Saturday at Eumundi Markets


As the weather begins to get warmer, the hankering for the beach grows – for me at least. With the Saturday just gone supposed to reach the high 20°C, it was a good excuse to get out of Brisvegas for the day.

Even though I was up at 5:30am, I wasn’t on the road until 7-ish but there was minimal traffic and roadworks so I was up to Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast by about 8:30am to pick up a friend. Our goal for the day was the Eumundi Markets. Eumundi (pronounced You-mundy) is a small town in the Noosa Hinterland, but the only thing I really knew about it was that they brewed their own beer. Seems they’ve expanded into the arts and crafts market deal as well and they do a great job.

By the time we arrived (9-ish) the markets were already packed. Parking is fairly plentiful and there are huge lots near the markets for $3 all day. If you’re early enough, you could get lucky and find a park on the street if you’re prepared to walk 5-10 minutes, but be careful of time restrictions.

The markets are huge and will take you a good hour or so just to walk by everything. Add a few more hours if you actually intend to browse and purchase. There are tons of stalls and most are unique in what they sell. You’ll find of heaps of stuff you didn’t know you needed before you found it here. I tried to collect a few cards of some of the more interesting ones, but a lot of vendors did not have cards (only brochures), and most certainly did not have websites. Brings back memories of Eugene Saturday Market. There’s also plenty of fresh produce vendors so it’s easy to pick up some fruit, bread and cheese for a picnic lunch if you’re so inclined.

Across the street from the markets is the Eumundi Hotel, known as Joe’s Waterhole. It’s a real locals pub and a great place to rest the feet after a few hours worth of walking the markets. We watched the Olympics opening ceremony (without sound) on a TV, but everyone else was more interested in the horse racing on another telly.

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The day had warmed up nicely and we decided to head over to Noosa for a quick swim. It’s only about 20 minutes away and even though it seemed busy, we were able to find a free park easily. Even though the day was warm, the water was still freezing and it took a long time before it became “alright once you’re in”. Even then it wasn’t long before it became uncomfortable and there were no waves to make it interesting, so we retreated to the sand and tried to warm up in the sun.

Feeling peckish by this time (3:30pm) we decided to wander up Hastings Street to find some chow. Most places had finished with the lunch rush, but there were still plenty of people milling about on the strip. Finding nothing that tickled our fancy I suggested a fish’n’chip shop at Peregian Beach that was close to the beach. My family would go there every year for a week when I was a kid and after another 20 minute drive we were ordering up a storm.

While we were waiting, we checked out the local property prices and beachfront views can still be yours for A$1-2 million. Peregian is already getting built up along the lines of Noosa, with the odd resort/retreat already established and property development ramping up. It’s still got that small, beach community feel to it, but I wonder for how much longer. Just one look at the newly renovated Peregian Beach Hotel and you can see the direction the area is going in. The beach is still beautiful, however, and despite the wind was a great place to chow down on (mediocre) fish’n’chips.

A couple of cleansing ales in the pub afterwards, and a great day out was just about done.