Roll up your reusable shopping bags and head to the hinterland for some retail therapy because Eumundi Markets are back and better than ever! Resuming after a brief hiatus, the world-renowned Sunshine Coast attraction reopened on July 11th with a whole host of stalls and artisanal delights. An institution since the late 70s, the Eumundi Markets is now 600 vendors strong; a far cry from the mere trio of stalls that featured on their inaugural opening day on March 24th, 1979! Despite its exponential growth over the last four decades, the popular tourist attraction still maintains the mantra; “make it, bake it, grow it, sew it” in keeping with their commitment to showcase locally grown produce and wares. Nowadays there is an added quest to ensure sustainability and an eco-friendly approach to operations.
With a patronage of around 1.6 million visitors each year, it’s little wonder the tiny town of Eumundi morphs into a bustling hive of activity come market day and you could be forgiven for thinking that Australia’s largest homegrown market is one huge entity. In fact, this much-loved bazaar is made up of several different markets, each with their own individual stallholders and focus. The Original Eumundi Markets, Parkside, Central and Pavilion Markets operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays as per longstanding tradition, while Wednesday on the Terraces is set among the fig trees, supports local community works and is the brainchild of the Eumundi & District Community Association. Eumundi Square Market offers a new dimension with 90 permanent, undercover stallholders opening their doors on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Friday at Eumundi Square is Country Fare Day and runs from 8.30 – 2pm featuring delectable sips and nibbles, live entertainment, a petting zoo and a fashion parade. Perhaps the quietest day to visit, parking near the square is free and access is wheelchair friendly. In fact, all market areas are diffability friendly with wheelchair ramps and suitable amenities.
Names aside, each area serves to bring together a seamless offering of some of the best local goods to be sourced on the Sunny Coast. From fashion, footwear, accessories and art, to homewares, healing remedies, repurposed creations and pet couture, there is something to tantalise even the most reluctant shopper including the four-legged furry kind! Pets are more than welcome as long as they are on a lead. Even if you’re not looking to load up your bags with bargains and curios, the Eumundi Markets is a haven for foodies (including Fido!) and coffee connoisseurs alike. But don’t be swayed to tuck into that hotel brekkie before you are market bound because you’ll want plenty of room in the tank to fuel up on gastronomic delights once you get there. Dare you not to be tempted by Tibetan MoMos, French Crepes, Japanese Gyozas, a breakfast burger or brunch of Heuvos Rancheros. Hungry yet? Hear that sizzle of German snags and smell the aroma of stone baked pizza? Follow your nose to the food stalls and do your best to decide on what to try. Forget that… try EVERYTHING! Then you can leave any reluctant shoppers there to munch their way through the morning while you spend up a storm!
Eumundi Markets is home to some of the Coast’s best coffee roasters and wherever you are moseying, an awesome brew is never far away. Sampling gourmet goodies is par for the course and the stallholders at Eumundi are happy to have you taste or try and hopefully buy! But there’s no high-pressure sales pitch to get you to open your purse with many purveyors happy to have a friendly chat about their wares, the weather, or where you have travelled from that day. Keen to support local businesses, there aren’t many who pay a visit to Eumundi Markets and leave hungry or empty handed!
A trip to the markets is much more enjoyable when you can stroll leisurely about the rows of stalls, listening to live music and ensuring you haven’t missed out on any treats or eats. That being said, getting there as early as possible is a must. Wednesday markets open from 8am to 1.30pm and tend to be quieter than the Saturday market which opens an hour earlier at 7am, trading through until 2pm. Driving to Eumundi is a popular choice and most people make a day of it. Those in the know with vehicles of their own tend to head out early to snag any available free side street spots or car parks close to the action, especially during peak holiday periods. Be sure to carefully check main street council parking signs as most two hour timeslots are limited to 15 minutes only come market days!
That being said, there’s usually plenty of parking available at the ECCO (Eumundi Combined Community Organisation) carpark on the corner of Napier Rd and Albert St at just $6 for the duration, proceeds of which support projects that benefit the local community.
Located just 15 minutes from Noosa, Eumundi is an easy commute South West along the Noosa-Eumundi Road. Traveling North from Caloundra you can opt to stay on the highway or take the scenic route inland via Glenview and out through the rolling hills and quaint country hamlets of the hinterland. The trip should take under an hour from Caloundra or 90 minutes from Brisbane. Not keen on driving? Many companies run tours from all areas of the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane with front door pickup from your apartment or hotel. Half day tours get you there early and usually allow you three to four hours to leisurely browse the markets before returning you to your accommodation. For half day market tours, check out Noosa Hinterland Tours or see your hotel information guide for other local operators.
Coast2Coast Buses run shuttles for $15 one way or $25 return between the Noosa region and Eumundi on market days with buses leaving every hour. For those seeking a cheaper option, check out the public bus and train routes that have stops nearby the markets, but make sure you check the timetable as trains may not coincide well with market hours or give you much time to wander. Public bus routes with stops at Eumundi are 630 and 631. The BRGY train also line stops nearby Eumundi Markets. For detailed info on other stops and locations check out www.translink.com or the www.moovitapp.com
Despite owing its national and international fame to the markets, the idyllic township of Eumundi offers much more than the myriad of stalls that spring up for a few days each week. The main street is a treat to meander through boutiques and eateries, grab a frosty ale at the pub or browse galleries and shops tucked behind stunningly restored, historic facades. Once the tents are packed away for the day, why not stay a little longer, lay your head on a pillow at a picturesque hinterland B n B then spend another day discovering even more of Eumundi’s magic.
To keep abreast of all the latest Eumundi Market news including new and returning stallholders, guest performers or special events, checkout their Facebook Page: Eumundi Markets or head to the website: www.eumundimarkets.com.au
For telephone enquiries contact: (07) 5442 7106 or you can have a chat to them at the market office in the pretty pink Canecutter’s Building at 80 Memorial Drive, Eumundi Queensland