Get into the thick of things at a community market in regional Victoria. Meet the locals, growers, farmers, and makers. Stock your trolley and compare homemade jams and baked treats. Stay awhile and taste a local tipple with a snag from the community barbecue.
Browse racks of vintage clothing and collectable retro gems. Chat to local artists and craftspeople, find homemade homewares and surprise the hard-to-buy-fors with local souvenirs and gifts.
All this and loads of local entertainment: face-painting for junior shoppers, demonstrations for weekend cooks, and a live soundtrack from local performers. To market!
To find your nearest community market, check local and market websites – and keep an eye out for roadside chalkboard signs. Smaller markets generally operate once a month, larger markets more frequently.
Take an empty basket and plenty of spare time to these local favourites:
Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges
Get two markets for the price of one at Healesville Community Market: pick up your fresh fruit and veg and browse bric-a-brac, clothing, jewellery, plants and books on the first Sunday of the month, and grab gifts and homemade products such as soaps and jams on the third.
Join the regulars for Mornington Main Street Market every Wednesday, or get crafty at the 'grand dame' of Victoria's craft markets, Red Hill Community Market, the first Saturday of the month.
Daylesford and Macedon Ranges
Rock out twice a year with local products, produce and gourmet food at Hanging Rock Market, add children's entertainment to the mix on the first and third Saturday of every month at the Creswick Market, and scout Daylesford's Mill Markets, open daily.
Have an udderly lovely evening browsing art, clothing and homeware with boutique wines and homestyle fare at the Island Foreshore Market, held intermittently on Saturdays during summer and autumn.
Geelong and the Bellarine
Hit Geelong's markets: admire local art at Piccadilly Market, popping up in permanent and temporary locations throughout the year, enjoy artisan food culture and fresh grown produce at South Geelong Farmers Market on the first and third Sunday of each month, and find retro gems at Geelong Vintage Market and the Mill Markets, both open daily.
Great Ocean Road
Shop inside and out for all things at All Saints Church, home of the indoor-outdoor Terang Market, held on the first Saturday of each month.
Collect the set from the seemingly endless array of antiques, memorabilia, books, records and collectables at Ballarat's Mill Markets, open daily.
Take the family to Hamilton's monthly Farmers & Craft Market on the last Saturday of each month, complete with live music, wood-fired pizzas and fresh scones with homemade jam and cream. And hop along to the Balmoral Easter Market in April.
Set aside some quality shopping time for the 250 stalls, live music and gourmet food at the thriving Violet Town Market, held every second Saturday of the month.
Meet local artists and farmers when the Warragul Arts Market and Warragul Farmers Market come together on the third Saturday of the month.
Browse more than 80 stalls, laze on the sprawling lawn and listen to live music at Albury's QEII Twilight Markets, second Thursday of the month, from October to March.