New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published October 23rd 2016
Canberra's biggest weekly garage sale
The Trash and Treasure Market is held every Sunday morning in the carpark of the Jamison Plaza shopping centre in Macquarie, 10 minutes north of the CBD. It is open between 7am - 12:30pm, however check the website for current details and times. It is gold coin entry to get into the markets, with all proceeds going to the Rotary Club of Belconnen. Once you start browsing, it is easy to stay awhile and get caught up in bargain hunting at the dozens of stalls set up around the large carpark. Shop for clothes, plants, furniture, homewares, bikes, antiques, toys, bric-a-brac and a wide range of second-hand wares.
This market is an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning - looking for your own treasure amongst the variety of eclectic stalls. It is clear that one person's trash is definitely another person's treasure, with hundreds of people visiting these markets each week. This market is like the biggest garage sale you have ever seen - with hot food and fruit stalls thrown in for extra value. It is where you will find that unusual item you have been looking for - and a lot more.
Discover your own treasures at the Trash and Treasure Market
For the Rotary Club of Belconnen, these markets are a successful fundraiser for their community projects. The market has been operating continually in this location since 1974 and has raised in excess of $5 million for the charity. When I visited this market for the first time myself, I was staggered by its size and popularity. Finding a car space is a challenge if you arrive after 9am, however there is plenty of options further afield if you don't mind a walk. As you make your way towards the market, it is always a good sign to see people walking back to their cars with bags of vegetables, plants and random objects tucked under their arms. If you are in the market for cheap plants that suit Canberra's unusual climate and conditions, you can't get any better than the plants grown by the locals and sold at these markets.
There is always the weird and the wonderful to be found at these markets - full sized wagon wheels, war memorabilia, religious statues, garden statues, tacos, pork buns, suitcases, books and more. Just like visiting the op shops around Canberra - you often walk in with nothing particular in mind, then leave with an armful.
Another feature of this market is the people. It is here where the local community gets together, calls out to friends, bumps into people they know and catches up with neighbours from down the road. The stallholders are also happy to have a chat and show you the products they have for sale and how they work. Ensure you take a lot of coinage - you will need it for the bargain $1 DVDs and $1 potted plants you will see along the way. It is the people behind the stalls that make the Trash and Treasure Market the successful market that you see today, 42 years after it first began.
The Jamison Plaza, where these markets are located, is a central hub for the surrounding suburbs. Across the road is the large and impressive Big Splash Waterpark, so if you visit the markets in Summer you can go for a swim after shopping. If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy lunch, the hugely popular Ricardo's Cafe and Patisserie is located inside the centre and the Jamison Southern Cross Club is also across the road. With so many things to do in the one venue each Sunday, why not spend the morning at Macquarie and bag a bargain at the Trash and Treasure Market...
...if you can't find a bargain here, you won't find one anywhere!