Thursday 29 September 2011


Last weekend the weather was marvellous so we decided to go to St Andrews, a town in Victoria, Australia, which is 36 km north-east from Melbourne's city centre. St Andrews has a population of about 1600 people and is well known for its alternative market which is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It also has a hotel, general store, school, bakery, CFA, a community centre and of course St Andrew's Church.
A view down St Andrews' Main Street with the Hotel visible in the mid distance.
The town is set in delightful native forest with much unspoilt land and many examples of beautiful native flora and fauna.
The Market is a quite large and has a plethora of stalls and traders, selling local produce and crafts, second-hand goods and novelties, lots of different types of food and drink, as well as musicians who provide entertainment.
The town has a reputation for alternative lifestyle and this is reflected in the range of goods and food sold.
Fresh produce is always a good buy in the Market.
Freshly cooked fare served by the fair!
International cuisine is well-represented, as are organic, macrobiotic and vegetarian foods.
No market would be complete without its trash and treasure stalls and this no exception!
Old tobacco tins...
Antique bottles...
Rusting tools...
Pre-loved toys...
One always meets interesting people at this Market, whether it is the stallholders or customers.
I enjoy rummaging through the book, CD and DVD stalls especially, as one can sometimes find wonderful things that aren't available in shops.
Despite all the technology, computer and video games, children are still fascinated by the simple toys of the past, like these multi-hued windmills...
Or this Tibetan singing bowl!
Pony rides are a firm favourite!
As are delicious cakes!
Refreshments are available in this wonderful Cha Tent.
Fresh flowers from the local farms, as well as from further afield!
Some beautiful local Proteas for sale.
A belt-maker plying his craft and selling his wares.
A masseur providing some remedial action to a client.
What a pleasure to browse the books on the stall while listening to some live harp music!
The fairy is being told off by the fairyland patrolling officer...
Secret girls' business!
The sign says it all!
St Andrew's church, often used for weddings and christenings.
The St Andrews Hotel. Originally St Andrews was called Queenstown.
The area was surveyed in 1858 and a town proclaimed on the 25th February 1861. St Andrew Post Office had opened earlier on 1 January 1856 and was renamed St Andrews in 1923. It experienced population growth during the Victorian gold rush when prospectors mined the hills around the town. The first discovery of gold in Queenstown was recorded in The Herald on 9 and 11 March 1855 and was attributed to a George Boston and two Scotsmen

 Eliza Smith was the original owner of St Andrews Hotel. She was born Elizabeth Band in Scotland and arrived in Australia in 1854. In 1856 she married John Corke Knell who in 1857 was appointed Postmaster of Queenstown. By 1866 he was running a store, post office and an unlicensed hotel (he had applied for a beer licence in early 1866 but for reasons unknown he was unsuccessful). John Knell died in 1867 and Eliza took over as Postmistress. She applied for a temporary liquor licence for the “Caledonia (St Andrews) Hotel” on 8 April 1868. She remarried a Robert Smith in 1868 and continued to run the hotel for another 20 years until her son Walter Wattie Knell took over. Eliza lived in the cottage next to the hotel. She had six children to John Knell and four to Robert Smith. She died in 1911 and is buried in the Queenstown Cemetery, Smith’s Gully.

Going to the market is thirsty work, so it is pleasant to stop at the Hotel and enjoy a cold beer.
Especially if the talented Marisa is singing, as she was last Saturday!
Enjoying the music in front of an open fire...
The St Andrews bakery is next to the Hotel and does a thriving business, selling its old fashioned handmade breads and pastries...
Which can be enjoyed right outside!
The Shire of Nillumbik is a Local Government Area in Victoria, Australia. It contains some outer northern suburbs of Melbourne and rural localities beyond the urban area. It has an area of 435 square kilometres and has an estimated population of 62,837 people.[1] It was formed in 1994 from the merger of parts of the Shire of Eltham, Shire of Diamond Valley, Shire of Healesville and City of Whittlesea. The shire uses the tag-line the green wedge shire. Nillumbik was rated third of 590 Australian Local Government Areas in the BankWest Quality of Life Index 2008. The countryside in the Shire is quite idyllic as this photograph shows.


  1. Despite being a born and bred Victorian, I really don't know the first thing about St Andrews. But what a shame. The pub looks gorgeous, the stalls for cakes and flowers look excellent, and I can never resist a second hand book sale.

    Did I mention the super pub? Your notes say it was opened as the Caledonia (St Andrews) Hotel in 1868. I wonder if it has been renovated and expanded since then.

  2. What a beautiful set of photos! You made me feel like I was there. It looks like an amazing place!