls sell home-made brownies, pineapple and mango ice-cream, hot pies, popcorn, souvlaki and churros smothered in chocolate sauce. Buskers – some of them quite good – keep people entertained. I love the singing family groups especially. Anyone lives here – or who is just visiting and wants to experience Auckland culture – should visit Otara Flea Markets. Start early though. 🙂

Otara Flea Markets is in the heart of South Auckland, near the East Tamaki motorway exit. It’s open on a Saturday from 6am-noon.

2 thoughts on “Otara Flea Markets: a South Auckland Institution

  1. Thanks for this! Everytime I visit my hometown I ALWAYS visit the fleamarket without fail – first stop will always be the raro donuts ($5 for 12 donuts)…coffee then an hour later something from the hot food stands. No place like home!

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