One thing quintessentially Australian is the Annual Show, the most famous of which of course, is the Royal Sydney Easter Show. But following close on the heels of Sydney is the ‘Brisbane Ekka’ (formally known as the Royal Brisbane Show) being held at the Exhibition Showgrounds this year from Friday 7 to Sunday 16 August 2015. This will be the 138th year and if you want to enjoy something uniquely Australian (and even more uniquely – Queenslander), why not spend a day at the EKKA this year?
The EKKA is an opportunity for country folk and city folk to get together and know each other more. As well as bringing the best of Queensland agriculture to the city, traditionally, it has provided an opportunity for new technologies to be showcased.
There is something for everyone at the EKKA. Aside from sideshow alley, there are the competitions, exhibition halls and of course the food to enjoy! Sit and watch the sheep dog trials in the arena (piglets not allowed), tap your feet at the Country Music Showdown, take the kids along to the Education Exhibition, enjoy the prowess of the woodchoppers, marvel at the works of local quilt makers and sample the wine from young Queensland winemakers.
Then of course there are the animals (always a favourite with the kids), dogs and cats, sheep, goats and cattle – even fish; you can see and enjoy it all at the Ekka.
For those southerners who scratch their heads at the word, Ekka, is simple the Aussie term for ‘Exhibition’. When the Brisbane Exhibition became the Brisbane Ekka is lost in the mist of time; the festival has been held each year since 1876 and has been held at the showgrounds since 1878. Only twice has the Ekka been cancelled; in 1919, due to an influenza epidemic and in 1942 during the darkest days of Word War II.
The Brisbane Showgrounds are in Bowen Hills at 600 Gregory Terrace. If you are spending a day at the Ekka and coming from the Gold Coast then it is best to take a train, as parking there is very limited. Some parking is available at Victoria Park and there is limited street parking in the showground vicinity if you get there early – very early. If you take the train, then Bowen Hills and Fortitude Valley railway stations are less than a ten-minute walk from the Showgrounds. If you miss the signage (hard to do) just follow the crowds. Ekka gates open at 8am daily and close at 8pm. Most of the pavilions close at 7pm. Sideshow Alley is the exception to the rule, it runs until the Ekka closes each night.
Wednesday 12 August is the official Royal Queensland Show public holiday in Brisbane and as the Ekka is regarded as a celebration of the Queensland lifestyle, the show holiday provides an opportunity for Brisbane residents to get along to see the latest and greatest. Other nearby regional areas have a similar holiday on Monday 10 August. Expect crowds to be especially heavy on those days.
For people needing them there is a scooter/stroller/wheelchair hire service available at the showgrounds and lockers are available outside the Showbag Pavilion. And you will be pleased to know that you can buy rain ponchos at the Ekka for the very reasonable sum of $4 each or 3 for $10 – just in case!
And at the Ekka you will never go hungry. You can come along and taste the best of Queensland! If you enjoy the best the cattle industry has to offer then make a beeline for either Stockman’s Bar and Grill or the Steakhouse Restaurant. If you prefer the surf to the turf then the Seafood and Wine Bar is just the place for you. There are other options of course – traditional favourites (pumpkin scones?), the gourmet plaza and much more to enjoy.
If you want to find out more, hop onto the Ekka website at https://www.ekka.com.au/ and decide what you want to see. Adult day passes (with advance discount) are $27, children’s passes are $17.10 and concession passes are $20.70. Family and meal packs are also available providing opportunities for extra savings.
So if the Ekka is the excuse you have been waiting for to pay a winter visit to sunny Queensland, then hop onto our website today and book your dream Queensland Escape. By choosing a GCHR apartment on the Gold Coast, you will enjoy two holidays for the one low and very reasonable price. Check it out today at gchr.com.au