It’s that time of year again; with the spotlight on Melbourne for the Spring Racing Carnival, the annual Royal Melbourne Show rears it’s head. The Melbourne Show is essentially Melbourne’s answer to Sydney’s Easter Show. It’s two weeks of carnival vibes, thrills on the midway and amazing food.
Anyway, it’s your lucky day because I’m giving you a free pass. So, get comfy, maybe even grab some creaming soda and a bag of popcorn as I take you along with me for a day of adventuring.
Background info: The Royal Melbourne Show has been running annually during September for over 160 years. Organised by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, the show is primarily, a showcase of agriculture but has expanded over time to feature award-winning food and wine, exclusive entertainment and naturally, the very best in thrilling attractions.
8:45am: Feeling beady-eyed and a little groggy I arrived at the train station, decked out in my heart-shaped Lolita sunglasses and feeling extra AF. I’d stayed up late watching Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair to set the vibe and I was craving coffee. #stillwaitingformypat.
It was a crisp morning but the clouds were promised to clear. I had my playlist ready to go and I spent the hour long journey into Melbourne feeling all the indie vibes and just letting the atmosphere build.
Side note: The views of the Melbourne skyline are spectacular as the train winds it’s way along the Yarra River to Southern Cross Station. The way the sun light hits the sky scrappers just right… There are no words.
9:50am: Having arrived in Melbourne, I made my way to Starbucks to pick up an extra hot Pumpkin Spice Latte before meeting up with my best friend, Harmony. With work and general adulting getting in the way, it had been too long since we’d caught up and we did the whole mandatory run-across-the-platform-thing.
After boarding yet another train [destination: showgrounds], we were off, gushing about how excited we were, talking through our outfits and taking way too many videos.
11:00am: WE HAD ARRIVED. The train had barely stopped and we were out the door, tickets and camera in hand ready to hit the midway.
As anyone who’s ever been to the Melbourne Show will tell you, initially things can be a little overwhelming. Let me elaborate: There are ten different pavilions at the show including the world’s largest showbag pavilion and the all new jurassic creatures pavilion. Then you have the farm yards, animal nursery, the meadow, the entertainment precinct along with three different carnival areas ranging from kids, adventure and thrillseekers.
As soon as we’d cleared security we grabbed a map and went for a wander, deciding to get our bearings before hitting the attractions.
Side note: If you are considering going, you need to know that there is A LOT of walking involved. Leave you’re heals at home and opt for some comfy walking shoes – especially if you plan to stay for the fireworks. If, like me, sneakers aren’t your thing I recommend a trusty pair of ballet flats.
The first attraction we hit was the brand new Jurassic Creatures Pavilion where we got to get up close and personal with a bunch of surprisingly photogenic dinosaurs. This is an interactive attraction decked out with dry ice and smoke as you watch the dinosaurs move and roar. But don’t worry – the dinosaurs are contained by electric fences so no need to fear for the kids!
After gazing at the dinosaurs (and taking a bunch of selfies and videos to cut together later) we made a beeline for the Adventure Carnival. Let it be known that both Harmony and I are not built for thrill rides so, ride pass in hand, we headed for the chilled, more family friendly Pirates Revenge. Beware – you will get wet! The lines move fast and the ride hands are seriously swoon-worthy as you board a log vessel and take a plummet down the rapids.
After purchasing our ride photo and riding our high, we headed for the classic Pirate Ship. Okay, this ride might look kinda tame but let me tell you something – this swinging ship is a lot higher than it looks! Loss of stomach is guaranteed.
Having had our first ride fix we decided to let said stomachs rest and wander over to the farm yards and the Biostime Animal Nursery. I cannot tell you how cute the baby lambs and goats are. I wanted to take all of them home. We saw piglets, itty bitty ducklings, swans, geese, goats, sheep, donkeys, rabbits and even deer. The nursery is a fan-favorite and the chance to get photos with some very friendly animals. I tried for a selfie with one of the goats like the little Capricorn that I am… Long story short: the goat wasn’t having that. 😂
Side note: You can choose to just ogle the cuties like we did or you can purchase a cup of feed. That is – if you want to be bawled over by hungry animals. There is a stall in the nursery proper where you can get a cup of feed for $2.
Now to talk about my favorite part of the Royal Melbourne Show – the food! I cannot rave enough about the carnival food. If I’m being honest, don’t expect to find affordable prices. After all, nobody goes to the show on a budget.
Side note: Make sure you take a bottle of water! I cannot stress this enough! Bottled water goes for a hefty price of $4 inside the show and you’ll need to stay hydrated after all the walking and screaming.
Anyway, waistlines forsaken, we treated ourselves to some seriously delicious treats. We had macrons [lemon curd for Harmony, rose water with turkish delight for me], lavenda lollies, cinnamon sugar pretzels, buttered corn of the cob, slinky potatoes on a stick topped off with fresh drinks [watermellon juice for Harmony, pina colada smoothie for me].
If award-winning food and wine is more your style, the Winning Tastes Pavilion is a must see.
After our not-so-healthy lunch, we ventured to the Coca-Cola Thrillseekers Carnival which is the place to be for anyone looking to lose their lunch and find the ultimate rush. I soared over the crowds on the Wave Swinger [the Sky Flyer’s 35 meter height was a bit much for me!]. It also felt oddly fitting that [I Just] Died In Your Arms by Cutting Crew was playing… Harmony was the picture of sophistication as she glided along the old-fashioned Double Decker Carousel feeling those Mary Poppins vibes. And of course, the experience wouldn’t have been complete without screaming on the Rockin’ Roll.
4:00pm: The chill was starting to settle back in as we sat down for the 4pm Elton John Experience. The Elton John Experience is a tribute band, playing at the Entertainment Precinct daily with a different set list for each performance. I kid you not – this man could have been the real deal. Decked out in costume with Elton’s iconic glasses, Greg Andrew was the Rocketman to a T.
After getting down to Tiny Dancer, Honkey Cat and Crocodile Rock we decided to finish up the day with some last minuet rides. I got a little bit competitive going neck to neck with some poor guy on the dodgem cars and then Harmony convinced me it was a solid idea to hit the Pirates Revenge for one more round. #closure. We had a blast getting drenched but I coped some serious looks coming home on the train rocking the wet-butt-look.
5:30pm: Night was beginning to fall as we meandered down the midway for the last time, grabbing our showbags on the way out. Anyone true Melbourne-ian knows that the Bertie Beetle Showbag is a thing. They are a reliably affordable tradition starting from $2 for the basic bag, so they don’t break the bank. It’s the most popular showbag ever made.
Spoiler alert: I bought the Gold bag. #trueblueaussie.
Basically, if you’ve made it to the end with me we had the best day at the Royal Melbourne Show. We managed to tick most of our “must-sees” off our list but there was still so much we could have done. Whether you’re going with friends, the family or flying solo it’s an experience I’d highly recommend, one that gets better with each year.
So, thank you for coming on this journey with us – we hope you had as much fun as we did! 😉