If you’re looking for a collection of eclectic items from vintage clothing to handmade soaps or are a collector of objects that are hard to find, then the Camberwell Market is for you.
Located in the car park at the rear of Burke Road and Riversdale Roads in Camberwell this outdoor market is one of the best trash and treasure style markets you’ll find. Started by Balwyn Rotary in 1976 this market still rocks along every Sunday and never fails to disappoint with a variety of weird and wonderful stalls.
Stallholders can only sell hand-made, hand crafted or second-hand goods which attracts a lot of people who are decluttering their homes, selling up stuff to raise $ to travel overseas or downsizing – plus everything in between. As well, there are the regulars who have been coming here for years and years, getting up at sunrise to set up their stall with their wares. These handmade soaps (above) are from Soapretty
Some visits I’ve scored the most odd and unusual items for a song and on other days I can see nothing that takes my fancy. That’s why it’s a must to visit on a regular basis. Sure there are the regulars who bring pretty much the same stuff, but there are plenty of new stallholders each week to make it interesting.
The prices can be anything from 50c to $100’s of dollars but you’re always welcome to negotiate with a stall owner, particularly when it gets close to closing time.
Once you’ve wandered through the entire market, which can take anywhere from a half hour to 90 minutes, try out some of the local eateries in the area.
Tip: if you hand around until near closing time, you’ll pick up a bargain as people realise that some of their stuff isn’t selling and it so they drop the prices. Today one rack of clothes marked at $5 each was suddenly $1 each. The flower stalls are the same, dropping prices around 11.30 so they don’t have to take them home.
A market isn’t a market with a busker or two with high quality performances by interesting characters which Rotary support and encourage. I remember Neil Whitford the well-known saxophonist with his small poodle playing every week no matter what the weather. Or ex politician Jim Cairns who made regular appearances at the market selling his books.
Retro and vintage items are bountiful like this table (below) which I missed out on buying by minutes.
Bakelite kitchen containers, coloured glassware, funky clothes – it’s all here. There are great stories of people buying trinkets for a small amount of money and later revealed to be worth $100’s or $1,000’s. A lovely woman bought a bucket of cutlery for $20 and she planned to make wind chimes out of them.
There are many odd and unusual items too. Anyone for some horns? Not sure what animal they are from or what you’d do with them but that’s the beauty of a market – something for everyone.
Some basketballs, soccer balls, netballs? Or how about those little toys that are given away at fast food chains? Well there is someone at the market who has these in plastic clam shell sand pits for your little ones to browse through at their leisure.
Clothes – there are so many clothes to choose from. High end designer to regular everyday t-shirts. My daughter picked up some nice tops today for $2 each and a long-sleeved designer shirt for $5.
Jewellery – some of the best bargains are from the non regulars who are cleaning out their wardrobes. You’ll find some interesting and unique pieces. Just check that clasps work.
STALLHOLDERS: If you’d like to have a stall at the market, you can register your interest and book a stall by clicking here. All the information about start times, size of the stall and conditions as a stall owner are available at this site. Opens at 5.30am for stallholders.
OPENING HOURS: 7.30am to 12.30pm. Operates every Sunday except the Sunday before Christmas Day
LOCATION: Station Street car park (west side) east of Burke Road.
PARKING: Can be a bit of an issue but most people seem to park under the Target car park these days which is currently free. I parked in Burke Road and walked through one of the laneways into the market. But there is a $2.40 fee for one hour.
TRANSPORT: There are trams that run down Burke Road and Riversdale on a regular timetable and you can find times here. Camberwell Railway Station is a five minute walk from the market and you can find times here. There are buses that also frequently travel through Camberwell and you can find times here.
DISABLED ACCESS: Good disabled access on concrete (car park). Lots of space between stalls.
ATM: There are a number of them in Burke Road Camberwell, not far away at all.
ENTRANCE FEE: A gold coin donation is asked as you enter – funds go back into the community.
DOGS: Permitted on a leash and under the owners control.
FOOD: Hot donuts, falafels, sausages, cold drinks. Cafes and restaurants are sprinkled around the rim of the market.
TOILET FACILITIES: Available at many cafes and restaurants or across Burke Road near Coles.
On Facebook – Camberwell Sunday Market
On Instagram @camberwellsundaymarket
Twitter – no account but #camberwellsundaymarket
Now it’s your turn. Share your stories of the Camberwell Market. Likes, dislikes, bargains you’ve bought and people you’ve met. Leave a comment below.