Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Treat Yourself to this Rural Family Fun Day
Held each year on the second weekend in January, the Bass Coast Summer Agricultural Show in Wonthaggi is the first in season and has much to offer. Escape the city. Take a day trip to this picturesque area often described as Melbourne's playground for a truly country day out. The show was first run here in 1884 has been held almost every year since.
The core theme of the show is the celebration of excellence in agriculture but it expands beyond this to present a well-rounded day of family entertainment.
1. The Cutest Animals. If you have children in tow, you can't go past the Show Farmyard and Barn Buddy Animal Nursery. There will be the usual 'oohs and aahs' as they get to pat these adorable creatures. The alpacas are always favourite cuties and the kids will be in awe of the might Clydesdale horses with their tall and heavy stature and large hairy feet.
2. Rides, Games, Show Bags, Eats and Drinks. Of course, there will be show bags, tradition demands it. Children will be drawn to these and to the rides and bouncing experiences. Pop balls in the mouths of moving clown heads, fish or throw to win prizes. Choose from a huge variety of food and drink trucks. What will be your fancy; ice-creams, paella, dumplings, chips, pies, pasties, sandwiches, milkshakes, coffee or something else? Don't miss the gaily clad stilt walker moving around the showgrounds with the greatest of dexterity.
3. So Many Different Chooks and Ducks. No visit to the show is complete without a visit to the poultry shed. Until you have seen for yourself you cannot imagine the variety of chooks and ducks. What amazing colours and feather patterns you will see. Note the iridescence of the feathers of proud and regal roosters.
4. Talented Dogs. Visit the Dog FlyBall area to see these clever pooches demonstrating their skills. All manner of dogs turn out to compete and for dog lovers, this is a joy to watch.
5. Donkeys and Mules. Do you know the difference between a donkey and a mule? Donkeys are descendants of the African wild ass and mules are the prodigy of a male donkey and a female horse. But you don't need to know that to enjoy the Donkey and Mule Feature Show.
6. Horses. While the main show day is Saturday, equestrian activities continue into Sunday. I am not a horse person but I find these animals and their riders impressive. The open horse show and harness show are held on Sunday.
7. Live Music under the Red Tent. The Wonthaggi Citizens Band and the Bass Coast Pickers will again head a talented line up of local musicians and singers. The Citizens band is the current Australian champion in their class, a title they hold for the second year in a row. The music plays throughout the day. The Red Tent is a favourite for my husband and I and a great place to rest awhile between events and exhibition visits.
9. Ute Show. Capture Dad's attention as you stride past an impressive display of utes. The owners of these treasured vehicles are often on hand for a chat. Rugged and grubby or polished to a dazzling shine, adorned with flags or painted artistic or humorous, each has its own look.
10. Creative Arts. Enter the pavilion and your senses will be assaulted with all manner of creativity. See the best of local homemade bread, biscuits, cakes, scones, sausage rolls, jams and preserves. Compare the pick of the garden ad farm produce with that from your own veggie plot. Marvel at the beauty of the cut flowers and floral arrangements. Be in awe of the local needlepoint, craft and art skills. Walk around the photo boards displaying the hundreds of photos submitted for judging.
11. Woodchop. Anyone who has ever chopped wood for a fire knows it is not light work but these champions make it look easy. I doubt that I could balance on the blocks let alone swing the axe at speed. Take a seat and watch the fierce completion as men battle against the clock and each other.
12. SES Road Rescue Demo. I have watched this from start to finish at the last two annual shows and I'll be front and centre to see it again this year. In this narrated demonstration, serving SES volunteers will rescue a 'road crash victim' from a car using a variety of tools including the Jaws of Life. Seeing these men and woman safely, efficiently and quickly disassemble a vehicle will leave you with a deep respect for them and the service they provide.
The 2020 Bass Coast Summer Agricultural Show is held on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th January at the Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve, Korumburra Road, Wonthaggi, (between Strickland Street and Wentworth Road.) Gates open at 9am. The main show is held on Saturday while equestrian events continue into Sunday. Click here to access the website for more information Download your printable program here. Tickets are available at the gate for: Saturday: Adults $10, Aged and disabled pensioners $5 Children under 14 years $5, Children under 5 years free, Group ticket $25 (2 adults 2 children under 14 years) and Sunday: Horse gate entry $10.
Where:Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve, Korumburra Road, Wonthaggi, (between Strickland Street and Wentworth Road.)
Cost:Saturday: Adults $10, Aged and disabled pensioners $5 Children under 14 years $5, Children under 5 years free, Group ticket $25 (2 adults 2 children under 14 years). Sunday: Horse gate entry $10. Tickets are available at the gate.