In case you’re on the search for a spot of local culture around the Sunshine Coast, drive 15 minutes over to Eumundi. Live performances, home goods, local produce and a heap of food are all found at their bi-weekly markets, so you won’t want to leave.
Having celebrated its 40th birthday this year, like a fine wine, these markets appear to be getting better with age. Attracting over one million people each year, the motto here is “Make it. Bake it. Sew it. Grow it.” And if that’s any indication about the quality of goods and treats that are at Eumundi Markets, then start making your way over.
History Of The Markets
Back in 1979 Christa Barton and Gail Perry-Somers opened up the first Eumundi Market with only three stalls on the docket. It was hosted in the CWA Hall on Memorial Drive (which still houses the Original Markets). Their idea was to create a market that brought together artisans and farmers with the community. On their first day, they had made a turnover of only $30, which is probably what you would spend now on food alone at the markets.
By the year 2000, the market had grown from 3 to 350 stalls in just over 20 years. It became a staple visit for any Queenslanders taking a road trip in the sunshine coast. People came from all over the country to visit what is now known as the largest art and craft market in Australia.
What You Can Buy
The markets have stalls offering almost anything you can think of. Arts and crafts, fashion and jewellery, house and garden, health and wellness and even local produce. Every single stall is run by locals from Eumundi and the Sunshine Coast area. All of the produce is home-made and created using locally produced products.
They also are very proactive regarding sustainability. Selling out on their own tote bags, made from natural unbleached calico, drinking stations to refill your bottles, hand-thrown coffee cups from the stall Bean & Gone and reusable Bee Eco Wraps, to keep your food fresh.
This might not have even popped into your head, but you can also get a fresh hair cut here. Cazz Cut It is located under Eumundi’s famous Figtrees and you don’t even need an appointment for that service. And once you’re done checking out that new hairstyle, make your way over to Tracey Rhodes for a quick tarot card reading.
What You Can Eat
Each year around June the entire town goes bananas for the Eumundi Food Fest, an absolute must-do for lovers of farmers’ markets, cook-offs, tastings and more.
Eumundi Markets are deep in the ‘try before you buy’ philosophy, with over 600 stalls to peruse from, you’re staring at a whole platter of delectable delights. Scatter the market to devour Japanese pancakes, peanut brittle and fresh roasted chestnuts while slurping down a glass of ice-cold homemade lemonade.
The culinary selection is vast: Spanish tapas, French soups, homemade ginger beer, organic breads and conserves, Tibetan momos; Dutch poffertjes, Bavarian bratwurst, award-winning Noosa Chilli (more free tastings, if you dare), organic samosas, mango licks, weird curly fries on sticks, stinky cheeses and cold meats.
One of Eumundi’s most celebrated culinary sons would have to be Russian sausage genius David Kasmaroski, whose now-famous Eumundi Smokehouse meats had their humble beginnings here just over a decade ago.
Bush foods master Peter Wolfe runs free cooking classes each Wednesday in the produce precinct, drawing upon both his vast knowledge and the superb selection of fresh materials available right there on the day.
Events & Performances
The markets are encouraging of the area’s local musicians and entertainers, you’ll find a whole heap scattered around the location. Local artists come round quite regularly because the market-goers are their local crowds, but they’ll occasionally have a one-time-only act that causes groups to swarm. On the other side of the spectrum, the markets are home to Nickelby the Magician, Sambazzy (a Brazilian Band) and local comedian Neil Bidner.
Majority of the artists are singer/songwriters, but you’ll get the occasional trumpet player, guitarist (actually most of them are guitarists), didgeridoo and harmonica master and even an accordion-tuba duo (Wander over and say hello to Rubatuba)
In terms of events, the market organisers do hold quite a few different special days during the year. Santa always comes without fail during December and they do have Coastal Snow Globes for guests to step into and play around.
Address: 80 Memorial Drive, Eumundi, QLD
While only a 15 minute drive away from Noosa Heads, it’s a little longer when you’re coming all the way from Brisbane. The 90-minute road trip is well worth the drive, but don’t forget to stock up on snacks for the trip home.
The markets are open every Wednesday (8 AM – 1:30 PM) and Saturday (7 AM – 2 PM) all year round. But from December to January, you can expect them to be up and serving every Thursday night.