Explore & Inspire

Explore & Inspire, Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Savers – Ringwood

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This is an Op Shop on steroids!

Savers was founded in the USA by Bill Ellison in 1954. By the 1980’s they had expanded into Canada and more recently in 2010 into Australia. They have become very popular due to the size of the stores and range of items you can buy.

This photo (above) is of the Ringwood store in the middle of the day. I estimate around 50 + people in the store including kids at 3.30pm on a Friday.


Explore & Inspire, Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Salvos Op Shop – Ringwood

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These larger chain Op Shops I have a love/hate relationship with. On one hand I totally support their commitment to putting money back into the community but on the other hand it gripes me that they overprice things.

With my last review of a Salvos store in Geelong, I was hoping this one would be as stylish and beautifully presented with their stock but alas – it’s just another Salvo’s store.


Explore & Inspire, Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Itchycoo Park Vintage – Thornbury

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Such a shame that this store is moving this month but I had to write it up because it’s been part of the area for a while and has a loyal following. If you are like a magpie and collect odds and sods, then this is the place for you.

Owner Meg Searls opened this shop and filled it to the brim with her own range of collectables, kitschy wares, vintage clothing, colourful kitchenwares, records, jewellery and more.


Explore & Inspire, Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Madman Vintage – Preston

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We stumbled across this little treasure after having brunch at Boundary Espresso further down Plenty Road. If it hadn’t been for the bright blue paint on the brickwork, I may have just walked by and not explored but I do love blue and there was a stenciled sign that said MADMAN VINTAGE so I had to go in.

There were a few people inside checking out the furniture, interested in an old Parker Style sideboard. Whereas I was looking at the cute little chair (red one) in above photo.

Each item has a story and if the could talk, the tales they would tell. For example these lights – where they on a desk, bedside table, drawing board for an draftsperson? Who knows.

Some of the more eclectic pieces are table lamps, sculptures, artwork and even old kids toys.

These statues above were interesting and a little out of character for the shop but it’s these very things that make this place enjoyable to visit.

What will you find here?

  • Retro and Vintage homewares
  • Retro and Vintage furniture
  • Industrial furniture, bits and bobs
  • 50’s and 60’s lighting
  • Old bedside clocks and phones
  • Large furniture items like tables and desks
  • Artwork

OPENING HOURS:  Couldn’t source them

PHONE: Couldn’t source one

LOCATION: 123 Plenty Road, Preston

PARKING: Parking is pretty good out the front although on a Sunday the local church around the corner means lots of parishioners park their cars nearby. There are no meters but there are time limits.

TRANSPORT: There are buses that go along Plenty Road. Click here for more information. 

DISABLED ACCESS: Good disabled access if you are say, using a frame or crutches but not in a wheelchair.

ATM: There is a Cashcard ATM at 197 Plenty Road.


DELIVERY: Madman Vintage can arrange delivery if you live a reasonable distance at your expense. Please discuss with the staff regarding freight arrangements and the companies that they use.

DOGS: Not inside. Do not leave your dog in the car for safety reasons. If needed, tie the dog up outside and put some water out for it.

FOOD: Plenty of cafes and restaurants very close along Plenty Road.

TOILET FACILITIES: There are toilets at some of the cafes but you may need to buy a coffee.


Website – No account

On Facebook – No account

On Instagram – No account but #madmanvintage

On Twitter – No account #madmanvintage

Now it’s your turn. Share your stories of Madman in Preston.  Likes, dislikes, bargains you’ve bought and people you’ve met. Leave a comment below.

Happy hunting!

Explore & Inspire, Outdoor Education, Travel Tips & Ideas

Sugarloaf Saddle – Cathedral Ranges State Park

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I’ve been camping here for over 30 years and not much has changed. Parks Vic (or whatever their name is these days) do a great job of servicing the park by doing tree checks, grading the roads, vegetation management, tree hazard checks, managing the toilets and facilities. The rest is up to you. If you want to camp somewhere that has everything done for you, this is not the place. Rangers have more important things to do than change the toilet paper rolls so be prepared for a beautiful simple camping experience.

You can access Sugarloaf Saddle via The Mt. Margaret Road from Marysville or via Buxton. I’ll assume you are coming off the Maroondah Highway. Make your way to the Cooks Mill camping ground located off the Little River Road. Access with a 2wd is fine, albeit a little bumpy on the road in. Follow the signage west to Sugarloaf Saddle. It’s a little steep and doable in a 2wd but it’s a rocky and bumpy road. From Melbourne head east through Healesville and through the mountainous Black Spur. Once you have left the Maroondah Highway and have driven north of Buxton, you will see the signposted turn off to the Ranges. (more…)