I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published September 22nd 2013
Trawl for treasure in historic Toodyay
We're all treasure-hunters at heart. Perhaps this proclivity harks back to the days when we were hunters and gatherers, scouring our local environment for delectable goodies to feast on, or maybe in a past incarnation we experienced life as pirates or gold prospectors, hard-wired to acquire priceless booty, by hook or by crook. Regardless how this tendency evolved, however, there is no denying that, over recent years, the practice of rummaging through other people's cast-off - whether in an op shop, trash and treasure market or someone's front yard - has become a popular weekend pastime for many Australians, not just the needy but also the well-heeled.
Car boot sales, another manifestation of this trend, have also been steadily growing in popularity. Rather than going solo and selling your pre-loved wares at home, car boot sales are social events, often organised by community groups where people join together and sell their junk, as the name implies, out of the back of their vehicle. Kind of like trash and treasure markets, they're unpretentious events which are as much about connecting with your neighbours as they are about clearing out unwanted goods from the shed and making a few extra dollars. However, as with all of these types of events, for the astute shopper there's always the potential to unearth hidden gems from amongst the piles of other people's cast-offs. Every now and then we read in the newspaper or hear on the news about such treasure hunters who strike it lucky, finding perhaps an ancient oriental vase, a valuable painting by a famous artist or a historically significant document worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. It happens, and if others can be so fortunate, perhaps we will be too.
For several years a popular event on the treasure-hunters' monthly calendar has been the monthly Toodyay Massive Car Boot Sale. Taking place on the second Sunday of every month, this sale is a great spot for a casual Sunday-morning rummage, and even if you don't unearth something priceless you'll probably manage to score a bargain or two on a more modest scale. Car boot sales are great spots to purchase all sorts of goodies such as children's clothing, toys, bric-a-brac, books and much, much more, and this one is well worth checking out as it attracts sellers from all around the Perth metro area, the Avon Valley and even further afield. Each month there are different sellers, so there's always something new and exciting to discover. If your own house is getting a bit cluttered, why not bring a car-load along as well, and see whether you can find a loving new home for any of it?
In a nutshell, if you're a veteran op shopper or a trash and treasure market junkie, head out to picturesque Toodyay on the second Sunday of each month and join the crowds, trawling through the all the goodies. Refreshments are available on-site to keep you fuelled, and there's a bouncy castle for the children. For buyers, adult entrance is $1.00 and children are free, while sellers are charged at $5.00 for a car and $10.00 for a van or ute.
Toodyay is a delightful little town that dates back to the early days of the Swan River Colony, and there is much to see and do after you visit the sale, including museums, galleries, walking trails and some lovely picnic spots down by the Avon River. For an old-fashioned, down-to-earth day out with the family, a visit to the monthly Toodyay Massive Car Boot Sale can't be beaten.