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Top Village Markets in Far Northern New South Wales

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by Carolyn Hopping (subscribe)
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 December 9th 2019
Shop Till You Drop At These Colourful Country Fairs
The Northern Rivers region of New South Wales is one of the most spectacular and ecologically significant in the whole of Australia. Located in what is sometimes referred to as the Green Cauldron, it is essentially a lush, verdant oasis nestled in what was once, several million years ago, the remnants of a vast volcano. Blessed with rich alluvial soil and a warm sub-tropical climate, the area also boasts a rich agricultural heritage.

Image courtesy of Blue Knob Farmers Market Facebook page
Image courtesy of Blue Knob Farmers Market Facebook page


Offering the opportunity to share, trade and sell local produce, markets have long been an essential element of life in this lush fertile region. Although in the past, this need was largely due to geographical isolation a result of the rugged terrain and dearth of serviceable roads - over the years, many of these grass-root events have become an intrinsic part of local communities, providing opportunities for satisfying social exchanges as well as financial benefit.

Image courtesy of The Channon Craft Market website
Image courtesy of The Channon Craft Market website


For visitors to the Northern Rivers, a sojourn at these colourful community events can also offer a great insight into a unique way of life, in an area where to be 'alternate' is to be mainstream. Not to mention the lure of purchasing fresh organic produce just kilometres from where it has been grown or acquiring gorgeous handmade wares directly from artisans who live in the region's picturesque villages and farmhouses. The social interaction is also priceless a stark contrast to the mind-numbingly bland experience of shopping in our modern suburban malls.

Image courtesy of the Tyalgum Village Market Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Tyalgum Village Market Facebook page


The following is an introduction to several of the Northern Rivers' smaller and lesser-known community markets. Whether they're farmers' markets, artisan bazaars or simple flea markets, these warm-hearted community events express the ambience of this breathtakingly beautiful and somewhat quirky region a place where a healthy natural lifestyle, respect for the environment, spirituality, and creative expression are valued and affirmed.

Uki Markets
Situated on Kyogle Road, approximately twelve kilometres south of Murwillumbah, the quaint township of Uki has long been a popular road-trip destination for country market enthusiasts. Like many of the hamlets of far north of New South Wales, Uki has a thriving arts scene, and a sojourn at its two colourful markets will uncover not only delicious farm-fresh local produce, but also exquisite handmade wares ranging from paintings and pottery to garden sculpture, dream catchers and much more.

Promoting itself as the 'Last of the 70s Style Markets', Uki Buttery Bazaar takes place from 8am until 2pm on the third Sunday of each month, in a beautifully restored old butter factory on the town's main road. These markets are as much about social connection as they are about buying things, and both locals and visitors tend to chill out there for a few hours meeting friends, enjoying the live entertainment, and sampling locally-made delicacies. Visit the Uki Buttery Bazaar Market Facebook page for all the latest news.

Image courtesy of the Uki Buttery Bazaar Market Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Uki Buttery Bazaar Market Facebook page


Taking place every Saturday, from 8am to 12.30pm at the charming and historic Uki Hall, Uki Craft and Produce Market is another treat for market-loving shoppers. This lovely old hall is a vintage-lovers delight, full of loads of heritage features - if you're an imaginative type, you can almost envision yourself being time-warped back to the 1950s. A traditional farmer's market, the Uki Craft and Produce Market is one of the best spots in the Tweed Region for fresh local produce. Trestle tables are scattered throughout the hall's rustic interior and adorned with a great variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs, generally manned by the people who have grown and harvested them.

Image courtesy of the Uki Farmers Market Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Uki Farmers Market Facebook page


For a unique souvenir or a gift for someone special, there are plenty of other stalls as well, purveying all the usual country market favourites hand-knitted wares, homemade jams, and sponge cakes as well as New Age goodies such as tie-dyed sarongs and herbal potions. Find out more on this Facebook page.

Image courtesy of the Uki Farmers Market Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Uki Farmers Market Facebook page


Nimbin Markets
Nimbin's main claim to fame is its reputation as Australia's counter-culture capital. Although the heydays of the late 1960s and early 70s have long passed, a distinctly alternate ambience still pervades the town, with its brightly-painted storefronts, adorned with wind chimes and dream catchers.

Image courtesy of the Nimbin Markets Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Nimbin Markets Facebook page


The town is the venue for two separate markets. Taking place every Wednesday from 3pm until 6pm at 39 Cullen Street, Nimbin Farmers Market is a great place to stock up on beautiful fresh produce, much of it organically grown in local gardens, and picked on the same day. Other edible goodies include cakes, bread and pastries, and delicious pickles, jams and chutneys.

Nimbin Markets, which is held on the fourth Sunday of each month, from 9am, is the town's second market. This colourful and eclectic event takes place in and around the rainbow-hued Nimbin Community Centre, located at 81 Cullen Street. It features a dazzling array of diverse stalls offering locally-made artisan wares, recycled treasures, clothing, jewellery, cosmetics, ethically-sourced items for the home, and even healing sessions.

