Last weekend Wollongong hosted its annual festival of family, community, diversity, arts and culture. This festival is the highlight of year and as always it delivered. From its parade of diverse and interesting organisations and community groups, the arty markets and crafty projects for kids, funky live music, circus for kids to its funny live theatre La Petite Grande. This festival is a stunning display of everything Wollongong values and has to offer. Held annually in November at McCabe Park book it in to your calendar now for a weekend away next year
Every Sunday the northern suburbs of the Illawarra wakes up to the Foragers Market at the Bulli Showground a wonderful coming together of food, family, friends, artisans, producers and of course good coffee. Started in 2014 it has grown to become the hippest place to hang on a Sunday. If you are only in town for short while follow my tips to get the most out of the market;
Get In Early
The market only runs from 9am – 2pm so it gets rocking early. Get yourself a great park and plan to have breakfast onsite there is a delicious array of food that is ready to eat and fresh, fragrant coffee. They sometimes collect a gold coin donation for local charities for parking so take your spare change.
Pack Cash, Camera and a Carry all
There is an ATM on site but taking a bit of cash will get you started and avoid those pesky fees. The founder Kirrily has created a magical wonderland with lights strung up, music, baskets, flowers, retro furniture, sweet signs and play areas for the kids – you will want to Instagram everything so go prepared. The lovely lady also provides an array of baskets for use at the markets so help yourself at the front or take your own to get into the vibe.
Cool Off and use the Cool Room
The left hand side of the markets have all the fruit, vegetables and staples like bread and gourmet butter while the right has food that is ready to eat mixed in with sweets, honey and sauces. There is a lady who sells locally made honey from hives she has all around the Illawarra, a gentlemen that sells Irish flat soda bread which is delicious and an Organic farm that has amazing mushrooms and fresh eggs to name just a few. Do your weekly shop and stock it in their cool room so you can wander with your hands free. I always save a punnet of strawberries, blueberries or even mulberries for Ariah Blue to devour at the markets.
Budget for Something Quirky
Besides an enticing array of food the market also offers services that are a bit of fun. Get your hair trimmed, your tarot cards read, buy some retro Tupperware, or play with some gorgeous animals in the petting zoo. With several areas to sit and relax, two play areas for kids complete with toys, tents and games, live music, food and drinks – the market is a full day of fun and finishes just in time for an afternoon siesta.
Talk to Strangers
The friendliness of this market is obvious from beginning to end so take its cue. The stall holders are lovely and just want to tell you all about their products, the area and their passion for the local community. The grass areas with picnic rugs are a great place to strike up a conversion with fellow marketers – ask for food recommendations or if they a local and go from there. Huddle with other parents in the kids play areas (kids provide an endless topic of conversation). Or just kick back and enjoy the sunshine and some tunes by local performers.
Where: Bulli Showground Grevillea Park Road, Bulli NSW When: Farmers market every Sunday from 9am to 2pm. Farmers and Artisans market every 2nd Sunday. Farmers and Vintage markets 4th Sunday of the month. Cost: As little or as much as you want to spend Bring: Cloth bags or a basket, a hat/sunscreen Website:http://www.foragersmarkets.com/