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MELD’s guide to the Royal Melbourne Show

Grace Yew

Thu Sep 20 2012


GRACE Yew guides you through the wonders of the Royal Melbourne Show. From rides to woodchop, showbags to sheep judging and munchies to Masterchef contests, there’s lots to check out.

This weekend, Melbourne’s best-loved carnival returns to Ascot Vale. The 157th Royal Melbourne Show will be running from September 22 to October 2 at the Melbourne Showgrounds, combining the best of Melbourne’s entertainment, agriculture, cuisine, and much more.

Thanks to the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, the Royal Show has evolved from a 19th-century ploughing competition to an iconic annual festival that unites visitors from all over Australia. Today, the Show is Victoria’s biggest and longest-running public entertainment event, and features some of Victoria’s most prestigious exhibitions.

Food & Agriculture

The Royal Melbourne Show celebrates all things gastronomical in its unparalleled exhibitions of Victorian food. At the Tastes of Victoria Pavilion, visitors can enjoy speciality chocolates and empanadas, and luxuriate in the award-winning gourmet delicacies at the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Deli. What’s more, celebrity chefs and Masterchef contestants will be hosting cooking demonstrations!

Meanwhile, local supermarket giant Woolworths has put together a Fresh Food Pavilion for guests of all ages, saturated with international flavours and Woolworths produce. Drop by for the delectable seafood, roast meats, and a generous variety of fresh fruit and desserts.

In other culinary news, My Kitchen Rules is going live at the Entertainment Dome. Throughout the show, contestant Cook-offs will feature top MKR entrants from across Australia, under capable host and celebrity chef Karen Martini. The industry professionals from the Fine Food Deli will drop by to join them at selected events – and there’ll be chances for audience participation too!

Art, Craft and Woodchop

The Art, Craft and Cookery Pavilion delivers some of Melbourne’s most creative craft work. Home to embroidery, fashion, and intricately decorated cakes, this pavilion provides a fantastic array of interactive workshops and stage shows – not to mention shopping! Of particular note is Makers Alley, where artists of unique creations market their homemade jewellery and ceramics directly to the public. If you’re in search of furniture and home decor, the Herald Sun Home and Living Pavilion is for you.

The first nine days of the show will also feature a Woodchop Competition and demonstration at the Isuzu D-MAX Woodchop Pavilion, as well as the opportunity for chainsaw races and jaw-dropping axe-throwing.


No trip to the Royal Melbourne Show would be complete without seeing the thousands of animals at the event. It’s a veritable zoo out there, from the Garryowen Equestrienne Turnout to the Royal Melbourne Championship Dog Show.

800 cattle, 250 alpacas and over twenty different breeds of sheep and goats will be present at the Weekly Times Livestock Pavilion. For equestrian and canine lovers, there’s the Horses in Action program at the Coca-Cola Arena, plus an entire precinct dedicated to the Show’s 3000 dogs. The Show also features an Animal Nursery, as well as a Pets and Poultry Pavilion: dogs, cats, rabbits and poultry of all shapes and sizes.

Rides & Entertainment

The Royal Melbourne Show hosts three adrenaline-filled Smoke-Free Carnival Precincts for all age groups: the Thrill Seekers Carnival, the Family Carnival and the Kids Carnival. The Town Square also houses an Adventure Zone, featuring a giant Ferris Wheel and rock-climbing walls.

The Thrill Seekers Carnival looks to be the most exciting of the three precincts, with the silver-screen Hollywood Horrors attraction and the Freestyle ride being the most striking attractions. Still, the Family Carnival has its fair share of fun rides, particularly aquatic roller coaster Pirates Revenge, the audience favourite Jurassic Coaster, and the classic Taipan Roller Coaster.

For those looking for feature entertainment, this Show’s Entertainment Dome hosts world-class acts such as Comic Daredevil Bello Nock, record-breaking Jet Pack Man, the death-defying ShowTime Freestyle Moto X, and the Toyota Unbreakable HiLux Heroes stunt driving team. After all this action, music lovers can kick back and enjoy gripping live performances, from country duo Jetty Road and festival veteran Bob Valentine and the Providers, to the Code One Police Band and DJ 2GreenDollars.

Every day at the show will conclude with a breathtaking fireworks display set to recent musical hits at 8.15pm, presented by 7 News at the Coca-Cola Arena.

Tickets and Dates

The Royal Melbourne Show is better seen than described: only in person can you enjoy everything the Show has to offer. To get the best out of your experience, get to Ascot Vale early and stay for the fireworks, with the help of the Show’s daily planner .

General admission tickets range from $21 (concession) to $32 (adults). Discounts and other great deals, including Early Bird and Travel Savers, are available here , yours for the taking!

For a schedule of opening hours and other events, check out the Royal Melbourne Show’s website.