On weekdays I masquerade as a mild mannered office worker but on weekends and holidays I break out the X-ray glasses in search of fun, food and new adventures.
Published August 8th 2020
Best bargains around by a country mile
On any "normal" year, the first two weeks in August are when the Brisbane RNA Exhibition (affectionately known as "the Ekka") is held in the showgrounds at Herston. One of the things that I love to see when I visit the Ekka is the arts and handicrafts exhibit. I marvel at the intricacy of the crotcheted and embroidered items and the ingenuity that goes into producing all of the outstanding craft items. Some people are just so breathtakingly talented.
Sometimes though when I visit markets it seems that these high-quality arts and crafts have disappeared or are so overpriced as to be out of reach of the average person. But thankfully I've discovered a country market just outside of the greater Brisbane area where quality handmade crafts, local produce, and other items can be found at very reasonable prices.
The Nanango Markets are widely considered to be the largest rural markets in south-east Queensland with around 300 - 400 stallholders regularly attending. The crafts here vary from fine crochet and hand-sewn items to wooden and metal crafts that are both clever and practical.
I've been to these markets several times over the past few years and I always find great bargains and unique gifts. I also love the fact that there are items for sale here that you don't usually see at other markets, like ukuleles for example. Don Bird is a local who teaches guitar and ukulele and runs the Nanango Ukulele Club, so if you're looking for a uke, Don can help out with both instruments and advice.
Another regular at these markets is Anthony Donas, a local whose indigenous art is a great blend of traditional and modern styles. As at the date of writing, prices for these signed originals on canvas start at a very affordable $40 each and there's a wide variety of paintings to choose from in that price range.
If plants are your thing, there are a lot of plant stalls and the plants look much healthier, bigger and are cheaper than their Bunnings rivals. There also seems to be a greater diversity of plants available.
It wouldn't be a farmers market without fresh produce for sale and there are lots of choices here which means everyone keeps their prices low. I managed to buy "spray-free" cabbage, cauliflower, and beans for about half the price of what it would normally cost at a supermarket in Brisbane.
Even if you're not looking to buy anything in particular, it can be quite interesting just looking around especially at the vintage items. I've seen butter churners and even an antique meat safe for sale and you can often pick up really good quality vintage gardening tools from a time when they were made to last.
The Nanango markets are held on the first Saturday of the month from 6.00am to 12.00 noon. They are run by the Nanango Show Society and held in the Nanango Showgrounds, 129 Drayton Street, Nanango.
Nanango is approximately two and a half hours drive from Brisbane, near Kingaroy in the South Burnett region. There is so much to see and do in the South Burnett region in addition to the monthly markets, so why not make a weekend of it and support this wonderful local community.