ROUTES AND A TYPICAL DAY ON THE ROAD
How to get to 800+ op shops in a year and still work
Spend several evenings working out the logistics: Where do you want to go? Where haven't you been? When can you go, how long can you be away for? Then, which is the earliest open shop, the last closing, the distance between them, available accommodation.
The night before fill up the tank, do all the jobs, prep the food, pack the car, set the 5am alarm, get to bed as early as possible.
Resist the snooze button, fill the eski, stop by the local early baker, load up with fresh bread & real coffee, watch the sun come up along the highway. Arrive at the first op shop on time or you'll be behind all day, admire the scenery, chat to the ladies behind the counters, enjoy the clouds, keep going with minimal stops, eat in the car as you go. Keep the car tidy at all times or you'll regret it! Update Instagram along the way or you'll forget, aim to arrive at the last op shop on that day's list well before it closes.
Refill the tank, find the healthiest possible nearby takeaway, check in to motel, put a beer in the freezer, the car snacks in the fridge, unload, photograph the finds of the day, crack open the beer, update the blog, consume the takeaway, check next day's route, pack the car, shower, crash as early as possible; trashy tv allowed.
A route for you
Do you have a hankering to visit a certain town in Victoria and to op shop your way there?
Maybe drive the coast to Portland? Around the wheat belt of Ouyen, through the lushness of Stanley? Visit friends in Castlemaine, pick up an eBay purchase in Dimboola?
I've done all these and more!
Shoot me a message and I'll work out an op shop route to get you there.
A free service for other enthusiasts!
Take yourself on a wee road trip
Tip: Check the op-shops on your list are still open before you head off
The purpose of this project and the reasoning behind the routes planned, was about how I could possibly get to all of Victoria's op shops in a year (it ended up taking 13 months). The routes were created to allow me to reach the most amount of shops in a single trip, some trips being just a day, some several nights - I could never get away for more than 3 nights due to work commitments. So while some trips allowed sight seeing and visiting friends, a leisurely amble through every town was not possible. There are hundreds of routes you could take - choose your own adventure! - the below are just a few of the 71 I documented. Feel free to follow them completely, use them just as a base or idea. And remember just because regional places are only 50km from each other they may not be open the same days.
SINGLE DAY REGIONAL ROUTE
A drive around the countryside, a picnic and hopefully some bargains along the way.
EILDON - ALEXANDRA - YEA - FLOWERDALE - KINGLAKE
Tip: This route best on a Friday due to several op shops closed days. At Thornton take the Goulburn Valley Hwy to Eildon, it doesn't take any longer and is extra pretty.
Timing: Depart Melbourne 8am, Arrive Eildon 10am.
If you've packed brunch you'll find lots of beautiful places to have a picnic.
Depart Eildon by midday
Depart Alexandra by 1pm
Depart Yea by 2pm
Depart Flowerdale by 3pm
Arrive Kinglake by 3.30 - their opshop closes at 4pm
Community Op Shop, 12 Main St, Eildon
Opp Shoppe, 46 Grant St, Alexandra
Redgate Bazaar, 61 Grant St, Alexandra
St Luke's Anglican Church, 76 High Street, Yea
Flowerdale Op Shop, 3382 Whittlesea-Yea Rd, Flowerdale
Kinglake Op Shop, Shop 1A Glenburn Rd Kinglake
JAM PACKED city DAY ROUTE
Get your skates on - there's 20 on today's list
PRAHRAN - WINDSOR - TOORONGA - MALVERN - PORT MELBOURNE - SOUTH MELBOURNE - ALBERT PARK
Depending on what you're looking for, you might not get to all of these today. If you're trying clothes on at most places, consider cutting the list in 1/2 and doing it over 2 cruisy days, adding St Kilda and some city sea-siding.
Arrive at first shop 10am sharp:
Sacred Heart, 110 Commercial Road Prahran
Red Cross, 188 Commercial Rd Prahran
Sacred Heart, 262 Chapel Street, Prahran
Uniting, 211 Chapel St, Prahran
Windsor Salvos, 115 Chapel Street, Prahran
The Shop of Op, 110 Chapel Street Windsor
Epilepsy Op Shop, 84 Chapel St, Windsor
Storehouse Thrift, 77 Chapel St Windsor
Save The Children, 59-61 Chapel Street, Windsor
mecwacre, 52 Chapel St, Windsor
St James, 1378 Malvern Road, Tooronga till 3 or 4pm
Salvos, 234 Glenferrie Road, Malvern till 5.30pm
MS, 207 Glenferrie Road Malvern till 5pm
mecwacare, 136 Wattletree Rd, Malvern till 4.30pm
Vinnies, 29-31 Glenferrie Road, Malvern till 6pm
Tip: Drive along Beaconsfield Parade for the scenery
Vinnies, 326 Bay St Port Melbourne till 5pm
Epilipsy, 322 Bay St Port Melbourne till 5pm
Salvos, 183 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne till 5.30pm
Community Chest, 202 Bank St, South Melbourne till 5pm
Sacred Heart, 365 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne till 5pm
Uniting, 115 Bridport St, Albert Park till 4.30pm
LONG DAY REGIONAL ROUTE
Last stop is a vintage market if you want to include it
COLAC - CAMPERDOWN - TERANG - WARRNAMBOOL
Timing: Depart Melbourne at 7am
Tip: I've had excellent coffee from Jo's Pantry at 72 Murray St
Depart Colac by 11am
Depart Campberdown by 12.15
Depart Terang by 1pm
Arrive Warrnambool by 2pm
Arrive Fletcher Jones market by 4pm but that only gives you 1 hour there as they close at 5pm!
Salvos Thrift Shop, 100-106 Bromfield St, Colac
Leap Op Shop, 57 Bromfield St, Colac
Vinnies, 41 Dennis Street, Colac
Red Cross, 124 Murray Street, Colac
Lifeline, 331 Murray Street, Colac
Vinnies, 156 Manifold St, Campberdown
Lifeline, 178 Manifold St, Camperdown
Sunnyside, 184 Manifold St, Camperdown
Terang Community Op Shop, 10 Shadforth St, Terang
Vinnies, 180 Fairy Street, Warrnambool
Salvos Thrift Shop, 179 Lava Street, Warrnambool
Lifeline, 134 Lava St, Warrnambool
Uniting Church, 99 Liebig St, Warrnambool
Red Cross, 158 Koroit St, Warrnambool
Foster Care Op Shop, 207 Koroit St, Warrnambool
Fletcher Jones Market, 61/77 Flaxman St, Warrnambool till 5pm
3 day / 2 night ROUTE
Message me if you'd like more details
There are so many ways to do the south east of Victoria. I did Morewell, Moe, Sale, Bairnsdale, Churchill etc as a different trip. Here's just one of many possibilities:
DAY 1 - TRARALGON - ROSEDALE - HEYFIELD - MAFFRA - STRATFORD
Depart Melbourne 7am, arrive Traralgon 9am, depart 11am having loaded up on coffee, petrol, all the things.
Arrive Rosedale midday, depart 1pm
Arrive Heyfield1.30, depart 2pm
Arrive Maffra 2.30, depart 3pm
Arrive Stratford 3.15pm, drive on to Mallacoota, stay overnight
DAY 2 - MALLACOOTA, ORBOST, BRUTHEN
Tip: soak up the scenery today
Depart Mallacoota 11am (ops shops open at 10am)
Arrive Orbost 1pm, depart 1.30
Arrive Bruthen 2.30pm, it's gorgeous here, stay overnight
DAY 3 - YARRAM, WELSHPOOL, TOORA, FOSTER, MEENIYAN, LEONGATHA, NYORA