I am a marketing and communications consultant and freelance writer. Living on the Gold Coast in Australia. Check out my website www.sarahsays.com.au or follow on Twitter @WENGoldCoast
Stunning Market Where Cultures Mix
I really loved Bangalow Market, it is jam packed with exciting and unique stalls, live music, food and drink and entertainment for the kids. There are 300 stalls in total so it's one of the biggest markets I have been to on the Gold, Tweed and Sunshine Coast.
From the Gold Coast it's a bit of a drive being located on the North Coast of NSW however the hours drive is well worth it, as this is a market you can make a day of. Bangalow Town is a historical treasure with bags of culture - it has many cute little shops and galleries, and loads of coffee bars to chill out.
The markets run on the 4th Sunday of every month and pull in visitors, locals and tourists from far and wide. Whatever you have in mind to buy you will certainly find it here - art, pottery, coffee, baked goods, fresh food, plants, antiques, clothing, gifts, beauty products, jewellery, and much more. I would be surprised if you come back empty handed.
Loads of the products are handmade, crafted or grown and I love the idea of giving back to the community and helping local people rather than big companies - with Christmas around the corner it would be a great place to find a personal and unique gift.
There are tonnes of stalls and to really look at everyone one would certainly take a while. There are plenty of food stalls too with a variety of dishes such as crepes, burritos, nachos, paella, sausages, pizza, Asian dumplings, Thai curry, doughnuts, popcorn, burgers and more. The food is good quality too and there are plenty of places to sit down and enjoy. Most of the food is around the $4 to $10 range depending on what you have - I had nachos which was really good.
There is such an eclectic mix of people there - backpackers and hippy types, groups of mates, loved up couples and families and children plus local artists and celebrities too.
The market is located in beautiful grounds and one of the best bits are the eleven stunning - and very large - camphor laurel trees, they give off a secret forest vibe but on a more practical note they offer some much needed shade. It was very hot the day we went and you need to have a break out of the sun.
There is stuff for the kids too such as a bouncy castle, merry go rounds and rides plus street entertainment and live music. The rides are around $4 each so it's not that cheap, but pretty standard at outdoor events.
All the stalls are mostly outdoors but there are a couple of indoor areas too. It has so many stalls and things to look at you won't even notice the time flying by. Dotted around you will find people playing music and in some areas people stop and sit and enjoy some food and drink, and relax in the sun to some cool folk music.
As the market is so popular it now gives part of its profit each month back into selected community groups - so it is the true meaning of a community market.
Set on the 4th Sunday of every month it is open from 9am to 3pm - however sometimes the dates can change - for example the November market will be on the 5th Sunday on the 29th November. It's best to check the website to see when - and if - it is on each month.
Bangalow is located with Nimbin to the west and Byron Bay to the east. To get there head south on the Pacific Motorway and turn on to Bangalow Street, then left onto Market Street. It is clearly signposted from the town.
Parking is available in the showgrounds at the market and costs $2, and there was a queue to get in when we went. You can park in the town also and if you don't mind a small walk there are plenty of free places - we parked about a 10 minute walk away at a local park.
This should certainly be on people to do list - we had a really great day out and picked up some special gifts and bargains too.