Hall: Country Crafts and “Chooks” at Australia’s Largest Market
It’s hard to talk about “What to do in Canberra” without talking about the city’s markets. There are many, and each has its own specialty, but there’s something to be said for the quantity and variety at the monthly Hall Markets.
The markets are held the first Sunday of every month, and feature specialty arts, crafts and merchandise. With up to 500 stalls, the market labels itself the largest craft and home produce market in Australia.
In fact, vendors come in from as far as Queensland and Victoria. The range of their merchandise is as large as their number – wooden toys, knitwear, jewelery, honey and jams, pottery. You can also buy your own menagerie if you choose, with an assortment of animals for sale, including rabbits, kittens, “chooks” (chickens), and more puppies than this girl with puppy-lust can handle.
My only suggestion is not to assume the term market means food. While food is the focus of many of Canberra’s other markets, there isn’t much to be found at Hal’s. Several stalls sell produce and baked goods, but if you’re planning for lunch there, you may not find the variety you’d expect.
There are pubs and cafes in nearby Hall, however, or Gold Creek or Murrumbateman, a short distance further.
The town of Hall itself is about a 20 minute drive north of Canberra’s CBD. In some ways, however, it feels hours away with its pocket-sized main street surrounded by grazing farms. One of the true treasures of Canberra’s surrounds is how near but far they are – how quickly the city’s suburbs turns into sheep-filled Australian farmland.
This crafty, country feel makes the Hall Markets the ideal place to spend a chilly autumn or winter morning, especially if you’re in the market for some hand-crafted jewelery, wool-lined house slippers, or some chooks for the backyard.
To reach Hall, take the Barton Highway north from Canberra (9 km), then turn right on Victoria Street, turning right again after 1 km on Gladstone Street.
Best yet, proceeds from parking and admission – a gold coin donation ($1-2) go towards Hartley Lifecare, which supports accommodation for children with physical disabilities in the Australian Capital Territory.