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The Abbey Medieval Festival 2024 Caboolture

The Abbey Medieval Festival Tournament Weekend is back from 6 – 7 July 2024! With its kaleidoscope of music, colour, pageantry, and time transforming ways, The Abbey Medieval Festival calls to us now more than ever! 

About the 2024 Abbey Medieval Festival

Time Travel is real!!!

It’s true! Every year when the planets align a certain way, a time portal opens up on Abbey Place, Caboolture. Step through the portal and slip back hundreds of years to the Middle Ages. The air rings with the clashing of swords, the ground shudders to the thundering of hooves, and crowds cheer the clang of lance upon shields! Meanwhile, maidens dance to the tunes played on pipes and drums. The Abbey Medieval Festival invites you to experience the sounds, sights and smells of this magical medieval era for yourself.

Don’t worry, slipping through the time portal is entirely reversible – and you’ll still have a phone signal and access to flushing toilets – but for two whole days you can immerse yourself in another world entirely.

The Abbey Medieval Festival is an annual highlight. The highly anticipated Tournament Weekend happens this year on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July 2024. It attracts over 300 world-class medieval re-enactors keen to give you a taste of what life in the Middle Ages was like. It is one of Australia’s premier living history events, providing festival-goers with an engaging and immersive experience of the Middle Ages.

Your calendar of medieval events for 2024

The Abbey Medieval Festival is most famous for its Tournament Weekend (more on that below!), but 2024 is seeing new additions to its program offering even more days and ways to get a taste of medieval life.

May 25-26 – Abbeystowe Challenger Clash – New for 2024!

The inaugural Abbeystowe Challenger Clash promises to deliver two action packed days of full contact medieval battles. Held on May 25 and 26, ahead of the renowned Abbey Medieval Festival, this separate 2-day event is ideal for those who love adrenaline-pumping action and the clash of steel on steel.

See medieval fighting teams from around Australia and New Zealand battle it out to the end for glory, bragging rights, and the Abbeystowe Challenger Shield. With three vs three, five vs five, and 12 vs 12 battles scheduled each day, you won’t want to miss a minute of the action.

This is an all-weather outdoor event (after all, a little rain wouldn’t prevent a battle in real medieval times), and is family-friendly with archery for the kids, a variety of other entertainment, and food stalls.

Note: this event is not recommended for children four years old and under, but the Friday Family Fun Day is just perfect for kids of all ages.

June 29 – Medieval banquet 

Abbey Medieval Banquet diners

The Medieval Banquet on 29 June 2024 is a truly immersive experience for die-hard medieval fans, food buffs and anyone looking for an evening of food and entertainment that is totally out of the ordinary. 

As the sun sets over Abbeystowe, you are invited to celebrate an authentic Medieval Feast.

Guests are treated to an authentic medieval banquet with dancing, music, and all manner of traditional entertainment. Whilst attending in costume is not compulsory, it is strongly encouraged to get you into the spirit of the event.

Tickets go on sale in May and must be pre-purchased for this limited seating event. 

July 5 – Friday Family Fun Day – New for 2024!

Medieval family fun day

Introducing the Friday Family Fun Day – a new inclusion to Festival offerings, held Friday 5 July 2024, from 9:30am – 1:30pm.

The Friday Family Fun Day is ideal for those looking for an introduction to the Abbey Medieval Festival with fewer crowds and more fun for the kids.

There will be Birds of Prey, entertainment, combat demonstrations, and family focussed activities including archery, hands-on craft, medieval markets, and your choice of morning or afternoon Moreton Bay Medieval Joust tournament included with your ticket. This day is designed to be more sensory-friendly, with events like the firing of cannons and weaponry removed.

A number of encampments will be open to the public with activities and presentations, whilst others will be demonstrating their set-up process, so you can watch the village come to life from afar.

July 5 – Knighting ceremony

This year, you can join the Knighting Ceremony held inside the beautiful Abbey Church on Friday 5 July. There is limited space so booking is essential. Tickets on sale in May.

