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Ekka under 100: Less than $100 for a family of four

The EKKA is back baby and we are here to show you how to have a full day of fun at the EKKA for under $100! Now, let’s be clear, we are NOT saying you SHOULD do the EKKA for under $100. We are saying you CAN!

Families Magazine are the recognised experts in providing trustworthy Ekka resources, as evidenced in our multitude of Channel 9 News appearances showing you how to save at the Ekka!

Disclaimer: This article is not yet updated with the latest Ekka information for 2024. When it is, we will let you know! (Especially if you sign up to our emails!) 😉

Here ‘s how to go to the EKKA on a budget:

Ekka 2023

We know, we know … taking your family out for the day can get pretty pricey, and if you’re watching your dollars the idea of heading somewhere as action-packed as the Ekka can feel a little overwhelming. Fear not! We show you how to do Brisbane’s Ekka under $100 … including your tickets and transport.

You can use this as a guide to have a super frugal and super fun day at the Ekka OR you can mix and match these completely FREE activities below with some treats that cost a few dollars. This guide will help you know where to get the best bargains to make your Ekka dollars go further than last year’s!

Make sure you follow us on Facebook because I will be posting about my visit to the show on the first morning including where to get the cheapest coffee, where to find the cleanest bathrooms, where to park this year, the best value showbags and my favourite rides (and how to get discounts!).

Preparation is key

Before you come to the show, this is what you need to do:

  1. Purchase your Ekka tickets online before the EKKA begins – and the earlier the better – you can buy a Family Value Pack for $59.84. Click here to see exactly how to get this cheap entry deal. (Regular Family Ticket price is $88).
  2. Pack your lunch and drinks – pack a picnic lunch and dinner, plus some snacks and drinks. There are water foundations around the Showgrounds so you can refill your water bottle throughout the day. Maybe think about bringing a pull along trolley (like the ones you take to the markets) so you don’t need to carry it around on your shoulder all day.
  3. Grab the Showguide liftout from the Courier Mail and take a look at the daily program for the day you want to come to Ekka. Be sure to pack this on the day too. See our top showbag picks here.
  4. Consider using Public Transport to get to and from Ekka. On the weekends KIDS TRAVEL FREE!
Ekka Under 100

Plan your Ekka under $100 day

10am: After having a good breaky at home, arrive at Ekka and have a quick walk around to get your free safety wristband (in case of lost children). Then head straight to one of the free kids shows on the Community Stage. There are always shows on to choose from! Not to be missed – CocoMelon at 10am (and Paw Patrol at 11am and midday).

For various timings – you can see all the details here.

Location: Community Stage and varied 

Cost: Free

10.45am:  Next stop – the Old Museum! There’s plenty to see and do for grownups and kids alike. Previous years have even included a mini maze! This year it will be buzzing with a hive of activity, with entries being displayed from competitions including Horticultural Displays, Potted Plants, Floristry and School Garden and School Scarecrow.

ekka under 100 backyard farmers

Location: Old Museum – Flower and Garden Pavilion

Cost: Free

11:00am: Check out Venomous Snake and Reptile Show. The show will feature all things scaly – get up-close to snakes, lizards and a baby saltwater crocodile in a safe setting. A team of brave snake handlers will talk about snake safety – what to do if you come across a snake, how to discourage them from your property and the correct snake bite first aid.

Location: King Street

Cost: Free 

11.30am:  Next stop Agricultural Hall 

Ekka Agriculture Paddock

This place is A-MAZ-ING… and not to be missed.  It provides hours and hours of free entertainment for kids of all ages – they have somehow managed to scale the entertainment for littlies, up to big kids.  The littlies have things to play with, the bigger kids will enjoy the play, but also learn in the process.  There are two levels in the Agricultural Education Hall, downstairs is the Agricultural Education area (with lots of fun activities) and you’ll find heaps of fun but different educational activities upstairs.

Location: Agricultural Hall

Cost: Free

Families Hot Tip: (If it is not too early for you) adults can take advantage of the free wine (taste testing) in the same area where this show is on… and this building has some of the best air-conditioning you will find at the Ekka!

