The quintessential guide to Brisbane's Ekka

Every August the Brisbane exhibition grounds completely transform to house the Royal Queensland Show, or as it is affectionately known to the locals, the Ekka.

The Ekka is a 10-day annual event and has been a beloved fixture of the Brisbane events calendar since 1876. Over the years, traditions have emerged for those who visit every year looking for their signature Ekka fix. If you’re a first-time visitor or are looking for a quintessential experience, we’ve got nine items to tick off your list.

Check out our quick video guide then read on for more tips.

1. Eat a Strawberry Sundae

Strawberry Sundae at the Brisbane Ekka

This one is a non-negotiable. With 22,500 litres of ice-cream, 6.2 tonnes of strawberries and 830 litres of cream, it’s obvious that Ekka-goers love their Strawberry Sundaes. The best part is the profits from the sale of the sweetest of sweet treats go to charity, supporting the Prince Charles Hospital.

2. Treat your inner child and pick up a showbag

What’s not to love about the tradition of showbags? Brightly coloured bags spilling over with sweets and treats, games and costumes – basically all of the fun stuff.

3. Ride the Ferris wheel at Sideshow Alley

Ferris Wheel at the Brisbane Ekka

Get up high and see the show from the sky. An evening ride is especially beautiful, soaring high over the flashing lights of sideshow alley and the shows at the Main Arena.

4. Visit the food halls

A foodie’s paradise, the Ekka’s food halls are a great way to indulge in a huge selection of fresh and local produce from the region. There’s also heaps of opportunities to get involved with masterclasses and oodles of cooking shows to check out.

5. Watch the woodchop

For over 100 years, the Ekka-goers have ooh’ed and ahh’ed at the strength and power of these modern-day warriors. For something that a lot of us city folk don’t get to see very often, these champions reign supreme as the true gladiators of the Ekka.

6. Pet ALL the baby animals

Piglets at the Brisbane Ekka

There’s only one thing cuter than a dog, and that’s a puppy. Actually scrap that, practically any baby animal will do and the Ekka is teeming with them. Swing by the RACQ Animal Nursery to fill your day with cuteness.

7. View the award-winning cattle

Last year over 2000 cattle were entered in competitions at the Ekka, providing a stage for the industry to showcase these gentle giants. Take the time to wander through the cattle pavilion to get an idea of just how huge these guys truly are and gain a better understanding of where your rib-eye came from.

8. Have a drink with the cowboys

Stockmane's Bar at the Brisbane Ekka

Us city slickers love an opportunity to rub shoulders and mingle with our cousins from the west and there’s no better place to do that than at the Stockmen’s and Cattleman’s Bar. Settle in with a brew and listen to the yarns of the men and women who make the Ekka the friendliest place around.

9. View the agricultural displays and award-winning cakes

While agricultural displays might not sound exciting, we guarantee you’ll find much to love wandering through the aisles and picking your favourites among the stalls – the giant vegetables were our pick last year!

Grab a copy of the event map here and don’t forget to share your Ekka experience with us using #brisbaneanyday.

More fun to tick off your to do list