I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
An Authentic Taste Of Tasmanian Country Life
Are you planning a visit to Tasmania and are seeking authentic local events that are well off the tourist trail? Or perhaps you're a Tasmanian local searching for fun affordable things to do that the whole family will enjoy. A visit to one of Tasmania's country shows may be just what you're looking for.
Every year there are many great country shows held around Tassie
Originating in England as county fairs, agricultural shows first appeared in Australia just a few decades after colonial settlement. Like their English forerunners, they provided the opportunity for farmers to show off their prized livestock and produce and served as a social hub where primary producers could network with their peers. While the colonies' first shows were invariably held in the largest, most established settlements, as British settlers infiltrated further inland and new townships were established, local agricultural societies were formed that organised smaller regional events.
Country shows are heaps of fun for the whole family
The Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania traces its history back to 1821, just eighteen years after Van Diemans Land was established as a British penal colony, and was initially known as Van Diemans Land Agricultural Society. In 1822 the first show was held in the Old Market Place, close to where the State Parliament House is now situated. Wealthy free settlers were quick to recognise the island's potential for agricultural development and it wasn't long before much of the land was under cultivation and small towns had been established. With their livelihood dependant on the land, these small settlements soon established their own agricultural societies and within a few short years shows were being held in these places as well.
Rural shows are the perfect 'city meets country' experience
I made my first visit to the Apple Isle (as it's often fondly called) in 1983, just after I left high school, and immediately fell in love with its spectacular landscape, quaint little hamlets and the slow, leisurely way of life that is now a relic of the past in most other places throughout the world. On a few occasions during my travels I stumbled across small country shows, held in the most breathtaking natural locations, and from that time I've been a big fan of these wonderful old-fashioned events.
The cookery pavillion is always a favourite at most shows
A visit to an Australian country show is a nostalgic journey into the past that the whole family will enjoy as there's something for everyone. There are exhibits of prize-winning livestock, often adorned with the colourful sashes that they've won; show-jumping competitions for the pony-lovers; pavilions full of yummy cakes, home preserves and gorgeous handicrafts; colourful sideshows full of tacky novelties; hair-raising rides that seem to get wilder each year and much, much more. Many events conclude with a special event such as a firework display or even a rodeo.
Every year, during the warmer months, agricultural shows are held throughout Tasmania. The following is a list which includes links to some of the larger events' websites. If you're looking for a fun-packed and affordable day out, the humble Australian country show certainly can't be beaten.