July 6-7 Tournament weekend

On 6 and 7 July 2024 relive the days of yore and experience the sights, sounds, tastes and aromas of the Middle Ages! Step back in time and immerse yourself in the colour and pageantry of the Medieval World. There will be fighting displays, jousting, falconry, dancing, music, drama and presentations of medieval arts and crafts. Wander around the medieval encampments and talk with re-enactors as they go about their day, or stroll through the markets where you can purchase all manner of medieval wares or delicious foods. The festival is jam-packed with things to see and do.

Tickets for all of the 2024 Festival events are on sale here.

The Abbey Medieval Festival tournament weekend

A few video highlights from our previous visits.

The Tournament Weekend is the highlight of the Abbey Medieval Festival program. It’s an amazing weekend that you need to see to believe! This year’s dates are Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July 2024.

What will we see at the medieval tournament weekend?

The Abbey Medieval Festival is an authentic medieval experience, with over 300 enthusiastic re-enactors bringing the Dark Ages, Middle Ages and early Renaissance Period to life. You will see many medieval villages and encampments recreating the life of ordinary peasants, Vikings, Ottoman Empire Turks, campaigning knights and travelling entertainers. There will also be craftsmen and women demonstrating their skills, historical re-enactments and competitions, and so many things you can experience for yourselves.

Here’s a rundown of some of the things to expect:


Abbey Medieval Festival Joust

Everyone loves the jousting! Brave knights on horseback thunder towards each other as they use their lance to try to knock their opponent out of their saddle. The Joust at the Abbey Medieval Festival depicts a 15th century tournament. The best of Australian jousters will compete for the title!

Note: Entry to the joust is an additional cost. If you wish to attend one of the six jousts held over the weekend, you will be taken to an additional screen after purchasing your Abbey Medieval Festival tickets.

Turkish Oil Wrestling

Abbey Medieval Festival Turkish Oil Wrestling

Carried out with traditional rituals and customs of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish Oil Wrestling has been a star attraction of the Abbey Medieval Festival for over 10 years. The Janissary Barracks take great measures to ensure the authenticity of this great sport of medieval Ottoman Turkish culture. The tight short leather trousers, called Kispet, are even imported from Turkey!

Oil wrestlers from across Australia participate in this competition at the Abbey Medieval Festival.

Sword Combat

Trained re-enactors will demonstrate the skills and training required to wield a sword and other weapons in battle.


From the heavy horses used to pull wagons and carry knights into battle, to the smaller and lighter ladies horses, demonstrations of hunting and herding animals like dogs and falcons, farm animals reared for food and pelts, and even the humble honey bee, which was so important to farmers and for the production of honey and mead.


So many re-enactments! Professional re-enactors will show you how to lay siege to a castle as well as demonstrate what life was like in the different camps.

Food & drink

Food at The Abbey Medieval Festival

Taste the Middle Ages with traditional food and drinks on offer, including a medieval hog roast, banquets (bookings required), and food stalls selling traditional medieval flavours. Hot chips, spuds, and burgers are available for those with more modern tastes.


Everything from troupes of belly dancers and gypsy dancers, to roving jugglers, jesters, puppeteers, storytellers, and actors – there’ll be plenty of people willing to entertain your kids!


Trying archery for kids

There is standard ‘aiming-for-the-target archery’, and also the highly skilled horseback archery and moving target archery. You can even have a go at firing an arrow yourself.


Abbey Medieval Festival market

There are lots of stalls to browse for souvenirs and reproduction medieval goods. You’ll find everything from toys and costumes, to sweets, pottery, stained glass, woven goods, leatherwork, jewellery, imitation armoury and weapons, carvings, artwork and a whole lot more. There are around 60 authentic stalls to visit!


Enjoy the historical sounds of the Dark Ages through to the Higher Middle Ages, with Gregorian chants, harpists, lute players, pipes, drums and singers as the musical entertainers stroll through the camps and put on shows.


