I have been longing to visit Camberwell Market for a long time. It was one of those things that I just never seemed to get around too – I was either working or enjoying a well deserved sleep-in.
But no more!
I can now officially say I’ve been, and that I loved it. The crowds pressed in a little too much perhaps – in fact it reminded me strongly of Portobello and Camden Markets in London. The sheer size and crush of people was insane.
I arrived a little too late to go through everything thoroughly. (Again, the sleep-in factor!) I wasn’t expecting it to be so BIG. Unfortunately for fellow snoozers, I will have to recommend getting in early – and I’m talking 7-8am early, not 10am. I have friends who go regularly at that time, and they say it’s better.
Camberwell Market is a goldmine of second-hand or crafty goods. (If anyone is reading this hoping for a food report, sorry – apart from doughnut and coffee stands, they can’t sell food.) The size means you need to allow for at least a couple of hours, and let’s be honest – you’re going for the experience as much as anything, so why not enjoy it? And that includes buying a hot jam doughnut.
According to the Market’s website, the market ‘is conducted by the Rotary Club of Balwyn (RCB) as a means of raising funds for a wide range of charities… The Market has been responsible for raising nearly $9,000,000 for the community since 1976.’
There are volunteers standing at the gates with buckets to collect a gold coin donation upon entry. It is not compulsory, but I always think it’s a nice thing to do. The volunteers are giving up their time to try and raise money for a cause.
To give you a rough idea of the size, the market holds approximately 370 stalls. I’ll be honest – some of the stall holders are only selling overpriced and cheap wares. But there are just as many people selling good quality merchandise. It’s a prime spot to pick up antiques and vintage goods.
I myself (FINALLY) found a lovely vintage cape. I was lucky, as I only spotted it because another girl was trying it on and decided against it. I was slightly confused when a lady came up behind me and began dusting down the back of the cape while I was trying it on though – but it turned out she was the stall owner. (Phew, not a psycho.)
The only good thing about getting to the market late was that all of the stall holders were discounting their wares. I was there for about an hour and a half, and by the end of the market they began yelling ‘everything on the table is two for fifty cents!’ or similar. Prime bargain hunting time.
Now, I’m sure you all know my rules for market and op-shopping by now, by I’m going to re-iterate: bring cash and your own bags. There is also some amazing furniture here, so I’d recommend a car, too.
If you want to visit this fantabulous market (fantabulous is a word that is copyrighted to me, by the way), you can read more here, or check out the market’s Facebook page. The market runs every Sunday from 7am-12.30pm at Station Street, Camberwell - Melway Ref: 45 J12.
If you haven’t been, get to it! I’m just sorry I’ve missed out for so long.