One weekend, once there were a few dollars in our pocket, we decided to explore the Farmers Markets of the area. Even though we did not end up buying one bit of vegetable or fruit (usually the point of visiting a market) I was inspired and excited about our venture to explore what Farmers Markets of South Australia had to offer.
Our first stop was located in the rustic village of Willunga. We made the mistake of eating breakfast and felt like Hobbits when we arrived to a delightful selection of food and an aroma of coffee that was irresistible – a second breakfast was needed. Walking around all the stall we were greeted with the best of the region: wines, honey, vegetables, herbs, dried fruits, ciders and lavender brownies. We faced a 20 minute wait for a coffee, which was well worth it, we ate our delicious meat filled pies and observed the popularity and the community that this market had. There was a man in a bright purple jersey who was wondering around the market and who knew everyone. I believed him to be part of the set up as he greeted the people and the stall owners alike with his long grey beard. He looked like the wizard of the market – making all the magic happen. The Willunga market is the first Farmers Market founded in South Australia. In 2002 a local foodie had been in a conference in New Zealand and saw a need for a farmers market in the Fleurieu region. There is an air of success to this market, whose goal is to bring the growers to the customers. This felt like a real farmers market with a slogan to fit: Meet the grower, TASTE THE REGION.
Though a very beautiful little town on the riverside there is not much to say about this market. Limited stalls (only one of veggies) with coffee, crackers and pita for sale. Supposably there is a bigger market every 2 weeks and we had been fooled into thinking this would be worth the hour drive by a Facebook event stating is as the Grand Opening of the Market. Beautiful spot with a lot of potential but very limited inspiration and not the greatest coffee. Though there was a brewery across the tracks and live music at a cafe on the riverside – in terms of Goolwa itself it was worth the visit.
Victor Harbour Country Market
Just a quick drive up the coast we arrived at Victor Harbour where a short walk across a brigde connected you to Granite Island, and a recreational park for exploring that used to be home to a penguin colony. Now the penguin population is limited to numbers able to count on one hand – the theory: the arrival of NZ fur seals. Granite Island had an easy and accessible walk to tour the island. Waves violently crashing against the large boulders below. Lizards to be spotted and views back to the mainland of Victor Harbour made the journey very worthy of the time. June to September the area is popular due to whale spotting. A mural on the side of the public toilets tells a story of a transition from whale slaughtering to whale watching. We finished our weekend of exploring a country market that was finishing up for the day. Nothing too much to tempt us we ended up sitting eating donuts and drinking mate (Argentinian tea) – some of the greatest donuts a Gaucho had ever eaten from a stall next to the information centre – highly recommended (though seem to only be available in the weekend).
If you happen to find yourself in Willunga on a Saturday morning I recommend a visit to the markets if only for the coffee. Apart from that you may not be in these small town south of Adelaide for it markets but if you find yourself on the southern coast, it has a lot to offer.