Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 11

An Op Shop Roadtrip

Winter is here.

According to the official calendar, we’ve barely reached the start of Autumn, but that’s a lie. As I write, the grey clouds are gathering, the rain is falling, and the cold breezes are blowing against the window.

There’s also a guy with some sort of power tool outside, which is rather ruining the chilly ambience.

But let’s return to the issue of queue-jumping seasons: I’ve known Summer was finished since a day in late January when I bundled myself up in long sleeves, stockings, and a capelet for a daytrip with the Chef.

This wasn’t to be any old daytrip. If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll know I like to have a theme to my trips – anything ranging from How many lighthouses can we see this weekend? to How much cheese can we fit in the back of my car? I haven’t tried the cheese one yet, but it would be an awful lot and now I’m tempted to give it a go.

This time, the theme of the day was country op shops. I planned out a loop of country towns and noted down all the op shops and their opening hours, then hoped the cold and rainy Summer weather would hold off long enough for us to visit them all.

First things first, though – we couldn’t possibly get through our itinerary without fuelling up.

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 01

The Chef was delighted and in no way mortified when I pulled out my camera and photographed my breakfast like some sort of Instagram tragic. Honestly, I love taking photos of food. If you ever drop in to my place and I force you to sit through photos from all of my trips – particularly the ones with the Failboats – you’ll be starving hungry by the end of it.

Besides, Church and Main in Healesville served up a delicious breakfast. They have an extensive breakfast menu, so we’ll need to go back and test out some more options.

And photograph them, of course.

The best bit about the café was that it was incredibly close to two op shops.

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 02

This wall of buttons is in the Lions Den op shop. I love the Lions Den; it may not be the cheapest op shop, but I always seem to find treasures there, especially when we venture into the basement.

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 03

It’s mostly furniture down here, but there’s also a little room for haberdashery, including a stand of fabric that is neatly measured and tied up. I found some lovely pieces of fabric that came complete with a cunning plan: I’m going to make a skirt and top out of both of them so I can mix and match.

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 04

Everything goes with polka dots, right?

We dropped into the Salvos, too, but didn’t find anything there. These op shops both opened at 9am, but the next one on our list – MOPS in Marysville – didn’t open until 11am. Luckily, there’s a waterfall conveniently located near the town, so we decided to put our time to good use and see some falling water.

We were expecting it to be pretty impressive since a massive amount of rain had fallen the day before (your typical prodigious Summer rainfall).

There was even a bonus mini waterfall in the carpark that was better than some actual waterfalls I’ve seen in the past.

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 05

We still had plenty of time before the op shop opened, so we followed the path to the actual waterfall.

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 06

It’s an easy walk to the viewing area for Steavenson Falls. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you could always climb to the top. I did that once, but the view’s actually better from the bottom.

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 07

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 08

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 09

I’ve been to Steavenson Falls many times and this was easily the most impressive show it’s put on for me. If you look closely, you can see a spotlight to the left of the first two photos – it’s part of a lighting system that the waterfall powers itself, thanks to a small hydro-electric plant.

We returned to town, slightly deafened by the impressive volume of water in the falls, and headed to the Marysville Op Shop, delightfully known as MOPS.

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 10

I conveniently failed to photograph my purchases here, but they included a few vintage knitting patterns and a gorgeous floaty fabric with a bird print on it. This will go perfectly with the floral fabric from the first op shop!

We still had two towns to go, so we picked up coffees at By The Falls Café (conveniently next door to the op shop) and set off for Alexandra. Two more op shops awaited us! Here’s one of them…

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 11

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 12

How many polka dot garments is too many? Asking for a friend.

We often drove through Alexandra when I was growing up but never really stopped in town. As a result, I remembered a milkbar and a suspension bridge quite clearly, but nothing else! It was fun to wander up the main street in a fruitless search for the second op shop (it turned out to be almost directly across the road from the first one).

If we hadn’t taken the longest route possible to that second op shop, we never would have discovered a secondhand bookshop, so it was worth it in the end.

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 13

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 14

After a wander through the bookish goodness, we made our way to the second op shop and the Chef made his favourite purchase of the day, if not his entire lifetime: a butter knife.

It’s a pretty good butter knife, I’ll admit.

My plan after this was to find the suspension bridge I remembered as a child and then the Chef’s plan was to walk along it after me, making it bounce as much as possible.

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 15

The suspension bridge happened to be right near the tourist information centre, so we popped in so I could buy a magnet for the fridge. We came out with a bottle of cherry liqueur, but no magnet. I’ve had terrible luck finding town magnets lately – don’t people understand my fridge decorating needs?

We had one op shop left: St Luke’s in Yea. I was also pretty keen on the idea of lunch – we’d been op shopping and exploring for quite a while and breakfast was a distant memory.

St Luke’s is one of my favourite op shops because it’s open on Sundays and public holidays and it has an entire little room dedicated to haberdashery. It’s also right near a secondhand bookshop, so obviously we had to visit both.

Katie Writes Stuff Op Shop Roadtrip 16

The bookshop was giving their cooking books away – “They come in and no-one ever buys them,” the volunteer explained to us – and I could have walked out with a giant, unused CWA Classics Cookbook for free, even though it’s almost $50 brand new. I couldn’t do that, especially since it was a Friends of the Library bookshop and I am rather keen on libraries. So I paid $10 and headed into the op shop in search of more treasures.

And that’s how we do daytrips around here. Does it always involve op shops? Pretty much. Are there always waterfalls? Only if we’re lucky.

All this reminiscing about this daytrip has made me hungry for more, so it’s lucky that Winter is here, after all, because that’s my favourite season to go roadtripping!

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SteelySeamstress 3rd March 2020 - 5:39 am

Beautiful waterfall and I’m amazed at your “Op” shops – such treasures!

Katie 3rd March 2020 - 8:36 pm

Those country op shops are the best!

Cassandra Baines 3rd March 2020 - 5:55 am

Sounds like a perfect day!!! I love digging through a good op shop…you never know what I’ll find.

Katie 3rd March 2020 - 8:37 pm

Yes, absolutely! Op shopping is so much better than regular shopping. In fact, it’s more like a treasure hunt. 😀

Karen Sellenger 3rd March 2020 - 7:19 pm

A ROOM full of haberdashery?
How far is Cranbourne from Yea?

Katie 3rd March 2020 - 8:38 pm

Well, it’s a small room, but it is full of all sorts of sewing and knitting goodies. It would be quite the trip but there’s plenty more to enjoy than just the op shop! (Plus, there’d be a whole lot of op shops along the way, so it would surely be worth your while.)

Jayne Marti 22nd May 2020 - 5:45 pm

I am definitely missing my op shopping in these crazy times! I haven’t been to these ones in a while as I live in Hamilton and we don’t get over that way regularly. But sounds like I will need to make the effort again soon!

Katie 23rd May 2020 - 11:46 am

It’s difficult, isn’t it? Op shopping is such a great way to relax and forget the stresses of the working week, as well as being a lot of fun.

I definitely recommend this fabulous triangle of op shops! There are so many lovely diversions along the way, too, as well as the gorgeous towns. How is the op shopping in Hamilton? I’ve only ever driven through the town once on the way to SA, so I clearly need to come back and explore.


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