Dressed up for the Abbey Medieval Festival

Lots of them, and not just the re-enactors! The Abbey Medieval Festival is the premiere event of its kind in Australia. Re-enactors and participants have beautifully crafted costumes from the medieval period and Dark Ages so you can expect to see peasants in their rough garb, princesses in finely woven silks, knights in full chainmail and plate mail, monks, nuns and Templars in their religious habits, Turks from the time of the Crusades, and characters from traditional medieval festivals relating to the seasons and nature.

There are competitions and prizes for the best fancy dress. Dressing up isn’t compulsory, and you’ll see plenty of visitors in their futuristic 21st Century fashions, but if you want to add that extra element of fun to your day there’s no finer excuse to put on your best medieval costume!

If you are handy with a sewing machine, you can follow these easy medieval costume tutorials to make your own medieval costume. If your talents lie elsewhere, there are plenty of ready-made medieval costumes online instead.

How do we get to the Abbey Medieval Festival?

Map of Abbey Museum location

You will find the Abbey Medieval Festival at the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology, 1-63 The Abbey Place (off Toorbul Point Road), Caboolture.

Parking on-site is free but limited. Volunteers will be on hand to direct you to nearby parking spots, and disability parking is available. We recommend catching the free bus from the Caboolture Train Station. Free shuttle buses also run from the specially secured festival car park on Pumicestone Road at Elimbah. VIP parking is available for VIP ticket holders. The festival itself takes over the expansive space around the Abbey Museum.

However you travel to The Abbey Medieval Festival, we recommend you plan ahead and aim to get there early.

How do we get tickets to The Abbey Medieval Festival?

Tickets are on sale from April 10, 2024, but they do sell out fast. You can buy individual or family tickets for the day or the whole weekend, and children under four get in free.

The sooner you buy, the cheaper your tickets will be. There is a limited number of reduced price “first release” tickets with “final release” tickets costing slightly more. Click here for ticketing information and to buy your tickets online

What else should we know about The Abbey Medieval Festival?

Panoramic view of Abbey Medieval Festival

There are some restrictions as to what you can and can’t take with you:

  • No dogs or other animals. Please leave your pets at home. There will be lots of animals to see at the festival, and your own pet would be happier and safer at home.
  • Weapons. If you plan on enhancing your costume with your own sword, bow and arrows, knife, or other medieval weapon, organisers request that you complete a form online to gain permission to bring your weapon with you. Weapons that are clearly toys and part of a child’s costume, such as a blunt wooden sword or plastic, are ok.
  • You’re welcome to bring your own food and picnics (please be mindful of littering). Camp chairs and picnic blankets are welcome too. No glass is permitted.
  • Alcohol is available to buy on-site (traditional beers, meads, cider and wines). BYO is not permitted.

Other things to be aware of:

  • Be sure to pre-book your ticket to the joust. If you wish to experience this spectacular event, it is advisable to pre-book online early! No Joust tickets will be available on the day. The Joust arena opens 30 minutes prior to each session.
  • ATMs are available, and – just like in medieval times – cash is king! Wi-fi is limited at the Abbey Medieval Festival so Eftpos machines, though available, often don’t work. Cash is recommended.
  • Toilets, baby change facilities, and First Aid facilities are available.
  • Most of the Abbey Medieval Festival is accessible to wheelchair users and prams. Paths are mainly gravel or grass and relatively flat. A drop-off point for the elderly and disabled is located about 70m from the entrance. A disability car park is available for patrons with a permit.
  • There is Sensory Quiet Space Tent for those needing a break from all the noise and excitement.

When was the medieval period?

The medieval period covers a time from around 600-1600CE, from the fall of the Roman Empire through to the beginning of the enlightened Renaissance Period. That’s a lot of years! Medieval literally means Middle Ages. Wikipedia does justice to this period here.

What was the medieval period like?

