If you live in Brisbane (like me) then you will likely know that the annual Ekka carnival (formally known as the Royal Queensland Show) is in town. I’m not really all that big into carnivals and fairs, it isn’t that I don’t enjoy the rides or the different heart attack ready foods, it is more that I hate being stuck in amongst all those people and waiting in giant lines for only a few minutes of entertainment.


According to the official Ekka site – “Your day at Ekka is incredible value for money – there’s so much to see, do, and sample”. The entry prices are below:

Little Ekka VIP Free 4 years of age and under. Free but must have a ticket to enter (Ticket is selected on Payment page)
Child Pass $17 5 years of age to 14 years of age (inclusive)
Adult Pass $28 15 years of age and over
Concession Pass $21 Includes students, seniors and other groups. Click here for accepted concession cards. *You must present an accepted Concession Card on entry to the Ekka grounds
Concession & Carer Pass $21 Free entry for Carers accompanying a disabled person (one carer per person)

So if an average family of mum, dad and 2 kids wanted to go to the Ekka they are going to be slugged $90 just to get through the gate. But before they even get to the gate, they most likely have to take some form of public transport, or pay for parking nearby. Both of these things will cost that same family at least $30. Then you have food, rides, games and show bags. I expect that by the time everything is all said and done the family outing will cost around $300.

I understand that it costs money to set everything up and to ensure entertainment is available, but every year it seems that the entry fee and the average cost of food and show bags goes up by ridiculous amounts.

Despite the costs, whenever I have been to the Ekka (probably 6-7 times) I haven’t always had the best experiences. One of the first times I went to the show as a child, I remember my mum taking me to see the chickens. Little did I know that these chickens were actually battery hens and when I went to pat one, it took a chunk out of my hand and made me bleed 🙁 Needless to say, I no longer like patting chickens…

Then the last time I went, I am pretty sure I cracked a rib on one of the rides. It was one of those spinning around and around rides and the seat I was in had lost most of its cushion, so every time we went around I would get flung into the hard metal bar – damn it hurt. I felt sore for 6-8 weeks afterwards.

On top of the financial and physical pain, it always seems like every year you go to the Ekka you end up catching the flu and spend the next week feeling like crap.


Despite all of this I am pretty sure that when Nick is older we will take him to the Ekka so that he can experience the atmosphere and enjoy the different types of rides and attractions, I just hope a day out won’t cost $500 by the time we end up taking him…



Do you go to the local fair when it comes to town? Is it crazy expensive or not too bad?