When I think markets I think food, colours, trinkets and produce.
A market provides a perfect start to your day, a chance to get the body moving and some fresh air into the lungs. For me it often involves taking the dog, which most markets welcome. It’s usually a free event and most weekends you'll find one not too far away.
Here’s a guide on some great markets in our region to see on your next visit or stay. Plug them into your calendar and do the circuit if you desire. Yes we can promise egg and bacon rolls or the smell of grilled onions on the BBQ, but there’s a lot more hidden treasures to be found. Vintage markets, Farmers Markets and local community fundraisers are all in the mix.
About: Situated in Bannockburn, this market is a genuine farmers' market accredited with the Victorian Farmers Market Association. Come along and stock up on fresh fruit, veggies, breads, olives, wines, jams, spreads, plants and more. It’s all fresh from the farm and sold by the farmer. With entertainment for the kids and a great atmosphere the Golden Plains Farmers' Market is a regular treat for the whole family. Head out to some wineries around the Moorabool Valley after your market stop.
When: First Saturday of each month from 8.30 - 12.30pm
About: Held at the Geelong Waterfront on the lawns of Steampacket Gardens, the market showcases a range of handmade or home grown products and services including artists, timber toys and kitchen bread boards, clothing, jewellery, soaps, candles along with farm products of olive oil, fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants. After your shopping enjoy a stroll to Eastern Beach Promenade.
When: First Sunday of the month.
About: Got a craving for hot potato? This is the spot. Held at the local primary school, the market features a fair bit of local produce. Lovers of art and craft are not forgotten either with plenty of homemade clothes and artworks up for great prices. There are often children’s rides and a playground.
When: Every second Sunday + Easter Saturday and the first Saturday in December from 9 - 2pm
About: The Bellarine Community Farmers' Market is to bring together local farmers, community gardens, backyard growers and producers to provide fresh food and produce, direct to the public, in one convenient location. This activity benefits all members of the local community involved, due to the associated health and environmental benefits of consuming locally grown produce, reducing the food kilometers and profits being kept directly within the community. What a great ethos and it shows in the product.
When: Third Saturday of every month at Ocean Grove Park. 9 -1pm
About: Barwon Heads Market has over 30 stalls of fresh fruit and vegies, home made crafts and jewellery, home grown, plants, craft, clothing. Enjoy a Devonshire tea and sausage sizzle in the Barwon Heads Community Hall. Pick up some local fruit and veg before heading home.
When: Every Saturday from December to January and on the last Saturday every month from February to November.
About: The Drysdale Community Market has been operating for over 30 years and is much loved by locals and visitors alike. Located in a picturesque setting the market attracts over 100 stall holders offering handcrafted wares, locally made and produced items including plants, flowers and food as well as entertainment and food vans, there's a little bit of something for everyone.
When: Held on the 3rd Sunday of the month from October through to May.
About: Come down to Lower Princess Park, check out what’s new for the season, listen to the music, and take a stroll along the adjoining Queenscliff pier. Join the vibrant community selling high quality, handmade, home grown, produce, artworks and goods. This market never disappoints.
When: Last Sunday of the month September to May. 9 – 2 pm
About: Enjoy the fresh see breeze as you stroll through the parkland that takes in the best views of Port Phillip Bay while watching the local mussel boats and fishermen go about their trades. The market stalls include farm fresh produce, toys, books and music. Select from a great range of arts, crafts, gifts and home wares or fashion for the whole family, even the pets. You will always find a hat at this market!
When: Last Sunday of every month.
Images: Bellarine Farmers Market
Love a bit of vintage or hunting through unique collectables? You have to get to these places NOW!
How Bazaar Geelong is a collectables market place with 1000 square metres of industrial, vintage and retro furniture, jewellery and kitchenware with over 12,000 items. They have a range of carnival and sideshow items from the early 20th Century, antique and vintage hardware and tools, fishing gear, linen, china and glassware. A definite must for any collector or bargain hunter. Easily accessible from the Melbourne Road, they have plenty of parking. Come and visit How Bazaar next time you are in Geelong.
Treasure hunters have the opportunity to spend hours browsing and meandering through an eclectic mix of wares at The Mill Markets. There is a fantastic variety of furniture, records, vintage clothing, books, fine china, glassware, industrial items, jewellery, quality antiques as well as Australian pottery, homewares, memorabilia, retro fashions and collectables as well as everything in between. All goods are from the 1850's right through to present day.
Geelong Vintage Market is housed in a beautiful old glass factory and provides 2,000 square meters of vintage heaven. Over 60 permanent stall holders each specialise in unique items, ranging from shabby chic, to industrial & rustic, vintage clothing, antiques and much, much more. With such a large space and a huge variety, one could spend an entire day wandering around and delving through treasures. The market has their own cafe on-site serving speciality coffee, tea and yummy food.
Images: Geelong Vintage Market
And there's more
We also have two really special markets that are held on various dates throughout the year that you must hear about. Piccadilly Market is an indoor artisans market located on the Geelong Waterfront showcasing over 80 stalls of beautiful jewellery, adults and children’s clothing, homewares, stationery, gourmet food and more. Everything is either hand made or designed by the seller. This is where you will find unique and interesting goods that are non mass produced and often have a lovely story behind them.Held 3 times a year typically in March, July and December. The Townhall Pako Market runs several times a year, situated in the Supper Room of the Geelong West Town Hall. The range of products available are wide and wonderful, from handmade jewellery, art, lead light, wood work and heaps more. Sample spices, jams, chutneys, carob chocolates, and local honey. Then sit down to enjoy a Devonshire Tea while you listen to live music and know you are supporting local talent and producers.
Image: Piccadilly Market
Now if you really want to blend in with the locals then chuck on your tracky dacks and head to these three local hangouts.
Beckley Park Community Market Every Saturday
Belmont Market Every Sunday
Geelong Showgrounds Market Every Sunday (except Geelong Show Weekend in October)
If you’re searching for something random, you’ll probably find it at one of these places. Even if all you do is buy the obligatory bags of jam donuts and find one hidden treasure, it’s worth a pit stop.