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Tarlee Country Market

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by Kat May (subscribe)
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Published February 20th 2016
Stop here for a little bit of all things country
Tarlee is the kind of place you drive on through on the way to somewhere else. This town is on the way to the Clare Valley, about 38 kilometres north of Gawler on the Horrocks Highway Route A32. Take the turn off from the Sturt Highway if traveling from Adelaide. It is only a small town, yet it has a vibrant local community who wanted to do something special to make people stop rather than simply driving through. Hence, a country market was started some ten years ago.

Tarlee Country Market
Our Mum loves to shop at the Tarlee Country Market. We have to sit here and wait. Image by Out and About.

The market only operates on two Public Holiday Mondays a year; the Adelaide Cup Monday holiday in March and the Monday of the October long weekend. Action starts at 8am to around 2pm. These are busy days on the highway, as many people are out in their cars driving in the country or returning from a weekend away. The market is also extremely popular with people from local towns. Hundreds of people now stop, come to shop and have a catch up with people you only see once a year or so.

Tarlee Country Market
There are up to 60 stalls at the market selling all sorts of goods. Image by Out and About.

The market has become very popular with stall holders. with 60 sites on offer with a wide variety of stalls including; plants, collectables and bric a brac, books, old tools, fishing rods, clothing, homemade crafts such as cards, scrapbooking, and much more. Why there may even be some puppies for sale. You never know what there will be at the market. In the food line there is fruit and vegetables, yummy jams, relish and pickles, doughnuts, cakes and baked goods. Sometimes there are locally produced goods such as olive oil and local businesses are represented. There is a lady who has some great new children's wooden toys and nic-nacs for kids gifts which are delightful.

Tarlee Country Market
Delicious home made preserves. Image by Out and About.

Stalls outside surround The Institute, a SA term for the town hall and a nearby church paddock. Inside the hall there were candles, handmade crafts, and skincare products and much more on the occasion I visited. There is food to purchase and a spot under the veranda to sit and enjoy a cuppa. There is plenty of parking in an adjacent paddock which is safer than parking on the main highway, so do drive in past the church and park in a safe place where you don't have to cross the road, especially for older people or with children.

Tarlee Country Market
Image by Out and About.

For any information and stallholder enquiries please call the organiser Michelle Heathfield on email-

A small children's playground and toilets are located at the site. If you are in the area do stop by, or come for the drive and spend a day in the country. You could make a day of it and visit some nearby towns such as Kapunda or those in the Clare Valley after the market. It is best to visit the market in the morning as things wind up around 2pm. The Institute is on the main highway as the road bends, so you can't miss it.

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Why? Support the locals by stopping at this country market
When: Public Holiday Mondays in March and October
Where: Insitute building, Main Highway, Tarlee
Cost: Free entry
Your Comment
The preserves look like they will make a good addition to the pantry.
by Diana (score: 2|719) 1866 days ago
Apologies in advance re comment, which isn't really related to Country Notes. It is however looking to find the contact details of a family that reside approx. 15km toward Kapunda in a red tin roof house and have a very distinct vehicle ie a preloved F.J. Holden Holden ute parked near their front gate. Husband and I were driving through Aug/Sept last year, the weather was very enclimate so had made the decision not to stop. It would be appreciated if any kind resident that would have any knowledge of the owner if you wouldn't mind passing this on, and asking if they wouldn't mind contacting us on the following - We have owned F.J.'s since the mid 1960's and still have five (one of which is a stretched version) and one which belongs to our son. Many thanks, Chris
by memor (score: 0|2) 1499 days ago
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