12.15pm: Time for lunch! Walk back up Gregory Terrace and take a seat under the big fig tree on the corner of King Street. Enjoy the packed lunch and drinks you brought from home.

Location: Cnr King Street and Gregory Terrace – under the Fig Tree

Cost: Free

1pm: Next stop – Animal Boulevard. Here’ you’ll find the RACQ Animal Nursery, Horse Expo, the Milking Barn and Sheep Shearing. The kids get to feed, pat and interact with all of their favourites including calves, lambs, ducklings and goats. This is also the location of the Royal Queensland Championship Canine Show and all the doggies! There’s also the ‘Cradle a Chick’ part that’s just too cute for words! 

Cradle a chick, pat the animals, watch sheep-shearing and cattle milking, and see the most gorgeous dogs on show!

Click here for tips on how to keep your children safe around the animals at the Ekka.

Animal nursery Ekka

Location: Head down Gregory Terrace until you reach the corner of Alexandria Street and Gregory Terrace – this is the start of Animal Boulevard

Cost: Free

Families Hot Tip: Bring $2 to buy a cup of food for the animals – they are far more engaged with you if you have a hand full of food.

1.30pm: Now it’s time for some Street Science! Fun and interactive demonstrations will have any young scientist engaged before exploring how innovations in agriculture are shaping the future sustainability of our planet in truly incredible ways! With this engaging and exciting show, scientists of all ages will walk away with a new fascination for the amazing agricultural industry that is being celebrated at the Ekka!

Location: Ekka Education Stage

Cost: Free

2.30pm: Head back up Gregory Terrace and pop into the Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion and taste test your way through the pavilion for afternoon tea. There’s plenty of free samples to enjoy at the Woolworths ‘stations’ but you can also sample other vendors products including dairy free yoghurt, various cheeses, lollies, wine, ice-cream and more! IF you want to spend a little here, you could invest in the $3 cheese toasties and new over the last couple of years – $2.50 mini hot-dogs!

Location: Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion

Cost: Free

3.30 – 4.30pm: Make your way downstairs and across the road to the ground level of the Royal ICC. Go back to the Agricultural Hall for more fun – you won’t regret it!

Location: Lower level, Royal International Convention Centre

Cost: Free

Families Hot Tip: This could be your toilet stop. There are toilets on the upper and lower level of the Royal International Convention Centre. Good for a pitstop before the night show!

4.30 -5.30pm: If the kids have any pocket money they have been saving for showbags – now is the time to get them!

Location: Showbag Pavilion – optional depending on if the kids have pocket money to spend.

Cost: Up to you!

Families Hot Tip: You can read all about the Ekka showbags here.

5.30pm: Make your way to Gourmet Plaza, take a seat and enjoy the dinner you have packed from home.

Location: Gourmet Plaza, outside the Royal International Convention centre

Cost: Free

6pm – 8pm: EkkaNITES! Make your way to the Main Arena to get your seat for the Night Show Spectacular! EkkaNITES includes horseback action, Wheels of Steel, freestyle motocross and so much more!

Families Hot Tip: Let the kids rummage through any show bags that might have bought to keep them entertained between shows in the main arena while they wait for the fireworks.

Location: Main Arena

Cost: Free

The Ekka - Royal Queensland Show , Bowen Hills

7.40-8pm: Stay seated for the best FIREWORKS you have ever seen – the Ekka fireworks Spectacular!

Location: Main Arena

Cost: Free

8.30pm: THE DAY IS DONE. Head home for a good night’s sleep. Time for bed!

TOTAL: $100.

$60 for a Family Value Pass + $18 for bus/rail transport + $2 for animal nursery food

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

1 thought on “Ekka under 100: Less than $100 for a family of four”

  1. My only change would be to go on the weekend where kids travel free with a Go Card, therefore cutting that transport cost further.
    And I can definitely recommend the free High Dive show (up the Machinery Hill end of the Ekka (Stockman’s Rest). And the Extreme Pogo show (also free) is quite fun. (Today it was relocated to Gourmet Plaza; not sure if that’s a permanent thing or just because of the crowds.)
    The rides, food and showbags are definitely the big budget blowers. Steer clear of them and you’ve got a full day and night of entertainment for your entry fee!


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