Where else can you pet farm animals, drink cocktails, eat lots of food on a stick, watch horse show-jumping and cheer on the Aussies in the rodeo all in the heart of the city. Only in Sydney.
The event: the Royal Easter Show in Sydney. Now, in the run up to this weekend I heard many tales of money flying out of my pocket, hoards of people and greasy food. I am pleased to say I experienced quite the opposite.
Our tickets got us into the show and access to all the attractions. I was lucky enough to get a cheeky discount through work so, at a reasonable $30 it was certainly worth it.
Do you remember Lauren, my sister from another mister I told you about at New Years Eve? She and I made our way over to the show just in time for lunch.
Aahh the upside of being an adult and being allowed to choose Candy Floss for lunch. Our sensible side, and the delicious smells, also tempted us to have some ‘proper’ food; Lauren had a grilled chicken wrap and I had calamari and salad.
We ate in the main arena while we watched a favourite of ours; the show jumping! It was lovely, they make it look so easy as they prance around the arena. Later we went and said hello in the stables and tried to satisfy our craving for velvety nuzzles.
On to the next; the police dog display. What looked like cute fluffy doggies were in actual fact intelligent ‘baddy catchers’ trained to sniff out and catch the bad guys all with the reward of play time, except of course the Labradors who can’t be persuaded by anything but treats!!
We then went on to the alpacas, then the cows, where I bagged myself a cowboy! (No, really!) Australia is one of the world’s most efficient producers of cattle and the world’s third largest exporter of beef and this show really gives you a sense of that. Being greeted and spoken to by real-life, impeccably mannered, Stetson-wearing Cowboy was enough to make any girl blush.
Being the big kids that we are one of our favourite areas was the ‘Farmyard Nursery’. We bought our pots of food and got in amongst the animals. It was so sweet, we got to feed and stroke deer, baby goats, lambs, puppies, chicks, Shetland ponies and bunny rabbits- perfect for kids (and us) and everything you think of when you imagine a cute, fluffy Easter scene. They even had a live incubator where you could see the chicks being born. Next door was even a live dairy where kids could learn where milk comes from and how to milk a cow.
We grabbed another bite to eat: this my friends is a Dagwood Dog, aka heart attack on a stick! You could never eat too many of these without a serious coronary problem soon after.
We then headed inside for the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome where they hosted an array of food stands selling all-sorts from honey, to oysters, to smoothies and waffles. We decided it was time for another treat and shared a waffle of a stick (I’ve learnt that the Aussies love food on sticks) covered in banana and melted chocolate and a smoothie which I personally whipped up (I think I was feeling guilty about the Dagwood Dog at this point).
The day was flying by so fast it was already time for the Grand Parade. This was hard to take pictures of as there was so much going on. Imagine the opening scene of The Lion King with hundreds of variations and species of animals all moving round in a circle and in different directions. This was exactly that but with all the best in show of farmyard animals. From Shire horses, Angus cattle and huge shorthorn cattle to alpacas and goats. At one point the precision and order of the show was in jeopardy thanks to a rogue bull, however peace was restored with his capture and the show went on.
Last but by no means least, and probably my highlight of the day, was the Rodeo. It was the third heat in Aus vs NZ and this was a serious battle. The atmosphere was electric. The sun had set and the spotlights and country music were on. “Let’s get ready to Roooodeooooo”.
We thoroughly enjoyed watching the show. Brutal none-the-less, watching burly men being thrown around like rag dolls by bulls and horses three times their size and god knows how much more in weight was scary but exciting. What an experience in Aussie culture.
The day was over and the night just beginning. The carnival was in full swing. The sounds of music blaring, people laughing and screaming it was so tempting to stay and play for longer. However I know when to throw in the towel, I was pooped. The excitement of the day had taken it out of me.
I would recommend the Royal Easter Show to anyone of any age. It truly is a not to miss event in the Sydney calendar. You certainly can spend a fortune here but there are options to spend as much or as little as you want. I had a brilliant day and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.
It’s in Sydney’s Olympic Park until the 8th April – so there’s still time to head on down.