Put a dent in the Christmas shopping and have a lovely evening to boot in the tiny South Gippsland town of Meeniyan. Held in the village’s new open-air cultural precinct, the community gathering attracts mightily talented local craftspeople, designers, providores, street-food vendors, brewers and winemakers. The monthly farmers market will also run as usual on Sunday December 9.
From humble hippie origins in 1975, the iconic Red Hill Community Market has grown into Craft Markets Australia, with multiple statewide locations offering handcrafted wares and seasonal produce at fair prices. Leading up to Christmas, Red Hill markets run on December 1, before Yarra Glen Racecourse Market on December 2 and at twilight on December 8. Mornington Racecourse Market is on December 9 and at twilight December 15, each with more than 300 stalls confirmed.
Yarrawonga’s annual yuletide market is the ideal excuse to spend a day with the family on the banks of Lake Mulwala. The riches of the Murray River food bowl will be on display – from stone fruit and strawberries to preserves, pickles and homemade Christmas puds – alongside an array of gift ideas made by local hands. Be sure to hop aboard one of the river leisure cruises on offer for the day.
Artsy little Castlemaine shows off its skills at these popular makers’ markets, with a special twilight edition on December 14. More than 60 Central Victorian artisans including silversmiths, illustrators and ceramicists will display their creations, while roving performers entertain and food stalls entice. If that’s not enough market for you, Castlemaine’s Wesley Hills Community Market pops up every Saturday throughout December with all-local goods.
Craft Markets. Image supplied by Craft Markets.
Torquay Cowrie Market. Image supplied by Torquay Cowrie Market.
The quirky Emu Plains Market brings Mornington Peninsula’s best creators and makers together under a canopy of stringybarks in the Emu Plains Reserve in Balnarring. From fashions for hounds and tots to handcrafted homewares, all-natural beauty buys and living greenery, you’ll find the perfect gift for even the fussiest character. December’s market will feature a full day of live music and great eating and drinking, along with a special appearance by Santa himself.
Popping up in the pretty Goldfields town of Creswick each month, this self-described “happy small-town market” offers nearly 100 stalls. Snap up produce plucked from nearby fields and edible finds for foodie friends, and peruse the makers’ and artisans’ hall for bespoke textiles, cosmetics, jewellery, furniture and more. Live entertainment and tasty food stalls round out a market day with bucket-loads of local flavour.
An appearance by Santa at Emu Plains. Image supplied by Emu Plains.
The Surf Coast Arts Collective’s crafty little market takes over the Torquay Esplanade on the third Sunday of each month from September to April. Championing handcrafted goods and eco-friendly products, with local musos performing over two stages plus all-ages activities, the Cowrie Market is a beloved fixture in the Surf Coast’s cultural calendar and just the place to unearth one-off gifts.
A stop on the Moorabool Valley Taste Trail, the farmers market at Bannockburn, just north of Geelong, gathers passionate local growers, provedores and makers. The special December evening edition falls just in time to prep for festive entertaining, with last-minute gift ideas such as glass ornaments, hand-printed cards and gourmet stocking stuffers. Swing past the retro caravan “Fran” for a cheeky cocktail and bite of tapas as you roam.
Golden Plains Twilight Market. Image supplied by Golden Plains Shire Council.