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The Time Out survival guide to the year's biggest family event

It’s the smell that hits you first at the Royal Melbourne Show – that unmistakable combo of dagwood dogs, hot chips, jam doughnuts and fresh horse poo. And as you wander past carnie rides, prize cocks, sponge cakes and baby pigs, you realise you have no idea what you’re doing.

Never fear. It is possible to do the show with a plan – and there’s plenty of new stuff to look forward to this year, including a bigger focus on Victoria’s best food and wine. 

Tickets
Entry tickets range from $17 to $34, but there are some bargain package deals on sale from August 1. The Mega Super Show Pass ($69/$89) gives you two days’ entry, a $50 ride voucher, priority access to the animal nursery and showbag pavilion and access to reserved seating for night events at the arena – a prime spot for nightly firework displays. Make sure you grab a copy of the daily entertainment timetable from an information booth. The flying pigs, tightrope walking and motorbike stunts are truly ace.

Getting there
It’s tempting to drive, but it costs $20 to park a long way from the showgrounds and you’ll face traffic snarls from hell. Public transport is the go, with extra trains, trams and buses on high rotation. If you're a planner, the Mega Super Show Pass ($69/$89) gives you two days’ entry, a $50 ride voucher, priority access to the animal nursery and showbag pavilion and access to reserved seating for night events at the arena – a prime spot for nightly firework displays. Make sure you grab a copy of the daily entertainment timetable from an information booth. The flying pigs, tightrope walking and motorbike stunts are truly ace.

Go with an appetite
Go straight to the Tastes of Victoria Pavillion for daily masterclasses. Wine guru Max Allen will guide you through grapes and cider, while Josie Bones’ Chris Badenoch will do beer. Watch daily cooking demos from the legendary Andrew McConnell (Cumulus Inc, Cutler & Co, Golden Fields) and Travis McAuley (Hellenic Republic). And for the first time this year, dine at pop-up restaurants by Brunswick’s Albert St Food & Wine and South Yarra sugarhounds Burch and Purchese. In another first, the new MasterChef Kitchen at the Showgrounds will open its doors to the public.

Showbags and rides
Everyone leaves showbag shopping until the end of the day to avoid carting them around, but be warned – it’s bedlam in the showbag pavilion just before closing time. To avoid the chaos, buy your showbags just before the nightly fireworks and stake a seat at the arena. You won’t be saddled down all day with plastic bags, and you’ll have munchies for the show. For those with a need for speed, the carnie rides cost about $10 each, but vary from ride to ride. A full list of showbags will be released on September 3.

By Wendy Hargreaves   |  

Royal Melbourne Show 2013 details

Address
Epsom Rd, Ascot Vale 3032

Telephone 03 9281 7444

Transport
Nearby Stations: Showgrounds

Price $17.00 to $89.00

Date 21 Sep 2013-02 Oct 2013

Melbourne Showgrounds map

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