Gayle Beveridge is a past winner of the Boroondara Literary Awards and her work has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing. Gayle is passionate about family, writing, photography, and with Victoria’s beautiful Bass Coast which she now calls home.
Published January 1st 2023
Country Markets in a Tourist Mecca
Who doesn't love a country market! There is no shortage of them on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast and all are within easy reach of Melbourne! It isn't just the locally grown fresh produce bought direct from the grower. Or the homemade jams and preserves; the breads, pastries and home-cooked cakes. It isn't just the arts and crafts, unique gifts made by everyday people. Or the plants, potted gems and ornate hanging baskets. It isn't just the second-hand goods, the trash and treasure, the collectables. It's all of that and the atmosphere, the ambience of being in the country.
So Melburnians treat yourself to a day on the Bass Coast at any of these ten markets, most of which run every month of the year. But wait a minute, why just a day? At around one-and three-quarter hours from the Melbourne CBD and around an hour from Cranbourne, this holiday paradise and tourist mecca is not only close enough for a day trip and but tempting enough for a long stay.
It is ageless with something for everyone, from toddlers to seniors. With coastline on Westernport Bay and the Bass Coast it is a beach lover's delight. Inland the landscape is one of beautiful rolling hills, farmland and bushland. So come on down, you will be spoilt for activities to keep you on the go and beautiful places to relax. Check out the Weekend Notes article 27 Things to do on a Phillip Island and Bass Coast Getaway.
The visitor can expect a large variety of stalls including seasonal fruits and vegetables, farm fresh eggs, plants, fishing gear, commercial products, new and used goods, art and craft, trash and treasures, collectibles, flowers, DVDs, clothes, CFA - hot cinnamon donuts, Rotary - extensive menu of hamburgers, egg and bacon rolls, sausages, hash browns and onions, and hot coffee and cold drinks are also available. My local tip is don't miss out on the CFA cinnamon donuts.
The Wonthaggi Museum - Image copyright Gayle Beveridge-Marien
The market runs in Apex Park, where you will also find a children's playground and the local museum. The museum, run by the Wonthaggi Historical Society, is in the heritage railway station building and is typically open on market days. There are also public toilets at Apex Park.
Grantville Community Market—4th Sunday of the month
They hold the Grantville Community Market from 8am to 2pm on the fourth Sunday of every month, excluding June, July and August, with the Christmas market brought forward to the third Saturday in December. It typically features over one hundred stalls covering fresh produce, preserves, plants, clothing, antiques, artwork and second-hand goods.
Image from Grantville Community Market Facebook Page
It is held at the Grantville Community Hall and the Grantville Recreation Reserve. As it is an open-air market, it can sometimes be cancelled because of inclement weather or muddy conditions. For more details, visit their Facebook page or email email@example.com
When: 8am to 2pm on the fourth Sunday of every month excluding June, July and August, with the Christmas market brought forward to the third Saturday in December. Where: The Grantville Recreation Reserve, 1470 Bass Highway, Grantville VIC 3984 Website: https://www.facebook.com/grantvillemarket/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corinella Community Market—2nd Saturday of the month
The Corinella Community Market typically has thirty or more stalls offering fresh produce, eggs, jams, chutneys, breads, arts and crafts, bric-à-brac, plants, and coffee. This is a very Aussie market with that most Australian of things, the sausage sizzle.
Image from The Corinella Community Market Facebook page.
Cowes Island Craft Market—2nd Saturday of the month
The Cowes Island Craft Market on Phillip Island, one of Australia's premier tourist destinations, is a make, bake and grow market offering crafts, clothing, plants, produce and home cooked food. It typically has over sixty stalls, both inside and out, by local producers and crafts people, with profits from the market being returned to the local community. The market is an ideal place to pick up handmade gifts.
When: 9am to 2pm on the second Saturday of the month. Where: St Phillips Parish Hall, 102 Thompson Avenue, Cowes Telephone: 0412 710 276
Cowes Market on Church—4th Saturday of the Month
Market on Church is in Cowes on Phillip Island, one of Australia's premier tourist destinations. With over thirty stalls, inside and out, visitors can browse and buy locally grown fresh produce, clothing, crafts, plants and trash and treasure or stop for refreshments at the food and drink stalls.
When: 9am to 2pm on the fourth Saturday of each month. Where: In the grounds of St Phillip's Parish Hall, 102 Thompson Avenue, Cowes. Website:https://www.facebook.com/MarketonMainCowes Telephone: 0428 603 043 Email: email@example.com
Churchill Island Farmers Market—1st Saturday of the month
The Churchill Island Farmers Market offers fresh produce from Phillip Island and Gippsland. There are typically forty or more stalls which sell seasonal fruits and vegetables, seafood, meats, poultry, farm fresh eggs, plants, wines, olive oils, honey, jams, chutney, breads, food and drink stalls and more.
