I LOVE markets!
I’m a bit of a market addict and love shopping small and buying handmade and Australian treasures – but we hadn’t planned to visit any big markets on this leg of our trip because of our space and budget issues (living in a bus offers no where near enough hiding places for all my purchases).
So when we pulled up in a place called Eumundi on Friday afternoon and passed the sign advertising their weekly markets the next day I was just a little bit excited – even more so when we arrived at our campground for the night and the main entrance was right across the street.
Eumundi is a small town located on the Sunny Coast about 75km from Brisbane. We spent the afternoon wandering up the main street and having a play on the fabulous Dick Caplick park at the top end of town. The Eumundi Heritage and Visitor Centre is well worth a visit – with it’s adjoining art gallery and the old jail cells at the back you can explore the culture and history of the town. Berkelouw Books – Australia’s oldest bookseller – is also located in the main street (heaven help my credit card).
The selection of quirky shops, art galleries, artisan food and coffee venues along the main street gave us a tantalising teaser of the delights that would be available at the markets the next day, and I could almost hear my bank balance getting smaller and smaller by the minute.
A walk around the empty stall lots and market area gave no indication of the transformation that would take place the next day. We woke on Saturday morning to find half of our campground moonlighting as the market car park – stallholder and punters’ cars were streaming in and the place was abuzz!
We have since learned that Eumundi Markets are world famous – and rightly so! Established in 1979 (a proven year for producing class acts) – the quality and quantity of stalls available is outstanding. You can buy clothes, essential oils, jewellery, plants, furniture, cosmetics, tea, flowers, sculptures, skincare, souvenirs and gifts. When you’re done shopping you can get a massage or your fortune told, your aura cleansed or your negative energies cleared. (meanwhile I go broke….)
Don’t even get me started on the food stalls that you can find there…..
But what we’re really interested in, of course, is what’s in it for the kids! And there’s a lot. There is absolutely no way that it’s possible to see everything the market has to offer in one day – but from our short visit we’ve highlighted a few of our favourite things for kids that are a must see if you visit the markets.
Dinosaur Educational Kits
We’ve just come through the dinosaur trail of Australia – after visiting Winton, Hughenden and Richmond we’re all a little bit dino mad so it was exciting to see table full of T-Rexs, Triceratops and velociraptors greeting us to the markets. Dinosaur Kits are a local, family owned business who specialise in wooden craft kits that let you build your own dinosaur. They also have great little wooden cut outs of all sorts of things that the boys loved – we took home a star and a guitar that got decorated back at camp and gave hours of entertainment. If we only had room in the bus for a brachiosaurus…..
Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World
We made a beautiful feathered friend thanks to the Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World who were hanging out at the markets chatting to people and handing out brochures.
When I spotted this gem of a stall I wanted to sit myself down on a beanbag, cuddle up to Funky Chicken and delight in one of author Chris Colin’s whacky, rhyming, Australian picture books all afternoon. I love books – and one of my favourite things is to discover children’s books that are still fun to read as a grown up. These beautiful and fun books ticked all the boxes – featuring Aussie characters and enough silliness to keep adults and kids engaged. Love love love – so much that we’ll be doing a full feature on all the titles on the website very soon – watch this space! If you can’t wait then head over to their website now and find out more……
Made in Grandad’s Shed
At a 2nd birthday we once went to one of the birthday gifts was a wooden camera and all the kids were crazy about it. This stall had these cameras for sale which is what caught my eye – as well as loads of other toys all hand made to fuel the imagination. If you can’t make it to the markets you can order direct on their website – including free shipping in Australia.
When our 2 year old spotted this stall he thought he was in toddler paradise! There are so many great toys here we could have played all day (I had to forcibly remove Mr 2 so that they had some stock left to sell) – our favourites were the balloon ball covers and the art display signs. See their full range on their website here.
I’m a sucker for a hoola hoop – the ones we spotted from Noosa Hoops are colourful, great quality and come in all sizes. Hours of fun!
Figured Out Families
Whilst not technically for kids – this stall was so gorgeous that we just had to share – Figured Out Families is a beautiful work of art that you can help to create yourself to signify your family, who you are and what you mean to each other. A modern, tactile and personalised family tree – you choose which elements go into your design and the team at Figured Out Families create your wooden figurine or picture for you. Absolutely stunning.
Eumundi Markets is open rain, hail or shine every Wednesday and Saturday. We arrived at about 9am and could wander around quite easily with 2 pushchairs and a dog. By 11am it was manic and we escaped back to the bus to eat pancakes – returning again just after lunch for another browse.
Did we miss any of your family favourites? Let us know in the comments!