It’s been a long time between visits to the Red Hill Market yet my natural sense of direction took me there without a map or GPS and memories of coming to the market in May with mist and fog swirling around me flooded back. Nestled amongst the back roads of the peninsula, this is one of the premier markets in Victoria. Established back in 1975 with just under 30 local producers, it’s now grown to well over 300 stalls with an array of hand made / home made products. Despite the drizzly weather the day I visited, it’s still a spectacular place to shop.
Set on the grounds of the Red Hill Recreation Reserve, you will be greeted with the smiling faces of the Lions Club members ready to take your money for parking – the going rate of $4. If you want to take your chances and park along Arthurs Seat Road, be aware that it could be a long walk if you arrive after 10am.
The first thing you are aware of at the Red Hill market are the aromas. From the early hours, stallholders have been arcing up their stoves, grills, bain maries’, ovens and woks. The fridges are cold, the popcorn is ready to be cooked, the cakes are fresh from the oven. This is a place to come and test, try and taste.
As I usually do with markets, I do a quick lap to get a ‘lay of the land’ and then do my second trip taking in more details of the stalls. The gluten free cookies are a must try.
When I finally decide to buy food, it’s usually something different to what you can get anywhere else or something I wouldn’t make for myself. There are soooo many choices here that you’re bound to find something that will suit your palette.
I was surprised how little fresh fruit and vegetable stalls and plant stalls there were. Perhaps we are slightly out of season for some of the more popular items later in the year such as asparagus and cherries. These apples (below) were very juicy and tasty – bought a half dozen.
I do love the originality of people. These books below aren’t a new idea but the books are beautiful to hold and use and a perfect gift for people of all ages. Purchased one for my daughter who is heading overseas shortly as a travel journal.
I bought one of these scarves from Jessica Chiodo and haven’t stopped wearing it. Made from 30% silk and 70% cotton, hand dyed it’s lightweight and soft with a few perfect imperfections which makes it so special and unique. No two would be alike. This one will be coming over to Europe with me.
For parents with young kids, there are a number of stalls that will keep them interested such as face painting but you can also relax on the grassy areas (if not wet).
If you like to beat the crowds, come early (8am) as this market gets very busy. As with any market in Victoria, come prepared for ever-changing weather. Pop that brolly in your bag if you’re not sure it’ll rain because it most probably will. The mornings can be chilly but in the warmer months the sun can be very hot, so slip slop slap!
You can also explore the small town of Red Hill and the surrounding area. There are many galleries, restaurants, cafes, wineries, homeware shops, great golf courses, scuba diving and snorkelling, horseriding, surfing, sailing, mazes and gardens. You can find out more information here.
For that unique gift idea – check out Quirkie Su here for their recycled, hand made, home made clever designs.
STALLHOLDERS: If you’d like to have a stall at the market, you can register your interest by clicking here.
OPENING HOURS: 8am to 1pm. Operates the first Saturday of every month from September to May (closed June, July & August). Hours extended to 2pm for Easter market.
LOCATION: 180 Arthurs Seat Road Red Hill South 87 kms from Melbourne.
PARKING: There is plenty of parking onsite with a cost of $4 and the money is collected by Red Hill Lions Club. Across the road you can park and pay the same amount but the money goes to National Trust.
TRANSPORT: For information on buses please visit PTV here.
DISABLED ACCESS: Good disabled access however, if it’s been raining it can be a little boggy for wheelchair or walking frames.
ENTRANCE FEE: No fee.
DOGS: Not permitted. Please abide by these rules.
FOOD: There are plenty of food vans, probably more than I’ve seen at any other market. The lamb souvlaki was very tasty but I was tempted by the poffertjes, bacon & egg rolls, twisty potatoes, fresh juice and more.
TOILET FACILITIES: There are toilets located at the Reserve including disabled facilities. See more info here.
On Facebook – Craft Markets Australia
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Website: Red Hill Markets
Now it’s your turn. Share your stories of the Red Hill Market. Likes, dislikes, tasty treats you’ve bought and people you’ve met. Leave a comment below.