The trend to buy direct from the Tasmanian producer all started with the Burnie Farmers Market. It’s apparently the “first farmers market established in Tasmania”. We’ve read that exact statement online several times, so the promotions people are rightly proud of the fact. Knowing they’re the original, we wondered if they were also the best. We thought we’d give the experience a first-hand test-drive.
Burnie Farmers Market: The Original
For a point of comparison, the Burnie Farmers Market doesn’t seem quite as substantial as the award-winning Harvest Launceston or Farm Gate Market in Hobart. We did visit the Burnie Farmers Market quite some time ago, and it’s possibly grown in size since then, but we’d estimate about 50 stalls? That includes the showground pavilion hosting country-style makers and designers of arts and crafts.
But size isn’t everything, and the Burnie Farmers Market is certainly authentic in every conceivable way. The sale of live animals is a tell-tale sign; and the Tasmanian produce was varied, fresh and reasonably-priced.
A Wide Variety of Local Food and Drink
We spoke at length with a bread-baker and a cake-maker, both positioned adjacent to the craft shed and sheltered from the weather. For both business owners, the market was their only retail outlet. They spent a great deal of time preparing an amazing array of gourmet produce for the fortnightly event. It was difficult to choose from the range available, in fact.
But of course, we needed products to sample, so we could write a reliable review for Think Tasmania. Honestly… for research. That’s the only reason! Eventually, we chose ready-to-eat so we could enjoy a quick, fuss-free dinner back at our self-contained accommodation after a long day of touring. We also bought some crisp, juicy apples to munch on the journey.
Even after such a long day, the kids were still prepared to return and adopt one of the handsome roosters. But that idea never really caught on with the adults (read decision makers) of the family. There were plenty of other goodies we would hunt-and-gather on a return visit though; huge tubs of honey, potted herbs, freshly-dug potatoes and cut flowers.
Two Think Tasmania favourites have sold their wares at the Burnie Farmers Market in the past. Lynne and Robyn of Pickled Sisters Pantry (jams and preserves) and their north west coast neighbours in Marji and Alan Irish of Blue Penguin Wines juggle their schedule and attend if possible, but not on a regular basis these days. Their products are so popular, they share their time between many other markets as well.
The market runs for about four hours from an 8:00am kick-off on Saturdays (the first and third of every month). You’ll find all the activity, including an alfresco coffee shop, at the Wivenhoe Showgrounds. The Delish Fine Foods delicatessen is basically around the corner… combine your market experience with a cooked brunch maybe? Entry to the showgrounds is free and on-site parking is readily available and also free. Not surprisingly, pets are not welcome.
We couldn’t find a current Facebook page or website for stallholders at
Burnie Farmers Market. We stand to be corrected and would welcome
comments with contact details and/or information for our readers. The
Burnie Farmers Market Country Craft section does have a Facebook page.
Other Opinions About Burnie Farmers Market
We always encourage reader feedback, especially from Tasmanian locals who are often best-placed to share the inside story. This message came in very quickly from Jen, who thought the focus of our article was a little awry.
She shared her own passionate opinion, and in part said…
I love Burnie Farmers Market, I love that you’re promoting it, but…
The ‘stars’ of the market are Mount Gnomon Farm, Mary’s Berries and Ferndale Breads. Along with a healthy helping of fresh produce stalls, honey, eggs, cake bakers, gluten free foods and meat suppliers. The market is unique in Tasmania for its focus on supplying an excellent and cheap supermarket alternative rather than the more boutique ‘day out’ experience offered by Harvest or Farm Gate. It’s a lovely local secret for tourists to discover (muddy show grounds and all!) rather than a Saturday breakfast destination (like Harvest, which I also enjoy) though you can still get a coffee and a bite to eat. You just won’t find the buskers and food caravans up here ~ Jen
We’d love to hear from you too, if you have a favourite stall-holder or opinion about this experience you’d like to share. All relevant and reasonable thoughts are welcome. Of course, if you have a photo to substantiate your point, we can share that as well.
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