The EKKA Royal Queensland Show (do not mistake it for the Gold Coast Show) is an annual event and a centenary tradition held in Brisbane over ten days, combining all aspects of life across Queensland and bringing together the city and the country.
Having started in 1876, this year’s 140th edition is expected to attract about 400,000 people, to participate and celebrate the heart and soul of the Sunshine State from 11 to 20 August, 2017.
During this period visitors from all over Australia come together to be part of a festival that is certain to bring back memories for the whole family, especially if you consider the event is so embedded in the community that it has earned a public holiday in its honour. EKKA Show Day falls on August 16 in the City of Brisbane, and August 14 for remaining Queensland regions, with the exception of the Gold Coast, which instead celebrates the Gold Coast Show.
Whether you are going for the livestock auctions, animal competitions, carnival activities, the wine and food options, or the live performances (including the world-class night show EkkaNites), read on for tips and advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to bring to ensure you and your family have the best possible experience:
EKKA tickets can be purchased at the event, but to avoid lines and enjoy special discounts, organisers encourage the public to pre-purchase tickets from their website, with an option to add a prepaid RIDE CARD.
Another great advantage of buying tickets in advance is that those holding EKKA tickets are entitled to free public transport to and from the event.
EKKA is held annually at Brisbane Showgrounds, 600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills, situated between the Brisbane River and Victoria Park Golf Complex. It should come as no surprise that parking is neither easy nor cheap at this location during the event.
For this reason, it is highly recommended to instead take advantage of public transport, thereby avoiding huge traffic delays and scarce parking options and keeping those smiles in place on the faces of eager kids willing to be part of Show Day action.
There are many lines/routes of public transport that can easily drop you off close to the venue, making use of exclusive traffic lanes and, as mentioned above, free of charge for those holding tickets to the event.
Another option is to ride a taxi or an Uber from Brisbane to EKKA. It is a short ride and almost certain that there will be special app deals in place during the event.
While the EKKA is held in Brisbane, it encompasses the whole of Queensland state, and this should be taken into consideration when deciding where to stay to attend the festival.
If you are travelling some distance to attend, planning your stay in advance can make things less complicated and ensure an enjoyable and hassle-free experience.
Having said that, many people attending the EKKA take the opportunity to instead stay on the beautiful Gold Coast, which is easily accessible from Brisbane (1h30min by train, 55min by car). This way, they can enjoy all the highlights of EKKA 2017 while also having the world-class holiday resorts and facilities the Gold Coast has to offer.
According to our team of locals, a good strategy to avoid unnecessary delays is to pack quick and easy snacks for the kids, as well as plenty of water to ensure you and your family stay hydrated during what can be long days, not only at the Show itself, but while travelling.
In conclusion, much has changed since the first EKKA was held in 1876, which attracted 17,000 visitors, all dressed in their best suits and fine garments. Showbags in those days were void of comics or lollies, and instead consisted of a bag of coal.
The essence of EKKA, though, has remained the same. This annual ten-day celebration is where the rural meets the urban, and everyone, Queenslander or not, is guaranteed of a good time.