TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN STORIES give you an insight into many of the local businesses and characters you will find when you Escape to Tamborine Mountain.



The Tamborine Mountain State School Markets are an extremely well-known fixture on the mountain, operating on the last Sunday of each month. Kelly Hatezic is the market coordinator, and she reveals the secrets of operating such a famous attraction.

by Kyle Hitchmough

The Tamborine Markets are very well known and very expansive. What sets you apart from a typical city market?

It’s the charm of the mountain. People like to come up because it’s such a beautiful place. There’s a lot of ‘hip’ markets around, and they’re beautiful markets, but they’re all very trendy whereas this is a true country market. You have everything from hip and trendy bohemian stuff to real fresh food. We have both handmade items, bric-a-brac and antiques. I think handmade markets can often be a bit similar wherever you go, whereas with us you can walk around the corner and see something that you love, something that you used to play with when you were ten. It doesn’t mean you’re going to buy it, but you never know what’s going to be there, and there’s a lot of fun in that. You always see things that put a smile on your face. We always say, ‘come for the markets, stay for the mountain.’

How long have you been working with the markets? How did you get started?

The market is in its 25th year. I have done markets on and off for twenty years. I started down in Canberra in the 90s, doing markets there, and some in Sydney. I am a timber artist. The P&C operates it and they were looking for someone to manage it, and I answered the call. It was a little bit crazy, so I went in and introduced the rules that are stock standard at every other market. The difference between three years ago and today is massive. We’re getting three thousand plus visitors. We’re adding more visitors to the mountain, it’s just getting bigger and bigger.

You have a large number of stalls, approximately 130. What kind of attractions are regular at the market?

Since about October last year we are full every month and we have quite a long wait list. We do try to make sure there’s variety. We don’t want the locals to come and see the same things. Many come for the food and music. We have Sausage Port which are local, there’s Leaf one of the local restaurants, Poffertjes have been coming as long as the markets have been here. There’s Scenic Rim Lavender & Jule’s Yummies that supply stores on Gallery Walk like Angela’s Pantry. Trish and Millsy who do garden sculptures, people come from all around to see and buy them. Plants do really well.

Your specific job as market coordinator. Can you explain what that entails?

Basically everything! From cleaning the toilets to doing the PR. I take the bookings, I mark out the grounds, I get the bins emptied, I put out the signs, I manage our social media. On the day I have assistants who help me organize everyone and make sure they’re where they need to be… I do everything – starting at 5:00 am and showing people where to set up to locking the gates at the end of the day.

Do you get more of a particular kind of people visiting the markets?

We get a lot of tourists. We have seen in the last year or two a lot of visitors coming back to the market, and a lot of locals, and that’s what we’re really pushing for. We want tourists, it’s always going to be a tourist thing, but we also want it to be somewhere the locals can go and see their friends, bring their families. People ask how many locals come, and there’s probably 70% that are either on the mountain or within about 20 kilometers. We do have a few who come from about an hour away, from places like Brisbane, but most are either local or from Beaudesert, Cedar Creek, or Canungra.

Are you a local? What’s your opinion on the Tamborine Mountain area and community?

I have been here ten years now. So almost a local! It’s the best place to live. I grew up in the country in NSW, in the middle of nowhere. To me, Tamborine Mountain has the country feel where you know everyone, going to the IGA is a social event. Where I grew up we were isolated, an hour from the closest town. Here, there’s the country feel, but there’s the city at the base. It’s very friendly, it’s a beautiful place to bring up the kids. It’s the country life without the isolation, and it’s beautiful.

What do you think the markets provide to the area?

The revenue from the Markets along with various P&C fundraisers & grants all go towards school projects. The P&C usually have one big project each year, along with many smaller ones. In recent years the main projects have been refurbishing the Tuck Shop & an upgrade of the SEPC playground.

Corner of Long & Curtis Roads, Tamborine Mountain