If you are a frequent traveller, you probably know that no matter how much planning we do, some of the best places in our trip will be those we have discovered through the locals. Eumundi Markets was no different. After we arrived at our Airbnb accommodation, one of the tips we got from our hosts was to visit this traditional market in Eumundi. Not expecting much, but curious about what was so interesting about a street market, we found one of our favourite places in our trip to Sunshine Coast.
In 1979, Christa Barton and Gail Perry-Somers came up with a European-style artisans and farmers market in Eumundi. With the chosen place being the CWA Community Hall, the goal was to develop a base for local small crop growers and locally produced crafts. It also aimed to develop young people’s skills in handcraft and food preparation.
Seeing an opportunity, on 24 of March 1979 three marketeers set up stalls serving refreshments around the Community Hall. With a total of eight visitors, the Original Eumundi Markets was born.
Almost 40 years later, Eumundi Markets is the biggest art and craft market in Australia with more than 600 stalls and 1.6 million visitors per year, accordingly to the official website. It’s a must visit for everyone near Sunshine Coast.
With the ethos of “make it, bake it, grow it, sew it”, Eumundi Markets continues to focus on locally handmade products and attracts plenty of talented people.
Getting to Eumundi Markets
Eumundi is a central city located between Cooroy, Yandina, and Noosaville. From any one of these places, it will take around 13 to 15 minutes to get there using one of the two main roads that crosses the city: Bruce Highway and Eumundi Noosa Rd, the later having a great scenery throughout the whole way. If you are in Brisbane, it will take you 1 hour to get there, but it is worthwhile.
The Original Eumundi Markets
When we get into the city and approach the markets, it looks like a small venue, but when you go inside, it is just huge.
The first thing we notice was the variety of food stalls: Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Argentinian, Thai and much more. Then we saw all the fresh produce from local farmers, followed by handmade products, houseware, clothing, artwork, music performances, massage, Reiki, and cartomancy.
The variety of goods and services offered in the markets and the quality of artisanal products guarantees a full morning of fun and quality time.
Eumundi Markets is open every Wednesday (8 AM – 1:30 PM) and Saturdays (7 AM to 2 PM). During the year, they also have some special events such as Pride Fair, Paws Parade, and Christmas. It is always a good idea to check their website to see what is happening in the period you are visiting the area.
Food in the Markets
In our first visit, we got there around 9 AM, and our first goal was to have some coffee and breakfast. We stopped at Flying West’s stall for the coffee and were very happy with the quality of the in-house roasted beans. The coffee tasted great.
Walking a bit further, we found one of our favourite pastry: Argentinian Empanadas at Pipi Cucu. With a range of traditional (beef, chicken and coriander, and ham & cheese) and modern Australian fillings (blue cheese, celery, and pecan), it was a must have, and we didn’t regret it.
Our morning was being pleasant and productive, but our appetite was growing by the minute as we realised that it was already lunch time.
With so many options to choose, I confess that I was struck by indecision. I didn’t know if I wanted the German sausages, Brazilian tapioca, Turkish gozleme, pide, or French crepes. It was a hard decision, but when I was hit by the smell of woodfire Italian pizza, I couldn’t have anything else.
The pizza is made by the lovely sisters Amber and Kitty, owners of the Jungle Oven Pizza. As their oven was built in a customised trailer, they proclaim themselves as a gourmet mobile woodfire pizza business. Having a variety of classic style pizzas and a range of gourmet fillings, the pizza is simply delicious. Camila and I had to come back for more when visiting the markets for the second and third time. You can take a look at their website to know a bit more about their story and range of pizzas offered (including catering).
In our other visits, we also enjoyed the delicious lemonades from The Lemonade Stand to help us get through the hot weather, and a tasty donut from Hot Jam Donut Kitchen to satisfy our sugar cravings.
We wanted to try a lot more, but we can only eat so much, and I’m glad to say that everything was delicious.
Arts and Crafts
After our breakfast, we started walking around the markets to see what it has to offer, and we were astonished by the variety of products and crafts we found.
One of the first places we’ve seen was the Sunshine Hammocks. It’s a space between some trees, where you can appreciate (and buy) colourful Mexican hammocks. It is a relaxing location where you can meet the owner, Trevor, and have a nice chat.
If you like or is intrigued by puzzles, you should take a look at the Puzzling Puzzles stall. With a wide range of games, wooden toys and, of course, puzzles, it is a great place to buy gifts and souvenirs for everyone you know. In our last visit, it was one of the most crowded places in Eumundi Markets as everyone was curious about the different puzzles they have available.
The My Soap stall is another place full of options for gifts (including for yourself). With all natural soaps blended with essential oils, they are designed to inspire, calm and uplift your spirit. They are not just good for your skin, but they are also beautiful and work very well as decoration.
For your garden, you can visit Naturally Kin Kin. It is a stall from the polymer clay artist Andrea Hogg where you can find fairy boots, houses, sun catchers, crystal pouches, and, our favourites, mushrooms. There is always something to make your garden looks great.
As you can see, there are so many options, and they are so varied that it is hard to describe everything you can find at Eumundi Markets. Amongst all that, I can also mention clothes, sculptures (metal, wood, and stone), paintings, furniture, and toys. The biggest problem is buying more than you can carry back.
Music for Everyone
When walking around the markets, you will also notice some nice tunes playing. If you are tired, or just want to appreciate the music, you can stop to listen to it, and even dance if you want.
The local performers will entertain you with all kinds of music. From pop and rock to country and tribal rhythms, there’s something for everyone.
One of the areas that surprised me the most was the health and wellness. It has body massage, natural therapies, and skincare stalls. It also has spiritual readers, including palm reading, cartomancy, and numerology.
Just by walking around this area, you will feel that you are energising your body.
Park & Playground
If you have children and they need a place to spend their energy, or if you just need somewhere to chill while enjoying an ice cream, just go past the health and wellness area. You will find a park with a big playground, plenty of benches and lots of trees. It’s the perfect spot for children to play and have fun.
One of the most interesting facts about the whole markets are the people that work there. Every single one has an incredible story to tell, and they are fascinating.
You will find people from different backgrounds, cultures, and opinions. From the musicians to the artisans, they are always open to a good conversation and will share their experiences and journey with you.
When you put together all that Eumundi Markets has to offer, it is easy to understand why 1,6 million people visit this place every year. A combination of artworks, handmade products, food, music, well-being, and the environment makes it a memorable experience that you will remember your whole life.