Situated along the banks of the Yarra River surrounded by gum trees is the quaint Warrandyte Market that oozes what a community market is all about – fresh home-grown produce, hand-made wares and food stalls that set your taste buds alight with everything from gozleme to poffertjes.
This outdoor market has been operating for over 20 years and has a loyal following from the locals and stall holders (one stall holder has been coming for 17 years). Like many markets, it has its own flavour and style that is unique to this community who live and work along the river.
The feel of this market for me is somewhere between hippy, greenie, middle-class quirk. Is it because of the people? The wares? The food? I’m not sure but it certainly offers a unique experience something similar to the Red Hill Market back in the early 90’s where it was a collective of like-minded people doing what they love and coming together to not just sell their wares but connect with the people around them.
The range of wares are wide and varied but the theme is consistent – hand-made or home-grown. If you’re wanting something unique then this market is for you. The hand-made items are of a high quality, beautifully presented and not something you’ll see in a mainstream shopping centre.
So if you’re looking for that special gift this is the place to come. Polyanthus range is whimsical and sweet with decorative home wares and pieces you can wear and very in trend at the moment (above).
Marg McLennan is a Botanical Stylist from Lancefield and creates stunning hanging gardens that would look good in any home or office. Her attention to detail and simple approach in her creations is stunning (above).
The Warrandyte Market is also a social one where many of the locals meet up for a coffee at the Java or take the kids down to the river for a play. Dogs are welcome and I’ve seen up to 50-60 dogs with their owners in an hour. And of course, there is a stall that sells doggy treats.
There are a quite a few stall holders selling fresh produce, often seasonal. This month it was asparagus and cherries. Last month one stall holder said he’d sold 3,500 bunches of daffodils last month (October) but the season had now passed and this month he was selling fresh asparagus.
A number of stalls sell flowers and plants which at this time of year are snapped up by avid gardeners. The fruit trees in particular are good stock and can personally say my lemon tree abounds with fruit every year.
Every month the local Friends of Warrandyte State Park have a stall where you can buy tube stock and speak to the members who volunteer their time to produce a large quantity of seedlings for a variety of local planting projects. Their wealth ofknowledge and dedication is fabulous.
Recommend you bring your own bag or trolley along so plastic bags don’t have to be used. Also try to bring smaller notes. We all know that the ATM’s dispense $50’s and stall holders are prepared for that but when so many people turn up with larger notes it becomes problematic for them.
STALLHOLDERS: If you’d like to have a stall at the market, you can register your interest and book a stall by ringing 03 9844 4100 on weekdays during business hours only or go to their web page here. Please ask about start times, size of your stall and conditions.
OPENING HOURS: 9am to 1pm. Operates the first Saturday of every month except in January. Sometimes there is an extra market just prior to Christmas.
LOCATION: Stiggants Reserve walking track along Yarra River. Enter via Stiggants Road (Melway Ref: 23 C 12)
PARKING: There are a number of places to park. The end of Taroona Avenue there is a car park. East of the market on Yarra Street is the Stonehouse gallery where there is parking and a toilet block. You can then walk west along path to the market which takes five minutes. Warrandyte Café on Yarra Street has a car park just for the public attending the market and you can park there for a small fee. You can park along Yarra Street and some of the side streets but mind the ditches.
TRANSPORT: There is a bus stop on Yarra Street at the top of Stiggants Reserve. Buses run regularly. The 906 from the City via The Pines or the 364 from Ringwood Station (Eastland Shopping Centre) via the roundabout in Warrandyte.
DISABLED ACCESS: Good disabled access on bush path. Lots of space between stalls. In the wet can be a little boggy.
ATM: The nearest is at the IGA about 500m from the market OR a Commonwealth Bank in Yarra Street at the Gem Shop, near the Grand Hotel OR a Bendigo Bank ATM at the Bank itself in Yarra Street, just beyond the Grand Hotel near the pedestrian crossing.
ENTRANCE FEE: No fee.
DOGS: Permitted on a leash and under the owners control.
FOOD: Great selection of poffertjers, gozleme, burgers, bacon & egg rolls, dumplings, popcorn, satay sticks, good coffee and other sweet and savoury stalls. Warrandyte Café is the closest cafe for a sit down meal.
TOILET FACILITIES: Available in the middle of the market including disabled facilities.
Website – Warrandyte Riverside Market
On Facebook – Warrandyte Community Riverside Market
On Instagram – @warrandytecommunitymarket
Twitter – no account but #warrandyteriversidecommunitymarket
Now it’s your turn. Share your stories of the Warrandyte Market. Likes, dislikes, bargains you’ve bought and people you’ve met. Leave a comment below.