Brisbane Ekka, The Royal Exhibition


The Brisbane Ekka (also known as the Royal Exhibition) happens in August each year. It is a ten-day agricultural show which brings the best of the country to the city and it is the biggest event in the Brisbane calendar.

It even warrants its own public holiday, called people's day, which is always held on the Wednesday of the Show.

© Michael Zimmer | Flickr.com - Brisbane Royal Exhibition

If you can, I would suggest that you avoid going on the weekends or on the peoples day public holiday, as these days are usually the busiest days.

Due to the size of Brisbane, the public holidays have now been staggered and different parts of the city have their holiday or different days to help cut down on the congestion.

The Ekka is put on by the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland and has been held annually for over 130 years, and celebrates all the glories of the agricultural traditions.

These include displays such as farming exhibits, shearing and wood-working competitions.

© Michael Zimmer | Flickr.com - Brisbane Royal Exhibition Shearing Competition

These include displays such as farming exhibits and wood working competitions.

The animal shows are always popular, especially the animal nursery, which is a favorite of the children who attend.

The centre ring features parades of the animals who are winners in their class, and all through the day there is ongoing entertainment.

The Ekka also incorporates new twists on traditions.

The cotton and Wool Fashion Parades are always crowd-pleasing events to attend, especially for the ladies and at night, there are a range of different things happening to keep everyone amused.

And of course there are the nightly fireworks, always the high point of the night!

Brisbane Ekka, horse racing

© Michael Zimmer | Flickr.com - Brisbane Royal Exhibition at Night

One of the high points of the Ekka is the Exhibition Wednesday Raceday, when it's time to get out your fancy clothes and watch the horse racing. This is the time where ladies wear their best summer dresses and fascinators in their hair. Men don't have to be quite so smart.

The races aren't held at the RNA grounds but nearby at the Eagle Farm Racecourse (Doomben). It's worth missing a day of stomach-churning rides and burgers for a pleasant afternoon of wine and canapes, with the added excitement of a wager on the horse of your choice.

Brisbane Ekka, royal queensland show sign

© Michael Zimmer | Flickr.com - Brisbane Royal Exhibition Ride

There are carnival rides and games on the RNA showgrounds and hundreds of food and drink stalls. If you’re looking for the full Ekka experience having a Dagwood Dog and a Nestle Peters Strawberry Sundae are a must.

There's also the showbag tent where you can pick up any one of hundreds of different showbags. Each showbag is stuffed with goodies from food, toys, perfume, or other trinkets.

Brisbane Ekka, carnival rides

© Stephen Dann | Flickr.com - Brisbane Ekka Showbag Pavillion

The rail laying and other bygone rural and indstrial skills are interesting to watch for a time, but in the end it's the rides we come back for year after year.

What's on after the Brisbane Ekka?

Following hard on the heels of the Ekka, and equally worth planning your visit to Brisbane around, is the Brisbane Festival. Other festivals to consider are Buddha's Birthday, for Asian festivities, or the Film Festival.



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