Our family are serial Sunshine Coast holiday-makers and no Robinson holiday is over without first having visited Eumundi Market, at least once. Hubby and I were discussing the other day why we keep coming back year after year – 20 years to be precise.
In this post we discuss the Market’s success and advise how to plan a visit. We always arrive by car but other suggestions can be found in the How to Get there Section.
About the Market.
The market began in the Eumundi CWA Hall in 1979 with 3 stalls and 8 visitors. Sticking with the original locally made theme it has grown to become the biggest art and craft market in Australia. Those original 3 stalls are now 600, and the 8 visitors have grown to an amazing 1.6 million per year.
At Eumundi markets you’ll find creative designs and artworks, unique gifts, artisan provisions, coastal fashions, skincare and hand crafted furniture. You can enjoy a massage or tarot card reading, try a new food or be entertained by street artists. For kids there are pony rides in the park on one side and a playground under the huge shade trees on the other.
Shop Locally and Buy Australian Made.
The key to the Original Eumundi Market’s lasting appeal, in an era where people shop globally, is offering authentic locally made, baked, sewn or grown items. This is vital, considering that most market-goers are on holiday and looking for that special piece of genuine sunshine to take home with them. Market visitors from overseas have the perfect opportunity to take home Australian Made gifts.
The offerings below can be found in the Middle Section.
Each time I look forward to revisiting my favourite stalls, but it is always exciting to find the new creations that launch themselves at Eumundi. Our now grown son’s hard lobbied for timber rubber-band gun now resides in my box of memories, but I notice it is still for sale – imagine a generation of little boys pestering their parents.
Sis-in-law, sharer of Sunshine Coast holidays and market visits, regularly treats us to local cheese from the market. Her latest acquisition, a lavish Truffle Brie, on special for $12 this month, transported that day’s happy hour to a whole new level. There are tasting platters of cheese and salami to try before you buy and next door at the Sunshine Coast Fruit Stall are Australian Native Finger Limes (they look just like a green finger). They’re grown pesticide free locally and when cut, tiny caviar sized balls bursting with lime flavour spill out – a big hit with the Mojito gals. Lychees were the seasonal offering this month.
This last visit, the Cheese stall was offering a picnic pack for $35. It contained one of their award winning cheeses, a tub of olives, a saucisson or salami, pear and cabernet paste or wholegrain mustard, homemade organic crackers or french baguette. We’ve decided to drop by and collect one for a romantic picnic. (I’ll keep you posted).
You will find these stalls near the blue CWA building on Memorial Drive. (Middle Section)
The Market Sections.
Geographically speaking there are three distinct sections to the market.
Eumundi Square (the lowest part beneath Napier Road).
Middle Section- gently rising between Napier Road and Memorial Drive This is the Original Eumundi Market section. Although Central and Parkside are separate markets, foot traffic flows easily between all three.
Pavillion, the highest and steepest market.
The overhead shot below shows the additional markets in yellow.
The Original Eumudi Market.
Canecutters Building. Office and Lost Children/Property
Over the road and up the hill, the Pavillion is often forgotten, but it was always our children’s favourite part of Eumundi Markets.
Our Eumundi Markets Action Plan.
Arrive Early. This is key to a stress-free experience. Easy parking, minimal crowds and less heat in Summer will be your reward (and more after-market beach time!).
Cooler/Esky. Bring a cold pack to leave in the car to keep food purchases fresh.
Park. You’ll find paid off-street parking near Eumundi Square on the corner of Albert Street and Napier Road. Napier Road has 2 hour free on-street carparks but they go quickly. Some feeder roads into town have free on-street parking.
Middle Section First.
How to attack the market is personal choice but this is our tried and proven formula.
Leave Eumundi Square shopping till the end of your visit and proceed directly to the Middle Section.
This is the original section and where I spend most of my time at Eumundi Markets. Stalls are set out both sides of long terraces intersected by a thru pedestrian street, allowing for casual strolling (remember that early start). The market is partially shaded by trees and there is no vehicular traffic in the market. We have a rule that if we lose our posse we wait at the end of a terrace to be reunited. (Mobile phones come in handy too). Lost and found is at the pink Cane-cutters building (this includes children) in the centre of this section.
We’ve arrived on Saturday at 7.45 a.m. so need coffee and possibly breakfast to sustain us. Coffee at Eumundi Coffee stall is a no-brainer and their raisin toast/coffee offer is good value. Some of us grab our coffee there and wander back to the Railway Refreshment Cafe to collect some date scones with jam and cream.
You will find Eumundi Coffee Stall on the pedestrian road connecting the Railway Building to Memorial Drive, the main street of Eumundi.
The Railway Influence.
A working railway ran through the market until 1988, but back then the markets were small – only 85 stalls. When the tracks were repositioned the Railway Building remained, only to burn down in 1991. It was rebuilt using the original plans on the same site and houses market refreshments stalls today. The railways sleepers stayed on site, finding new life as retaining walls.
This was a strategic piece of town planning as an actual train line running through the market today would be unthinkable.
For 97 years, passengers awaited the arrival of their train on the very spot that I now awaited my scone.
That’s me in my hat at the Railway Refreshment Cafe below, and I’ll often be back having a juice later in the day.
You will never go hungry at Eumundi.
The section between the Railway Building and Memorial drive, spreading toward the CWA Hall is chock full of freshly prepared multi-cultural food offerings. You will find food in all sections, but there is a high concentration here.
While in this section stock up your pantry with home made cakes and jams, raw honey, nuts, lemonade, fresh seasonal fruit/veg (mangoes, lychees, paw paws, limes and strawberries), artisan cheese, olives, sausage and bread.
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian and Vegan diets are catered for. This is so welcome for families (like ours and probably yours) with differing dietary requirements.
The Pavillion market. After thoroughly investigating the middle section and leaving heavy purchases to collect later, it’s time to cross Memorial Drive to the Pavillion (the chief will guide the way). Book lovers can divert to the enticing Berkelouw book store/cafe on this side of the street.
Eumundi Square market. Back track through the Middle Section to Eumundi Square, collecting left purchases as you go. Quickly deposit said purchases into the car (remember the cold pack) and continue shopping in the Square.
Hopefully by now your tummy is grumbling and you can savour the Gyozas from my favourite Gyoza stall in Eumundi Square – you’ll not find better.
There are wheelchair friendly Amenities and ATM’s in all sections.
Where is Eumundi?
20 km west of Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia, 118 km north of the Capital, Brisbane.
How to get there.
The best way to visit the Eumundi Market is by car. From Brisbane the trip takes 1 to 1.5 hours depending on traffic.
Alternatively there is a Eumundi Market and Sunshine Coast Day Trip (bus) from Brisbane ($95) or a Eumundi Markets Round Trip Shuttle service from your Sunshine Coast Hotel ($22).
The third option is train Brisbane to Nambour, then connecting bus to Eumundi.
When is the market open?
Originally the markets were open Saturdays only, but due to popular demand Wednesdays were added.
Saturdays 7am – 2pm
Wednesdays 8am – 1.30pm
For more information access this site.
For up to the minute information use this facebook page.
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