For peasants, the medieval period was a simple time of hard work farming the land for their lords and living in simple huts, often with their farm animals to provide warmth. Their diet would have comprised of a lot of gruel, stew and porridge with a bit of salt-meat through the winter.

Some people were skilled craftsmen and artisans and enjoyed a slightly higher status. They would have been blacksmiths, tailors and shoemakers, basket weavers, saddlers, coopers (barrel makers), wainwrights (wagon builders), carpenters and builders, amongst many other trades.

If you were wealthy or a landowner, you might have lived in a manor house or castle and had servants of your own. You would have enjoyed lots of fancy roast meats, tasty pastries, and delicious banquets, with entertainment provided by travelling musicians, storytellers, actors and jesters.

The medieval period was also a time of brave knights and fair maidens, fabled dragon-slayers, jousting and battles, castle building, and marauding Vikings! It wasn’t all hard work in the Middle Ages; people enjoyed many public holidays and festivals based around the religious calendar and traditional pagan celebrations, and the Abbey Medieval Festival perfectly recreates the atmosphere of these fun occasions.

Best Abbey Medieval Festival accommodation

We always buy weekend tickets to the Abbey Medieval Festival and love to make a weekend getaway of the event. The best way to do that is to book accommodation nearby!

There is a range of resort style accommodation, boutique motels, and guest houses to suit families, groups of friends, and all budgets. You can choose to stay inland in Caboolture itself, by the beach for ocean views, or even over the bridge on Bribie Island. We’ve picked out ten of the best, with a handy map and descriptions below:

Chateau Tonnelle – holiday home

This holiday home is perfect for a group of history loving friends. It has four bedrooms, each with a queen-sized bed, and all the facilities and privacy you could want. It’s located in Caboolture close to bus routes and just a 12-minute drive from the Festival.

  • Entire home
  • 4-bedroom – sleeps 8
  • Free parking
  • Washing machine
  • Free Wi-Fi

Find more details about Chateau Tonnelle here.

Caboolture Central Motor Inn, Sure Stay Collection by BW

Conveniently located and great for large groups, the Caboolture Central Motor Inn offers apartments and rooms with multiple bed configurations. Look for the historic church at the entrance!

Caboolture Central Motor inn is only a 10-minute drive from the Festival and within easy metres of the Caboolture Train Station, from where you can catch the free Abbey Medieval Festival shuttle bus.

  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Room service
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Family rooms

Check availability at Caboolture Central Motor Inn here.

Best Western Caboolture Gateway Motel

This motel comes highly recommended. Rooms are basic but spacious with tea and coffee facilities, a fridge and a microwave. The Best Western Caboolture is on bus routes and a short walk from Caboolture Train Station. If you want to drive to the Festival, it will take you eight minutes.

  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Family rooms

Check availability at Best Western Caboolture Gateway Motel here.

Caboolture Riverlakes Boutique Motel

Caboolture Riverlakes Boutique Motel offers a variety of rooms, studios and suites to sleep from two to five people. We recommend getting a spa room to soothe tired muscles after a day spent marauding at the Abbey Medieval Festival!

The motel is set in beautiful riverside grounds and rated excellent. It is a 12-minute drive to Abbeystowe from here.

  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Room service
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Family rooms

Click here to learn more about Caboolture Riverlakes Boutique Motel.

Golden Sands at Beachmere – holiday home

Relax on the deck with a glass of mulled mead and listen to the waves hit the shore at the end of your garden – this little holiday home is right on the beach and beautifully presented. Five festival-goers will be very comfortable here, and it’s only a 12-minute drive to Abbeystowe.

  • Beachside location
  • Sleeps 5
  • Beautifully renovated inside
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Off-street parking for several cars

Check availability at Golden Sands at Beachmere.

BIG4 Sandstone Point Holiday Resort Bribie Island

Extend your stay and make a real holiday of it at the family-friendly BIG4 Holiday Resort. Abbey Medieval Festival is at the end of the Queensland winter school holidays, and there is always lots happening in the area. In fact, we have a whole list of FREE school holiday activities in Brisbane’s northside that is constantly updated.

