THE FIRST things noticed about market day at the Crystal Waters community is just how many people attend the so-called remote location on market day; the second is the beautiful overarching canopy provided by the huge shade trees at the market site.
The markets are held on the first Saturday of each month, providing the range of usual market fare, but with an organic and natural edge – clothing, health products, tasty food, organic fruit and vegetables, coffee outlets, and even organic ice cream.
Musicians play at the open mic on the Community Deck, there’s a playground for kids if they get bored, and Les’ Sourdough Bakery, a permanent future in the community, sells traditional sourdough breads as well as coffee. Les’ bakery is actually open every Saturday morning and provides a central location for social interaction by the community’s residents and visitors.
The Crystal Waters community has long been regarded by many as being isolated, but, in actual fact, it is just a 7 km drive up Aherns Road, which comes off Maleny-Kenilworth Road just a couple of kilometers on the Maleny side of Conondale. Crystal Waters is less than half an hour’s drive from Maleny.
As is the case in the Conondale region, which is surrounded by mountains, mobile phone coverage is a big tricky, which can add to the false feeling of remoteness. Ally Bing, the Chairperson of the Crystal Waters Co-op, notes there are about 250 residents living in the community, which focusses on organic and sustainable living.
There are two overarching rules at the community: no dogs and cats, and no restricted pesticides – as a spin off of these rules, the residents share their common areas with local native wildlife.
The Co-op is responsible for the management of the community, as well as hosting the markets, managing the camping and cabins of its Eco Park Centre, hiring of garden plots and managing the hiring of the Community Deck facility, which is used for weddings, courses, birthday parties and even wakes. The Crystal Waters market has a relaxed atmosphere is a beautiful green environment. It’s worth a visit.