Image courtesy of the Nimbin Markets Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Nimbin Markets Facebook page


Located in some of the most breathtakingly beautiful countrysides in New South Wales, a visit to Nimbin is an unforgettable experience. If you've always been fascinated by life during the hippy era, a few hours spent at these vibrant local markets will undoubtedly help to satisfy your curiosity. To find out more, call Nimbin Visitor Information Centre on 02 6689 1388 or email them at nimbin@lismore.nsw.gov.au.

Chillingham Village Markets
Located on a winding back-road, approximately 14 kilometres northwest of Murwillumbah, Chillingham is a picturesque village encircled by lush green farmland and rainforest-shrouded mountains. Despite its small size, for many years the village has been the venue for the Chillingham Village Markets, a monthly event held at Chillingham Community Centre. Apart from regular market day favourites such as local arts and craft, great food, and fresh produce, other highlights of these intimate markets are live entertainment and delicious jams, chutneys, relishes and sauces homemade by members of Chillingham Community Association.

Image courtesy of the Chillingham Community Association Markets Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Chillingham Community Association Markets Facebook page


Chillingham Markets take place on the second Sunday of each month, from 8am to 1pm. For more information, go to the Chillingham Village Markets Facebook page.

Image courtesy of the Chillingham Community Association Markets Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Chillingham Community Association Markets Facebook page


The Channon Craft Markets
In a region that boasts many picturesque towns and villages, The Channon is unique due to its remote location and somewhat otherworldly ambience. Situated approximately eighteen kilometres northwest of Lismore, on a back-road that meanders the hills, the village has been the home of The Channon Craft Market since its establishment in 1976.

Image courtesy of The Channon Craft Market website
Image courtesy of The Channon Craft Market website


Despite its out-of-the-way setting, the Channon Craft Market attracts a surprisingly large number of stall vendors. Many months, over two hundred retailers are present, selling a diverse range of wares, from organic vegetables and delicious home-cooked foods to art, craft, fashion, jewellery, plants, books, and more. In a nutshell, the general ethos of the market is to 'make it, bake it or grow it', resulting in a high calibre of items being offered for sale.

Image courtesy of The Channon Craft Market website
Image courtesy of The Channon Craft Market website


The healing arts are also well represented at these markets, enabling visitors to indulge in a rejuvenating massage, Reiki treatment, reflexology session, and other natural treatments. Live entertainment is another big drawcard, meaning visitors are guaranteed a great day out, even if they don't have much money to spend. Each month, the main stage features one of the area's awesome local bands, while a buskers' stage in the market's chai tent attracts talented solo acts. Also, visitors will encounter roving performers as they wander through the site, each contributing to the festive energy and feel-good vibe.

The Channon Craft Market takes place on the second Sunday of each month, from 9am until 3pm. It's held in Coronation Park, in the heart of The Channon. Check out their website to find out more.

Tyalgum Village Markets
Another local event that combines an ethos of environmental sustainability with creativity and community spirit is the Tyalgum Village Market. Taking place on the last Saturday of each month in and around the gardens of the Celestial Dew Guesthouse, it is a relatively small market, albeit jam-packed with high-quality fresh produce and the exquisite creations of local makers. Not to mention, a friendly, laid-back vibe, great live entertainment, and breathtakingly beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

Image courtesy of the Tyalgum Village Market Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Tyalgum Village Market Facebook page


Tyalgum Village Markets takes place at 21 Coolman Street, Tyalgum. Visit their Facebook page to get updates on any upcoming events.

Blue Knob Hall Farmers Market
Surrounded by native bushland, at the foot of Blue Knob Mountain and Lillian Rock, Blue Knob Farmers Market is a small, very special community market that takes place each week at the historic Blue Knob Hall Gallery. With an emphasis on locally-grown seasonal produce, the markets aren't as large as some of the others mentioned in this article. However, what they lack in size they more than makeup for in atmosphere.

Image courtesy of Blue Knob Farmers Market Facebook page
Image courtesy of Blue Knob Farmers Market Facebook page


Much of the produce on sale here has been grown just a short distance from the hamlet, resulting in lower food miles and greater health benefits. Although stall-holders vary from week to week, apart from those selling food and produce, they often include art, craft, plants, books, and gorgeous ceramics from the workshop adjacent to the Gallery. Another popular feature of the market is its 'The Backyarders' section, where local growers can sell their excess produce, free from the usual commission.

Image courtesy of Blue Knob Farmers Market Facebook page
Image courtesy of Blue Knob Farmers Market Facebook page


Blue Knob Hall Farmers Market takes place each Saturday from 8.30am until 1pm, on the verandah and in the grounds of Blue Knob Hall Gallery - located at 719 Blue Knob Road in Blue Knob, approximately seven kilometres north of Nimbin. To find out more, visit the Blue Knob Gallery website or its Facebook page.


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Why? A visit to a local farmers markets is a great way to support local growers and makers.
When: Throughout the year
Where: Throughout far northern New South Wales
Cost: It varies
Your Comment
Hi Carolyn,
Sounds like you haven't visited the area ... most of these markets are extremely well-known! https://www.weekendnotes.com/channon-markets/
by Kate Blake (score: 3|1362) 72 days ago
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