It's hard to overstate the value of a good market. The fresh produce, home-made goods and bargain table deals you can find there make them a must-visit on the weekend. While the strong point of your local grocer might be the consistency of items, the charm of a good market is the lottery of getting some great deals and original pieces you won't be able to find anywhere else.
People tend to prefer farmers markets when discussing the better markets around Sydney. However, there is something to be said for other market-manifestations as all bring something interesting to the table. Markets are a great place to go for a relaxed stroll and a bit of bargain-hunting. You never know what you will come home with, but it's always interesting – and frequently much cheaper in supermarkets.
Here are some of South West Sydney's best markets:
Cobbitty Village Market
Cobbitty Village Market, held in Cobbitty near Camden, provides a real country village experience. The market is run by volunteers, and is a not for-profit organisation that contributes to various causes.
Held on the first Saturday of every month from March to December, this market is alive with unique handicrafts, wonderfully authentic home-style jams and condiments, natural soaps and toiletries, and plenty of food stalls.
There are a few jumble stalls where you can pick up handicraft odds and ends and some good quality second hand clothes at giveaway prices. The large plant stall had some of the best prices on seedlings, and they also had some unique takes on presentation and companion planting.
A whole field is set aside for parking, allowing the event to be a busy and bustling affair. For more on this market, check out the Cobbity Village Market website.
Warwick Farm Trackside Markets
This has become an increasingly popular market which is held on the concrete-covered site behind the main grandstand of the Warwick Farm Race Course. It is held every Saturday from 8 am - 12 pm. Here you can expect to find fresh flowers, heirloom vegetables, pickles, fresh raw juices, and home baked goods, to name a few.
The Market prides itself in having stallholders that are growers and and producers of their own wares. It's always great to source your food at its origin, and this weekly market helps make that goal more attainable. Discover more of what you can expect on the Warwick Farm Trackside Markets Facebook page.
Boot Hill Market
Boot Hill Market is your ultimate back-of-the-van junk sale market. It is not a charming spot, as it is literally set-up out of the back of people's boots on an empty lot - but it gets the job done. The job being: to present to you with a weird and wonderful, original collection of items at giveaway prices.
This makes Boot Hill Market the place to browse. You won't spend much - as even the more conventional stalls are selling their wares at gold coin prices. But because many of the items are so cheap, you will probably buy a lot.
I have found everything from fresh curry leaf seeds to designer shoes at Boot Hill Markets. But it's different every time - and that is the adventure of it. This market is also a winner when it comes to cheap seedlings and fresh produce. The biggest drawback would have to be the limited parking space. Opens Thursdays and Saturdays from 7 am - 2 pm.
This market is special for its distinctively themed venue, which has a clear 'bazaar' theme. This is also primarily an odds-and-ends market, but at the same time there is a fair amount of cheap fresh produce available here, as well as secondhand clothing stalls.
The Grand Bazaar is also a good place to get cheap children's toys, and there is unlimited parking space – always a good thing.
Camden Fresh Produce Markets
The Camden Fresh Produce Markets are advertised as the only genuine farmers market in New South Wales that operates on a 'real life farm'. The market was created to re-establish a relationship between consumers and farmers in the area, and has become the ideal location to pick up fresh produce and authentic home-style goods.
The market is held at Camden Town farm from 7 am to 12 pm, every second and fourth Saturday of the month. Expect to find fresh eggs, lemon myrtle honey, home-made jams, fresh breads and stalls selling Polish and Turkish food.
Do you have a favourite market in South Western Sydney? Where do you go to stock up on farm-fresh produce or score a jumble-sale find?