What’s so surprising about the Hobart Showground you may well ask? I was researching an article about markets, when I discovered the Hobart Showground. Their catch phrase is: more than you think. A little dubious about the claim, I thought I’d investigate further, and here’s what I found.
Glenorchy Market: Hobart Showground
Starting at the beginning: the Glenorchy Market. Held each Sunday in a corner of the Hobart Showground, this is one market where you might actually find a bargain. The majority of stalls are indoors and there’s plenty of free parking on site. You can buy a eclectic mixture of goods. There’s some fresh produce and some hand-made craft; but you’re more likely to find second-hand treasures, t-shirts and bric-a-brac.
We managed to find some very delicious, home-made caramel slice; and there are take-away food vans outside selling donuts, hamburgers and the like. Our favourite discovery though, was Badge-o-rama. Kristal sells badges, magnets, keyrings and zipples, and has a zany selection. My kids have them stuck everywhere, from their school lunch boxes to their guitar cases.
Kristal somehow makes these herself, so you can also order products using your own images or text: a good idea for staff name badges or presents. You might like to check the Badge-o-rama website before setting off to the Glenorchy Market in search of badges though. She has been seen at the Island Markets in Moonah and I know she sometimes visits Penguin in the north of Tasmania.
Motor Homes Park
Now for the real reason I thought you should know about Hobart Showground: the motor homes park. With an unpowered site costing very little each night, it’s a pretty handy location for anyone with a self-contained caravan, campervan or motor home (with self-containment being a prerequisite).
You can stay up to 14 nights and they don’t mind you bringing pets along. Advance bookings are not required because they have so much room. They can even accommodate those really big rigs! It’s a perfect place to base yourself for touring Hobart and surrounds and if you happen to arrive when the administration office is closed, there’s a system for self-registration.
The only time the motor homes park is not available is during the last two weeks of October. That’s when the Hobart Showground hosts the show.
Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania
The Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania is responsible for the annual Hobart Show. The first show held at the current location was in 1904, when the original focus of the society was the protection of animals. Since then the event has evolved, and while still exhibiting farm animals there is now a carnival atmosphere at the showgrounds during the fortnight.
Fine Food Awards
The Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania is also responsible for another significant annual event on Hobart’s calendar: the Fine Food Awards. Designed to promote excellence in production and held in August each year, entries are submitted from all over Australia. I’d like to volunteer as a judge, actually! They get to sample over 800 different varieties of food coming from large, well-known suppliers as well as home-based industry hopefuls.
Along similar lines to the Hobart Show, the idea of the Fine Food Awards is to promote primary and rural based industries. Bread, cakes, pies, dairy products and seafood are among the selection of food categories. The recognition and business boost for the winner in each section is a highly sought after prize.
Hobart International Wine Show
Proving the Hobart Showground is very-well utilised, November each year heralds the Hobart International Wine Show. Held since 1975, the Hobart version of wine judging is now the second largest of its kind in Australia. Just like the Fine Food Awards, the great reveal of the winning wine in each class is highly anticipated. With medals only awarded to wines already bottled, it’s a good indicator for consumers looking for an excellent drop at the drive-through.
Hobart Showground Venues
And finally, for anyone looking for somewhere to host a conference, concert or end-of-season sale, apparently the Hobart Showground has enough separate venue spaces to cover any situation. Catered or not; big or small; indoors or out.
I was a little shocked to notice they even promote themselves as a wedding venue! I guess when you’re ten minutes from the city, 25 minutes from the airport, and have loads of free parking space, you have a lot to offer.