On Saturday we had our first experience of 'The Ekka'.

The Ekka is an annual 10-day event formally known as the Royal Queensland Show. It was originally called the Brisbane Exhibition but what with the aussie habit of shortening any words over 5 letters it's now known as the Ekka.

We presumed that the Ekka would be held in in the middle of a park or field, so we were surprised to discover that it is actually held in the city. A large part of the city is effectively cornered off. We were amazed by the scale of the event. There was even a cable car set up to take you from one section of the Ekka to another.

The Ekka is organised by the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland, so the general theme is 'the country comes to the city'.

All in all it was pretty good but we ended up coming away about 2pm (we got there about 9:30am) as it was so hot. It was about 28 degrees but it felt like the hottest day since we arrived. The attractions included an animal boulevard, side shows, agricultural displays, fairgrounds, and a showbag pavilion. My particular favourite was the Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion as there were loads of stalls offering free tasters of wine and gourmet food. I could have easily spent the entire day in there! It also had cooking demonstrations.

We went there mainly for Lauren though. She seemed to enjoy it. She got to milk a cow (sign in on flickr to see pics), went on some rides, stroked a llama, and came home with some goodies.

The Ekka is also famous for its show bags. These are bags of items from a particular brand, such as Barbie, Shrek, etc heavily discounted from what you'd normally pay for them. We bought Lauren a Barbie showbag and Fairy Princess showbag - one of which contained a wedding dress which she wouldn't take off for the rest of the day!

See more of our Ekka photo's on Flickr

Official Ekka website