Image from the Regional Framers Markets - Churchill Island Facebook Page
Churchill Island, which is accessed from Phillip Island, is a picturesque place with views across Westernport Bay and some lovely walks and a heritage farm. Churchill Island Heritage Farm preserves a time past and as well as the animals, visitors can walk through the heritage home and farm buildings. There are uncommon farm animals here, Clydesdale Horses and Highland Cattle, both regal beasts. Daily activities at the heritage farm include cow milking, sheep shearing, whip cracking, and working dog demonstrations. Weather permitting, wagon rides run on weekends and holidays. There is an onsite café and souvenir shop. Visit their website for more details and bookings.
This community market offers local produce, arts and crafts, handmade goods, cakes, preserves, breads and much more. Food and drink vendors will also be there. Past markets have also included jewellery, clothes, face painting, plants, preserves, cheeses, donuts, cakes and tarts.
When: 9am to 2pm on the third Saturday of the month.
Where: Newhaven Primary School, 22 School Ave, Newhaven. Cost: Gold coin entry for the school. Website:https://www.facebook.com/Newhavenmarket/about Telephone: 0435 353 451 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inverloch Farmers Market—3rd Saturday of the month
This was the first of the Inverloch farmers markets and it's no lightweight as markets go. With typically over sixty stalls it offers fresh produce grown and made in Gippsland, seasonal fruits and vegetables, seafood, meats, poultry, farm fresh eggs, plants, wines, olive oils, honey, jams, chutney, breads, cakes, tarts, and of course, food and drink stalls for refreshments.
Bring the family along for a great day out. They hold the market in the park area known as The Glade. There is an adjoining children's playground and short tracks through the trees to the beach. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on leash and you pick up after them.
When: 8am to 1pm on the third Saturday of the month. Where: The Glade (a park area), The Esplanade, Inverloch. The Glade is opposite the Inlet Hotel and on the edge of the town's business district. Website:https://www.facebook.com/rfminverloch/ Telephone: 0419 351 878
Inverloch Lions Community Farmers Market—last Sunday of the month
The Inverloch Lions Community Farmers Market, which runs on the last Sunday of each month, typically features between forty and fifty stalls. This community-based farmers market offers locally grown produce, jams and chutneys, seafood, meats, olive oils, honey, breads and, of course, food and drink vendors.
Image from the Inverloch Lions Community Farmers Market Facebook Page
The market is held in the park area known as The Glade. There is an adjoining children's playground and short tracks through the trees to the beach.
When: 8am to 1pm during daylight savings (October to March) and 9am to 1pm April to September, on the last Sunday of the month. If Christmas day falls on the last Sunday, another day will be nominated. Where: The Glade (a park area), The Esplanade, Inverloch. The Glade is opposite the Inlet Hotel and on the edge of the town's business district. Website: https://www.facebook.com/InverlochLionsFarmersMarket Email: email@example.com Telephone: 0428 625 578
Kongwak Market—Every Sunday
Although not strictly on the Bass Coast, the Kongwak market in South Gippsland is close-by and definitely worth a mention. The Kongwak market is held from 10am to 2pm every Sunday except Christmas day. There are only a couple of hundred people living in Kongwak. The town may be small but its market has much to offer and an atmosphere and ambience all its own.
Image by Angie Bowen from the Kongwak Market Facebook Page
You can expect fresh produce, coffee, food, vintage wares, second-hand goods, plants, arts and crafts, collectables and bric-à-brac. It has been described as qwerky, retro, wholesome, and friendly. Stalls can vary from week to week, so you never know what treasures you might find.
Listen to the musicians play as you wander the stalls or stop for a cake and coffee. You might like to take some coins to reward them; they add that certain joie de vivre. This is a dog-friendly market as long as your pets are on a leash.
Image by Angie Bowen from the Kongwak Market Facebook Page.
When: 10am to 2pm every Sunday except Christmas Day. Where: Korumburra-Wonthaggi Road, Kongwak. This South Gippsland town is about 130kms or an hour and three quarters from Melbourne via the South Gippsland Highway. It is 18kms from Wonthaggi, 14kms from Korumburra, and only 10kms from Inverloch, all of which are wonderful places to visit and stay. Website:https://kongwak-market.business.site/ Telephone: 0417 142 478