A cold and rainy Tuesday in Ballarat seemed like the perfect day for taking a bit of a wander amongst the Mill Markets vintage stalls. Having visited before, I knew they had a little cafe section and even the tempting draw card of an open fire. I didn’t have anything specific in mind, but like all good vintage hunters, you know you can never pass up an opportunity for a bit of a ‘look see’. After all, that is how we manage to come up with the amazing finds; by constantly being on the look out.
With Sonny Molone (Miss 10) on the camera, I’m was free to wander and poke around hands free; a very important factor in digging about in piles of potential treasures.
The stalls are each run by individual vendors with goods sold by stall number at the central counter. It means that there is generally no one on hand to ask questions about items you’re interested in, but on the flip side, it does allow you to feel like quite the treasure hunter. Many of the larger items include the vendors contact number to help you sort out any queries or deals you might have in mind.
There is a large proportion of stalls selling the usual suspects of nick nacks and what nots, some of the more collectible variety and some that will appeal to the more idiosyncratic collector.
“There was this duck see, and he walked into a bar…”
There is a mix of what could be categorised as vintage, retro, second hand and artisan pieces here at the Mill Markets Ballarat. It isn’t a strictly vintage dealer outlet pre curated to meet specific tastes, but rather more of a choose your own adventure shopping experience. Something that everyone will see differently. Where I gravitated towards the clothes in a search for nifty hand knits, the girls made a bee line for the retro toy section, coming up trumps with an 1980s Kermit the Frog doll.
If you’re hunting for clothes you’ll only find a small selection of true vintage pieces here. There are a couple of stalls selling vintage reproduction outfits from the likes of Pin Up Girl Clothing, and local hand made pieces. Home wear and conversation pieces is really what the Ballarat Mill Markets are all about. That one off find that makes a room like an old fuel pump, a retro beaded curtain featuring pop culture hero ‘Monkey” or even a life sized came,l (sadly not for sale that day).
All in all, if you’re planning a visit to Ballarat, this is one place I’d recommend adding to your touring list.