The Medowie Markets are located in the car park of the Bull 'N Bush Motel in the Port Stephens town of Medowie, halfway between Newcastle and Nelson Bay. This monthly market is held on the 2nd Saturday of each month between 8:00am - 12:30am, so get there early to browse for bargains and pick up the freshest fruit and veggies!
On my family's first visit to these community markets we were surprised by the number of stalls that were set up in the car park - it was much bigger than we expected. We enjoyed walking along and discovering a range of items for all interests which included toys, tools, plants, clothes, homewares, gourmet food, children's clothes, memorabilia, pet products and much more. We also found a number of stallholders that we had seen before at the Tomaree Markets in Nelson Bay, such as a stallholder who sold rare coins and a family who sold girls' hair bows. You never know what interesting products you will find, or the locals you'll meet again, as you wander around these friendly markets. Dare I say it - that's no bull!
Follow the locals to the Medowie Markets at the Bull 'N Bush Hotel...
Everyone looks for something different when they go to the local markets. Some people love to buy unique hand-made gifts to support local artisans, instead of spending their money at large department stores. Many people also like to pick up their weekly fruit and vegetable supply from the markets, to support their local farmers and put their money back into the community. The produce also tastes much better too!
Each time I personally go to any local markets, I usually end up leaving with a new plant (or few!) for the garden at a bargain price. Although there are plant nurseries around the Port Stephens region, including an impressive garden section at Bunnings at Taylors Beach, it is still rewarding to buy plants off someone who has grown it locally. It also means that it has acclimatised to the region, so you know it won't die as soon as you get it home. The result is a lush garden which has plants and memories of all the markets in the region.
Support your local grower or farmer by shopping local!
If you visit Medowie Markets with kids, you are sure to spend a large amount of time drawn to the market stalls which sell toys - and there are many. On our visit, there were a few stall holders who sold brand new toys in their packaging for slightly reduced prices, as well as toys that you may not have seen for a while out on display. On our last visit to the market before Christmas, we spent a lot of time looking at half price Moana merchandise and the latest fad toys for just a few dollars. Second-hand toy stalls were even cheaper, with many toys looking like they had only been played with a handful of times.
A recommendation to all parents - visit the markets before Christmas next year - alone!
Markets are a fun way to get out into the local community and support local businesses, as well as getting behind the small traders who spend the whole month before sewing, crafting, baking or making products to sell at the markets, hoping to make an extra income. It is also a good opportunity to chat to the local fire brigade, encourage local musicians and to form friendships with the regular stall holders who you see again and again.
You are sure to leave with something - including a warm sense of community.
Find the perfect gift for a loved one - or yourself! Image: Original images from Medowie Markets Facebook
* If you would like to hold a stall at the markets, it costs (at the time of writing) $20 - $35 per stall, depending on the size. See here for details. Also see the Medowie Markets Facebook to learn more about the traders.