Eclectic, Original Eumundi Markets

Image source: Photographer Megan Gill

Coffee is grinding, flavour and fragrance fills the air, instruments are being tuned, there is a hustle before the bustle when the gates swing open and the world gets a taste of the iconic Original Eumundi Markets. Carlie Wacker explores our local and iconic markets.

In 1979 a small group of local makers and growers got together to sell their wares in a European-style farmer’s market set up in front of Eumundi’s blue CWA hall.

There were two fresh produce vendors and a local artist selling pottery. They called it a successful day after making around $30 and so began the world-famous original Eumundi market in the historic and picturesque southeast Queensland town. The iconic Original Eumundi Markets can now boast over 600 stalls and has drawn in well over a million people.

Visitors and locals flock to Eumundi every Wednesday and Saturday for an experience that has grown far beyond that of a traditional market.

One of my favourite things to do is visit the Eumundi Markets. It’s my go-to for gifts, homewares, fashion and food and it’s as close as you will ever get to the locals that make, bake and grow – but it’s more than shopping, it’s a vibe!

The energy is magnetic on every market day and Acting Manager Lauren Becks explains it beautifully.

“It just feels electric in the market mornings when everyone is setting up and it’s still a little bit dark,” she explains. “You slowly start to smell the food being cooked, hear the sound of the coffee grinding and that aroma that symbolises a fresh new day.

“The musicians start to tune their instruments, stallholders are chatting and setting up and that’s my favourite time of day – just before the market starts when there’s a buzz and you know something exciting is coming.”

When the markets fill up with eager tourists and locals the energy steps up and takes you on a magical exploration of local produce, art, craft, fashion, food and entertainment.

Staying true to the original ethos of ‘make it, bake it, grow it’ – every trader makes or grows their own products and/or cooks on site with locally-sourced ingredients.

With stall spaces in high demand, the application review process is vigorous ensuring every marketeer is a maker, baker or grower and that’s what makes the Original Eumundi Markets so special.

It’s where you find the real local brands and products and meet the true locals, including entertainers.

“We attract artisans and people who are a little bit quirky and fun,” says Lauren. “They’re creating their own unique sound in their own way and they add that extra layer of sensory stimulation to the dynamic Original Eumundi Markets.”

That extra sensory overload fills the heart, tummy and shopping bags with all it needs. It’s so cool knowing that the humble beginnings of the Eumundi Markets in 1979 with three stallholders has grown into what it is today and has stayed so true to their original values – my inner hippie is as proud as punch.

To this day the Original Eumundi Markets is a not-for-profit community organisation led by Alori Gapes that employs 10 people including the grounds crew who pack up and set up the market entirely from scratch every market day.

“If you walk through here on a non-market day you’ll be walking through the trees, there’s nothing,” says Lauren. “You can look up, see the sky, the beautiful fig trees, – and then the next day, you’ve got 600 marquees, countless tables, chairs, flags, all the marketing equipment,” says Lauren.

Market day is an electric experience; a nod to our local history and proof that when a community comes together to preserve and promote its uniqueness it creates a magical wonderland that we know and love as the world-famous and award-winning Original Eumundi Markets.

THE ORIGINAL EUMUNDI MARKETS

Saturdays 7am – 2pm

Wednesdays 8am – 2pm

Rain, hail or shine!

About the Author /

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Carlie Wacker has worked in the media entertainment industry for over 20 years. From television to stage and radio she has been lucky enough to work her way around the whole country. Over the last 10 years she has styled and choreographed innovative fashion parades and talent shows and brings her love for fashion and entertainment as our Fashion Editor. She is also an MC, voice-over artist and radio announcer.

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