Freelance writer with a BA double majoring in Literature and Australian History who loves finding random places of social or historical treasure whilst travelling around visiting festivals, markets and quaint cafes with my husband and baby
A drive to country markets should be about the journey too
The Crystal Waters Eco-Village is an amazing place to visit
Let's face it, most country markets have similar stalls selling locally and home made foods and crafts.
It's not unusual to find natural soaps and candles, handmade jewellery and clothes, an artist working in the markets and selling their paintings, homemade breads, chutneys and jams, and naturopathic goods at most markets on any given weekend.
So then what sets one market apart from another? I would venture to say the answer is the number of market stalls on offer, a bit of live music to set the mood, and just as importantly, the location of the markets. A good day out at the markets is one where the journey is part of the adventure. Where you don't just drive to the markets, walk around for half an hour and then leave, but where the road takes you along a scenic drive, to a quaint country area that in itself is a worthy destination.
A trip to the Crystal Waters Country Markets is a beautiful drive just over an hour from Brisbane and makes a lovely day out. If you've ever been to The Channon Markets, inland from Byron Bay, then you'll start to get the idea of what these markets are like, albeit a bit smaller than The Channon. Eclectic, rural, fun and friendly.
Winding along from Steve Irwin Way and through the town of Beerwah, you soon reach the little town of Conondale. Located on the upper Mary River, 114 kilometres north of Brisbane and 26km south of Maleny, Conondale has a population of around 800 people. Along the way the road winds through scenic bushland and passes several country coffee shops and curiosity places.
On arrival in Conondale, it's about a 15 minute drive until you see the Crystal Waters Eco Village on Kilcoy Lane. The road is windy and goes through farming areas with twists and turns. You think you're about to get lost, and then suddenly you happen upon the Crystal Waters Eco Village. It's a beautiful country drive. If you're not sure where to go, just ask a local who will point you in the right direction. The Village is set on 650 acres of bushland abundant with wildlife. Camping, caravan sites and B&B's are available for overnight or longer stays within the ecological permanent community.
On the first Saturday of each month from February through to December (ie. each month except January), the Crystal Waters Country Markets are held within the Crystal Waters Eco Village. This beautiful rural village is an ideal setting for the monthly country markets. The relaxed country atmosphere is complemented by live music playing on market days including a dedicated Crystal Kids music session. Children can also enjoy the play areas and the wildlife in the area.
A giant music maker - kids love the homegrown activities here
Being so close to Maleny and Montville, these markets make a lovely day trip. Once visitors have had their fill of the quality offerings from the Crystal Waters Country Market, it is an easy drive over to Maleny, Flaxton or Montville for lunch or afternoon tea and a walk around the eclectic and interesting shops in their main streets.
The markets are open from 8am to 1pm on the first Saturday of the month. Visitors should note that there is no Eftpos or ATM available in the market, and you should take advantage of services at nearby Conondale before you get to the Eco Village.
You should also note that dogs, cats and domestic animals are not permitted within the eco village due to the abundant wildlife in the area.
Visitors take note that most GPS devices suggest taking the Postman's Track as the shortest route to Crystal Waters. We have taken this drive, and although it is driveable in a sedan, it's a rather hair-raising half hour than is better left to the adventurous type. The conventional road is a much better option if you're after a casual scenic drive, but if adventure is what you're after then the Postman's Track road might be for you.
Crystal Waters Eco Retreat is a beautiful part of the world
I love this place, my children can't wait to go back, the people are so friendly and the bread is the best , the stall are fantastic, the live changing stories you hear , people share the most amazing stories, you feel the love and relax.
We live to camp there. Greg is wonderful and helpful, they are lot of children around. To me is peace, love and tranquility. I highly recommended .