The BIG4 Sandstone Point Holiday Resort Bribie Island has rooms that can sleep up to ten guests. Rooms are well equipped, and the resort has a fitness centre, heated outdoor pool, games room and heaps of other activities. Adventurous festival-goers can pitch a tent and camp on powered or unpowered sites for added medieval authenticity.

Adults will be pleased to know the Sandstone Point Hotel is just next door, and it’s just a 15-minute drive to the Abbey.

  • Family friendly
  • Multiple room configurations
  • Heaps of on-site activities
  • Convenience store and multiple dining options
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Powered caravan and tent sites

Book the BIG4 Sandstone Point Holiday Resort Bribie Island here.

Caboolture Motel

Very close to the train station – and the free shuttle bus – the Caboolture Motel has rooms that sleep up to four people. Accommodation is simple, and breakfast in your room can be arranged. The Abbey Museum is only ten minutes’ drive away.

  • Room service
  • Family rooms
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free parking
  • Facilities for disabled guests

Check the Caboolture Motel availability here.

La Maison – holiday home

Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and beautifully presented, this lovely holiday home sleeps eight. It’s a 12-minute drive from here to the Festival, and the home is close to public transport.

  • Entire home
  • 4-bedroom – sleeps 8
  • Free parking
  • Washing machine
  • Free Wi-Fi

Check availability for La Maison here.

Ocean Pearl – holiday home

This home has all the coastal vibes. It’s right on the beachfront and even has a bed shaped like a boat for one lucky individual. It will take you 13 minutes to drive from here to the Festival, and public transport is very close by. Sleeps 5.

  • Beach access
  • Free parking
  • Fully equipped
  • Three bedrooms, three bathrooms

Check Ocean Pearl’s availability here.

Where can I find out more about the Abbey Medieval Festival?

Go to the Abbey Medieval Festival website for updates.

More medieval fun for kids – Kids Dig It!

Kids Dig it! is a regular school holiday event held at The Abbey Museum, Caboolture. With a changing program featuring Roman history and medieval history, at Kids Dig It! kids can:

  • practice archery
  • design their own heraldry and paint it on a shield
  • decorate a princess hat (hennin), a crown, or a mask
  • uncover medieval artefacts in the archaeological dig
  • train like a knight and learn about weapons
  • play medieval games like skittles, battledore, quoits and Nine Men’s Morris

Keep an eye on our events calendar for the next Kids Dig it! event!

Making the most of Brisbane Festivals…

This article featured in Issue 28 of our printed magazine, published June 2018.

Photo of author

Joanne Crane

Joanne loves speaking directly to people of all ages through the medium of writing, sharing tips and knowledge for families and kids to help everyone get the most out of life. Her focus is on the development of resilience, confidence and independence in children, and on helping families engage and create lasting memories. Self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth are vital skills that Joanne believes children need to learn early to help them grow as adults.

4 thoughts on “The Abbey Medieval Festival 2024 Caboolture”

  1. I have tickets for the family fun day, however with the 3 day lock down will we still be able attend the Friday session?

  2. I found it really great value. The tickets to the joust weren’t an extra cost, but just a means of ensuring safety as the jousting arena has a capped capacity. Tickets allowed you to choose which of the three daily jousts you wanted to attend, and then anyone without a ticket was allowed in to fill the spaces. We easily got into a joust on each day without pre-booking tickets and were able to sit together.

    A pre-purchased family pass covered 2 adults and 4 kids aged 5-15. The weekend pass was only $8 more than the one day pass, so I got that in case we wanted to go back, which we did, so for four of us the entry worked out to be only $12.25 each per day, and the food was the same price as any takeaway. There was so much entertainment it easily filled two days. Can’t wait for next year’s!

  3. Really enjoyed the festival but was disappointed that having paid entry that we also had to have tickets to the jousting! The re-enactments were fantastic! Don’t get greedy make it affordable for families


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