Sunday markets are a big thing in Brisbane. There are loads of good ones, such as Northey Street Organic Farmers Market, Milton Markets and Redcliffe Markets to name but a few. Well, it was high time I tried the Petrie Sunday Markets in Old Petrie Town, just 30 minutes north of the CBD. Besides operating for over 30 years, rain hail or shine, these markets are quirky, they’re a treat for history lovers, there are good multicultural food offerings, wildlife and rides for kids too.
I hadn’t been to Old Petrie Town before, so I had no expectations as we drove 30 minutes north from the inner city. The only thing I’d read before leaving, was that the markets are on ‘rain hail or shine’. This was slightly comforting, as it was threatening rain when we got out of the car. Strolling past the permanent fixture of the Heritage Hotel – which was busy with breakfast punters – I entered the market with my family and dog Cookie in tow. Another bonus is the Petrie Sunday Markets are dog-friendly!
It was a grey day, which suited the old-fashioned town as we walked down the street, past heritage buildings that date back to the 1930s. Petrie Town is a restored historic village sprawled across 48 acres of nature that looks like it could be in the New England countryside. At least it did on this day. It was cool for a Brissie spring, ever so slightly damp, and remnants of autumn collided with spring in the surrounding foliage.
We strolled past an old bank, an old lollie store, an old bakery, a musician (who was also pretty old) and numerous other stores on our way down the town’s main street. One of the bonuses of the Petrie Sunday Markets is that it’s mixed in with the permanent fixtures of Old Petrie Town, so it’s not your usual market! We were passed by kids riding in a little old fire engine known as ‘squirt’ on our way to the park, where the majority of stallholders were doing their thing.
Market stalls – Petrie Sunday Markets
Every time I visit a weekend market I chat to the store owners, as I find it’s a great way to tap into the community, which invariably every market has. This is the best part about markets! I had a chat with the following stall owners:
Michelle from Jibba Jabba Coffee
Let’s get the important things out of the way, coffee! So, I went straight to the first colourful-looking coffee cart I could find, which was actually out of a van. Apart from making me a decent coffee to fire up my synapses, Michelle told us about the animal petting farm and pony rides – which are on at the markets once a month – and the upcoming Halloween Moonlight Market, which you should check out!
Tina from Doggo Treats
Luckily for Cookie, we bumped into Tina from Doggo Treats who certainly has some classy doggy snacks on offer! Her goods are entirely quality. Evidently she’s a big dog lover, like us. We grabbed a bag of dried duck jerky, which Tina says she processes herself from start to finish. Cookie is now totally addicted to this! She also makes her dog treats with tapioca and spelt flour, so if you want to spoil your dog, look no further.
Duncan from Imagination Toy Shop
You could hardly miss Duncan’s stall if you make a trip to the Petrie Sunday Markets, as it’s brimming with handmade wooden toys. Of course, there are some quality kid’s toys here, but there are also toys for adults too, as there are miniature planes, trucks, helicopters, boats, you name it. Duncan has also put suspension in his toys, all of which he hand-makes. He also gives a discount to veterans and promises to repair any toy for free, if in the unlikely event it breaks after you buy it.
Connor from Gamer’s Haven
Connor caught my eye with his little stall that said ‘chat to me for free about ADHD’. I’ve never been diagnosed, but I’m pretty sure I have it (the same for the rest of my family) and my son is on the spectrum. Connor told us he’s also on the spectrum and holds a space for other neurodivergent types who love gaming. As my son and I are gamers, this was definitely our world!
I also chatted with Connor’s friend Josh. They’re super nice, passionate guys who are more than happy to chat to you about ADHD and ASD and provide help if needed.
There are many other stalls mixed in with the permanent fixtures in town – like plant and soap stalls, solar-powered backpacks, quirky palings and a crystal shop with a gumball machine full of crystals. There’s also a sizeable book stall at the side of Mumford Barn (see below) and a vinyl record store just across from that.
