Located on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland, about 90 minutes north of Brisbane, Eumundi is a bustling, leafy town renowned for hosting the largest art and craft market in Australia.
The market is held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, when more than 600 market stalls flood the township. But when they all pack up and leave, Eumundi still has plenty of great stores to explore.
Stop 1: Community Projects Worldwide
Showcasing the quality and beauty of Fair Trade handicrafts from around the world, this eclectic store shines the spotlight on the work of artisans, while helping to educate and support disadvantaged communities. Owner Pru McMillan says every item has a soul and a unique quality. “Whether it’s figurines from Kenya, tableware from South Africa or Tagua jewellery from Ecuador, you can tell it’s been made with love and attention,” Pru says.
Must-have: Telephone-wire bowl.
Open: Wed, Fri, Sat, 7.30am-2pm.
Visit: Eumundi Square, 1-7 Napier Road, (07) 5455 5963
Stop 2: Copper artist Vaughan Robinson
Copper may be bang-on-trend, but for industrial engineer-turned-artist Vaughan Robinson, working with the versatile medium has been an enduring passion since opening his store more than a decade ago. Vaughan uses traditional hand tools to transform copper – some of it sourced from scrapyards – into light fittings, abstract wall art, jewellery and sculpture. Customers love the interesting forms and their oxidised greeny-blue patina, while Vaughan’s joy lies in producing his one-off art pieces and keeping traditional metalwork skills alive.
Must-have: Table lamp.
Open: Wed, Sat, 7.30am-2pm; Fri, 8.30am-2pm.
Visit: Eumundi Square, 1-7 Napier Road, (07) 5442 4804.
Stop 3: Fabric Society
Owned by self-confessed “fabric-a-holic” Diana Boden, Fabric Society was inspired by her passion for collecting exotic fabrics from far-flung places. “I wanted to create a feeling of walking into an authentic market stall in Delhi or Jaipur, with a display of bright colours, exquisite designs and fine cottons,” Diana says. Her vibrant store is bursting with Indian block-printed cotton quilts and fabrics in pretty floral designs. Ideal for those who love delicate prints with a global aesthetic and ethic – every piece is Fair Trade, from the hand-stitched ‘Suzani’ tote bags to the beautifully soft tablecloths.
Must-haves: Block-printed cotton quilts.
Open: Wed, Fri, Sat, 7.30am-2pm.
Visit: Eumundi Square, 1-7 Napier Road, 0416 293 205.
Stop 4: Berkelouw Books
With more than 100,000 books – from rare, out-of-print first editions and second-hand treasures to the latest releases – it’s best to set aside plenty of time to browse through Berkelouw Books. The monthly book club is also popular, as are frequent author talks and in-store signings. Among the aisles you’ll also find enviable pieces for the home from labels such as Dreamfarm, Saison, Seedling, Until and Moleskine.
Must-haves: Robert Gordon ‘Tea for Two’ copper teapot with cups.
Open: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, 9am-5pm; Wed, Sat, 8am-5pm; Sun, 9am-4pm.
Visit: 87 Memorial Drive, (07) 5442 8366.
While you’re there...
There are plenty of pretty and historic towns to explore only a short drive from Eumundi, which sits in the coastal hinterland behind Noosa. About 15 kilometres south, you can take in the Wappa Falls at Yandina.
Head north to Pomona to catch a silent film at the Majestic Theatre, Queensland’s oldest continuously operating cinema [(07) 5485 2330]. From July to October, you can forage for your own fresh strawberries and sample delicious jams at Eumundi Strawberries [(07) 5442 7305].
For something savoury, indulge in the delicacies at Eumundi Smokehouse [(07) 5472 0331], then follow the foodie trail to Noosa, where there are plenty of artisan cafes and beachfront dining options.
Noosa National Park is another must-see, with a spectacular coastal walking path providing stunning vistas and the chance to spot a koala or two.
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