The St. Andrews market has been around for over 40 years and attracts a diverse range of people to this little corner of the Yarra Valley on Saturday mornings. Known for its earthy atmosphere, Chai Tent, alternative lifestyle visitors, the market is certainly unique and one of a kind with the district with a loyal following from locals as well as may coming from afar.
Like many community markets it’s run by volunteers and is not-for-profit, generously donating money back into the community.
The fresh produce is often organic and locally grown. Along with preserves, cakes, free range eggs, handmade soaps and skin care products, you can be assured that you’ll find something for everyone here.
Some people come along and set up a stall like a mini garage sale so there are bargains to be had. Pre-loved, fresh, handmade, second-hand and recycled pieces everywhere. There is also hair braiding, Reiki and massages that you can try.
The Chai Tent is popular with young and old. It’s the place to go when you’re at S. Andrews Market (although in this photo, there was no one around because I was there so early) – spread out on the large carpet, nestled amongst the pillows sipping your tea, coffee, chair – whatever takes your fancy while kids dance and play to the music that someone is playing or joining in with the jugglers or fire stick spinners. Nearby the kids can also have a pony ride or be part of the cubby house creations made with sticks and branches up behind the Chai Tent.
Food is plentiful and diverse. I’d suggest a walk around the entire market before you decide on what culinary treat you’ll indulge in. There are falafels, poffertjes, curries, samosas, tofu burgers, freshly made bread and cakes. If you are a vegetarian or want gluten-free options, just ask the vendors as they often accommodate people with dietary requirements
Buskers are there regularly and are openly welcomed. There is a small fee and are required to rotate around the market every hour to mix up the entertainment. I’ve always enjoyed the talent that plays for the visitors to the market.
Of course, it’s not a market without some fair dinkum tie dye clothes. PixieFish Tiedye have the most beautiful range of handmade bright clothes that a synonymous with the ambience of St. Andrews. You can find more of their range on Instagram here.
STALLHOLDERS: If you’d like to have a stall at the market, you can register your interest and book a stall by going to their webpage here. All your questions about start times, site sizes and other FAQ are answered on this page.
OPENING HOURS: 8am to 2pm. Operates every Saturday except on Total Fire Ban days in the central district. There is a twilight market just prior to Christmas.
LOCATION: Kangaroo Ground-St Andrews Road, St Andrews (Melway Ref: 394, F11/G11)
PARKING: Parking can be tricky as this place gets very busy. Most people park along the road and behind the restaurant “A Boy Named Sue” but you are expected to patron there. There is no time limit or fee. In the wet it can be a little slippery and in summer it can be dusty. Also watch out for the ditches along the road.
TRANSPORT: There is a free community bus (gold coin donation is appreciated) that meets every train on Saturday mornings arriving into Hurstbridge Station around 9.25am. This bus takes around 20 minutes to get to the market via Panton Hill and Smiths Gully. On your return back to Hurstbridge station, the bus departs from the tennis courts and the last bus departs St. Andrews at 5.35pm.
ATM: Nearest one is Hurstbridge so bring cash with you.
ENTRANCE FEE: No fee.
DOGS: Permitted on a leash and under the owners control.
FOOD: Great selection of curries, dahl, vegetarian food, satay sticks, good coffee and a few sweet stalls.
TOILET FACILITIES: Available at the market behind main building.
On Facebook search The St Andrews Market
On Instagram @standrewsmarket
Twitter – @standrewsmarket
Now it’s your turn. Share your stories of the St. Andrews Market. Likes, dislikes, bargains you’ve bought and people you’ve met. Leave a comment below.