One thing worth mentioning, if only briefly, is a lot of the market stalls take cash only. I’m one of those people that never carries cash on them so this was a bit unusual for us. The Heritage Hotel doesn’t have an ATM, which we thought would, and many of the market stalls didn’t know where to find one as apparently its location often changes. Well, a savvy market wanderer pointed us in the direction of Piggottts Store (pictured below), which is the only place that has an ATM.
Of course, a highlight of every market is food and the Petrie Sunday Markets doesn’t disappoint. Olin tried the potato gems at the Continental Food Truck, as he’s a massive crispy potato fan in any form. He wasn’t disappointed. Other places in the town itself (which we saw but didn’t try), include The Ole Lollie Shop, and the Country Café and Homewares. However, most of the food action is in the food court, Mumford Barn.
Mumford Barn attests to the market’s multicultural community, as inside you’ll find a German Sausage stall, an Indonesian Tucker stall and Duch poffertjes (mini pancakes). However, I encountered a Belgian Waffle food stall – which is more my thing – where I had a savory omelette, topped with a Belgian waffle and a big wad of butter. Bonza! Check out my video at the end of this post to see this experience.
It wouldn’t be a market without some form of music and the Petrie Sunday Markets had two street musicians that I saw. One didn’t have the best vocals, but it didn’t matter, as they looked like they were having a good time and it added to the inclusive atmosphere these markets bring.
Historical Parts of Town
My intention was not to write too much about Old Petrie Town itself when doing this post, as I thought there was just too much to cover and I wanted to focus on the markets. However, as the markets are intertwined with the historic town and its fixtures, I’ll mention a few standouts here.
There’s the Fire Station Museum, which I didn’t enter, the old Queensland National Bank, the old Bakehouse and the Heritage Hotel (as I’ve mentioned). There’s The Ole Lollie Shop and further afield there’s a blacksmith and a shire museum, neither of which we saw. However, I did see two time capsules on the lawns amongst the stall holders. One is set to be open on Australia Day 2038 and the other on Australia Day 2088. I wonder what’s inside?
The Petrie Sunday Markets are also family-friendly, as there’s an old mini fire engine going around town known as ‘Squirt’, which I’ve mentioned. This passed us several times on our wanders and the kids (and parents too) always looked like they were having a good time. Also on the grass near the clusters of stall holders is a kid’s jumping castle and as Michelle from Jibba Jabba Coffee told us earlier, there’s an animal petting farm and pony rides at the markets once a month.
Kids might also like sights such as the Fire Station Museum and the blacksmith shed. One thing the kids will love is the resident koalas that regularly dwell in the trees around town. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any during our visit but then again, I wasn’t looking!
Even though we spent a few hours enjoying ourselves at the Petrie Sunday Markets, there were still lots of things we didn’t see. I hear people complaining that the markets are tiny, but it just didn’t feel that way to us, perhaps because they’re mixed in with the historical town. We’ll most certainly be back for a return trip and maybe for one of the many themes the town and market has.
In all, we really enjoyed our day at the markets. It was a sleepy, casual, but fun morning, which totally suited us. I recommend it for something different to do near Brisbane!
Facts & Summary
- The Petrie Sunday Markets are about 30 minutes’ drive from Brisbane CBD.
- The markets are dog friendly and there are some great treats for your doggo. See Tina’s store above.
- There’s enough entertainment here for the kids, like a jumping castle, a small fire engine ride, a fire station museum and an epic lollie store.
- The food here is good, particularly the European stodge food!
- There’s live music in the markets.
- A lot of the stalls are cash only and there is only one ATM in the Petrie Sunday Markets, in Piggotts Store.
- Petrie Sunday Markets contains enough to intrigue history enthusiasts, at least for a visit.
- There’s plenty of parking at the Petrie Sunday Markets, but it can get busy.
- Time your visit with the monthly animal petting farm and pony rides!
- There’s a great community at the Petrie Sunday Markets. Make sure to purchase some local goods to help out this little community if something catches your eye.