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Sydney Markets and Flea Markets

Now it's not true that you can buy fleas at a flea market or car boots at a car boot sale but both activities have something in common. In both you'll find a group of traders selling their goods in a usually temporary environment. The flea market closes and so do the portable buildings until next time. Some people reckon flea markets only sell secondhand rubbish but for many, one's person's trash is another person's treasure.

Flea markets usually mean less expensive items which can vary from fantastic to frankly feeble. The vendors have goods they want to offload, er, sell and interested buyers looking for a bargain need to do some digging. Haggling is essential.

One of the great things about Sydney's flea markets is that many help raise funds for various charities. In North Rocks every Sunday morning the Carlingford Rotary run a Bring and Buy or flea market with almost 150 stalls selling food, clothes, books, toys, antiques, bric-a-brac and more. It's an institution for locals and those who venture from afar are often amazed at the choice.

Now if you fancy an upmarket flea market, well upmarket in terms of location, then the Kirribilli General Market on the Kirribilli Bowling Green - where else? - is the place to go. Held on the 4th Saturday of the month with some 200 stalls and a view of Sydney Harbour to die for, 'Kizza' is a magnet for all the local trash and treasure hunters and gatherers.

But not all flea markets are held rain, hail or shine and the Como Craft and Antique Market is a good [or should that be bad?] example. Supposedly on the second Sunday of every month, the bric-a-brac and antique dealers don't fancy trying to do business without sunshine and have been known to give it a miss in the rain. It's in the grounds of the Como Public School and Oyster Bay is a lovely setting. So if antiques are your thing, check the weather before trying your luck.

Now when it comes to markets, Sydney hits the spot. Some have been operating for generations and many locals and tourists wouldn't shop anywhere else. I mean take the famous Paddington Market as an example. It's about 40 years young and open every Saturday. There are enough eateries to give your taste buds a serious headache. There are contemporary fashion designers offering their wares at a fraction of the department store prices. If you can't find a gift of something Australian made, you haven't been looking. With some 200 stalls, you could spend the day just sticky-beaking.

You can't talk about Sydney's markets without mentioning Paddy's . There are two locations in Haymarket and the originals Paddy's Markets go back some 150 years. They are an institution in Sydney. Even the State Parliament got involved when the original site was relocated in the 1970s. Massive fruit and vegetable supplies are available with a flea market aspect as well. There is parking for thousands of cars and easy access by train. There's even a Paddy's Swap and Sell Market. Souvenirs, fish, flowers, gifts, you name it. They're a great place for tourists to snaffle a bargain and to checkout the local culture.

Sydney has plenty of arcades and shopping centres but if you want flavour with your haggling, try the Sydney markets.


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