Your free what's on guide to the top end

Royal Darwin Show

It's showtime in Darwin. From sugar to show bags, squealing and shrieking, there's a focus on the down-to-earth, on agriculture and the handmade.

If you love the whiff and competitive excitement of the animal pavilions, you’ll be pleased to know that cattle is making a strong return this year.

Learn about what makes a prize-winning commercial cow or buffalo (as opposed to stud cattle) and a champion dairy goat, or get in the spirit of the Year of the Rooster and admire the all-round Champion Bird of Show.

“I think what makes all agricultural shows unique is the combination of education, entertainment, competition and showcase,” says Darwin Show CEO Cherry Court.

“The other aspect is that we’re keepers of tradition. Children have an opportunity to look at those old traditional things. Back in the day you didn’t have mobile phones or a corner store, so you had to make your own broom, you had to shoe your own horses, you didn’t have motor cars.”

A blacksmith and carpenters will be demonstrating the skills of yesteryear with carving, horseshoeing and pioneer furniture making, while competition fire lighting and spear throwing has a $500 prize and trophy this year. 

Cakes, chutneys, breads, liqueurs and many other cooking categories will of course be subject to the rigorous testing of the Country Women’s Association and show judges. In the show arena, never underestimate the simplest of baked goods, says Court.

“There’s always things like scones and pikelets, which may seem easy to make but when you get up to that higher competitive level the judging is pretty critical. The special-occasions  decorated cakes are works of art and people put an enormous amount of work into them.”

Every year a type of fruit is chosen for people to go freestyle with, and this year’s theme of lime is expected to be innovative – with its sweet and savoury possibilities.

“In amongst all the others, it’s a special class,” says Court. 

“So you can enter anything you can make from lime – lime juice, lime liqueur, cake. Next year it’s going to be bananas because guess what? We can get bananas again!"

Thu 27 – Sat 29 Jul | 9am-10pm | Darwin Showgrounds

See the event listing.

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