Tomaree Markets are held at Tomaree Sports Complex, less than 10 minutes from Nelson Bay town centre, on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month. They start at 8am and finish at 2pm, which gives you plenty of time to browse the stalls, bag a bargain and meet some of the friendly locals in the community.
After moving to the Nelson Bay region, my daughter and I were interested to visit the local markets to see what they were like. When we arrived on a cloudy spring morning, the amount of cars in the car park told us that it was going to be a good one! We soon learnt that this market is a treasure trove to explore, with a good mix of brand new products alongside second hand wares. If you are looking for something unique to give as a birthday present, a plant for your garden, an outfit to wear or a new toy to keep the young ones happy, then check out Tomaree Markets and start exploring - you never know what else you may find along the way!
Walk up and down the two main aisles and be amazed at the variety
In the centre of the market is the Soldiers Point Legacy sausage sizzle, to raise money for projects in the local community. If you are hungry and want to have a bite to eat while wandering the stalls, buy a bacon and egg roll or a sausage sandwich and know that you are donating money for a good cause. What I particularly liked about this stall was that they have a sign out the front with a list of where all the money they made the previous year was donated to. If you visit at Christmas, don't forget to buy one of their delicious Christmas puddings, which then continues to fund more worthwhile projects around the region.
Support the local community with a delicious sausage sanga!
One of the most entertaining aspects of looking around these markets is the range of eclectic items up for sale. You can buy organic mossie spray, wool direct from the farm, home-made apple pies, Ned Kelly memorabilia, designer resort-style clothing and semi-precious gem jewellery. We got talking to stall holder from Crazy Cat Jewellery, who showed us her handmade jewellery made from opals, crystals and even lava! There were bracelets for sale with beads made of lava, which are absorbent, so you can add a drop of your favourite essential oil to the bead and then smell it all day long.
Lava beads, gems and opals at Crazy Cat Jewellery. Image: Original photos from Crazy Cat Jewellery Facebook
Whilst browsing around, we also found an interesting stall holder who sold old and new Australian and international coins. If you have an interest in coins, there were some of the coloured $2 coins for sale, old half pennies, uncirculated coins from other countries and also new coin sets made at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra.
If you are looking for plants, we saw plenty of succulents for sale, as well as a couple of stalls selling plants and small trees for around your garden.
If you have kids, there were several stalls with new and used kids toys on our visit, with prices starting from $1 each. Two of the stalls had Lucky Dips for the kids, with a surprising amount of goodies inside to discover. If you have a young one with some pocket money burning a hole in their pocket, they are sure to find something at one of the stalls at Tomaree Markets.
Why not support these popular local markets and feel part of the Nelson Bay community on the 2nd and 4th Sunday throughout the year. You are sure to walk back to your car excited that you bought something that you had always wanted - or something you didn't know you wanted until you arrived. But isn't that the whole fun of the markets? Happy shopping!
The excitement of a good ol' fashioned Lucky Dip at the Tomaree Markets