* Apinun! I’m thawing my Winter bones in tropical Papua New Guinea at the moment, so here is a post I prepared for you whilst I’m in holiday mode. Now where is my mojito…
Driving home to South Australia from my last trip to Melbourne, somewhere around Ballarat the steady rain hitting my windscreen stopped…and then started again very lightly, very softly, very quietly and very white. It was snowing. Not just sleet or ice falling and melting, but real white-on-the-ground snow. Where I grew up in the Strezlecki Ranges of South Gippsland it’s not uncommon for it to snow once a year, but still, snow in Australia is a bit of an anomaly.
I pulled off the highway and found myself at the infamous Ballarat Mill Markets, a place I had always wanted to get to but never found myself in Ballarat (or Geelong where they have another Mill Market). After the initial shock (seriously breathtaking!) of how ice-cold the air really was out of my warm car, I huddled inside the big old warehouse shed to see what I could see. Stallholders chatted happily amongst each other whilst sipping hot chocolates from mittened hands, I could see my breath as I wandered through the antiques and vintage wares. Here’s what I found on a snowy Ballarat Saturday in July…
Different stalls of various odds and ends, bric a brac, antiques and vintage collectables. It’s a bit of a hit and miss situation, like a ginormous op shop where you might have to dig through some junk to get to the good stuff. But…that ‘junk’ might be what others consider the ‘good stuff’. It’s all relative. The Mill Market was a bit mid-century for my taste, but if that’s what you’re into it’s fabulous – loads of kitschy Australiana and retro furniture and homewares, as well as clothing. I eyed off a World War 2 army nurses trunk as well as some of those giant amber glass bottles.
Alas, my car was literally chockablock full of spoils from Melbourne. So off I trundled home to ‘Carlton’ through the snow of central Victoria. Hopefully we will visit The Mill Markets again on a Melbourne trip as we drive straight past. We’re going to a wedding in Geelong in November so I might just have to pop my head in to the market down there too!
The Mill Markets in Ballarat can be found at 9367 Western Highway, Warrenheip. In Geelong they’re at 114 Bellarine Highway, and there is also a market in Daylesford at 105 Central Springs Road. All three stores are open every day of the year except Christmas Day from 10am until 6pm. Visit their website here.