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Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 review

Going to the Sydney Royal Easter Show is a long-held tradition in our family so I’m always keen to see what’s new. I’ve previously shared my tips on the best way to avoid the crowds in the pavilions and how to make the most of your day but I wanted to add a review for the 2024 Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Read our blog with all our show tips and continue on to hear about 2024’s Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

We had a wonderful day at the show. Braeden had such a good day he will be going again this week with one of his support workers.

How to buy tickets

Tickets to this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show, including companion tickets, can be purchased online. Go to the Sydney Royal Easter Show website and click on “purchase tickets” (it appears on the right of the screen), then choose the date you wish to purchase tickets for and click on which option you’d like ie All Day Ticket or After 4pm. When you choose tickets you’ll see a drop down list of options. There is a discounted ticket for people with a disability (PWD) and the option to purchase Companion (Purchased with Person with a Disability Ticket. The Companion ticket comes up with $0.00 beside it. It’s fantastic to have an easy way to purchase tickets. Tickets will be emailed to you or you can print them out at home. 

Just make sure that as you approach the entry that you have the tickets open so it’s quick to scan. It’s also a good idea to have your Australian Companion Card ready if you’ve used it to buy a ticket.

Parking at Sydney Royal Easter Show

Disappointingly, Wilson Parking removed their discounted parking for accessible parking permit holders early last year and that hasn’t changed this year. Parking is $35 and bookings are required but please note you cannot book the accessible parking bays.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Level 3 is the golden level to park on as you do not need to use the lift and the lifts in the parking station get incredibly busy. We arrived at 915am and level 3 was already full, including the accessible parking. So we went to level 5 and used the lift. The wait was significant.

Highlights of the Easter Show 2024

The fruit and vegetable display in the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome is always our first stop. I love seeing the designs each year and the clever way fruit and veg is displayed. It makes my fruit bowl look utterly dull.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

During Covid the elevated viewing platform was removed and it hasn’t made a comeback so go to the Dome early in the day to avoid the crowds. Pick up some fresh produce and help support the farmers. Items on sale include macadamia nuts, fruit salad, dried fruits, honey and jams.

Country Women’s Association

The ladies from the CWA run a tight ship and offer up great baked treats at the Country Women’s Association cafe also located in the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome. Braeden’s favourite treat is the freshly baked (on the premises) scones with jam and cream, Amelia loves the Anzac biscuits and lamingtons and I love sitting down for a cuppa with a scone.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

There are a couple of tables with a reserved sign on them that the ladies direct wheelchair users to. We had morning tea at around 11am and the queue was long. When we returned around 330pm to get some scones to take home for the family unable to join us at the show, the queue was much shorter. So, afternoon tea might be a better bet than morning tea if you want to make the best use of your time.

The parade

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

I love watching a parade and this year the Sydney Royal Easter Show delivers with a circus themed one. Braeden watched it three times it was that good! By the end of the day the performers were recognising Braeden’s enthusiasm with high fives and the girls on the floats were blowing him kisses. He lapped up all the attention and loved every minute of it. I recommend watching at least one parade.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Check the Easter Show Guide for parade times.

Flower & Garden Pavilion

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

My mum is a great gardener so I automatically head to the Flower & Garden Pavilion to check out the flower displays so I can share photos with her. I loved this year’s displays and managed to pick up an orchid for her as a gift as well. I bought one last year and it flowered for months.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

We also always enjoy checking out the art, photography and decorated cakes in the pavilion. People certainly have incredible artistic skills.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

If you’ve always wanted a photo with sunflowers, pop outside the pavilion to the sunflower garden to snap a pic.

Access at the Easter Show in 2024

After giving extensive feedback to the team at the show last year, I had hoped to have a happier report on access this year. Although improvements were made last year, certain areas still missed the mark. You can read my blog from last year here. Well, sadly this year’s access misses the mark and I’m enraged because it’s not as though organisers don’t know better. I am not the only one that has given feedback, I know that members of our community have also actively provided information in the hope of seeing change. Here’s what we found this year.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

The Hidden Disabilities lanyard (sunflower lanyard) is available from the information kiosk again this year. The lanyards are free.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Food trucks

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Traditionally food truck vendors are not accessible to wheelchair users, those that are not tall and scooter users. This year I noticed more vendors offering a lowered counter in front of the truck or simply a good height counter. A win for access.

Quiet room at the Royal Sydney Easter Show

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

A Quiet Room is available at the Sydney Royal Easter Show and is equipped with sensory items, pillows, and headphones that individuals can use to self-regulate. This year the Quiet room is located in the Lost & Found office.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Farmyard Nursery access

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

We found moving a wheelchair through the Farmyard Nursery difficult last year due to the sawdust covering the ground. Many of our Have Wheelchair Will Travel readers found the experience difficult so this was some of the feedback I provided. Unfortunately it’s just as difficult this year.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Volunteers and staff are super helpful with guiding wheelchair users to an easy access entrance which avoids the cattle grid queuing system which is a big help.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Unfortunately, once inside sawdust covers the ground throughout. I stayed to the right of the nursery so I was never far from the exit if it got too hard to manage. It was okay but I am conscious that Braeden only weighs 55kg so he is fairly light to push. It would be fantastic if a plastic ground cover could run around the parameter of the nursery for those using a wheelchair.

I’d also warn anyone with allergies that the sawdust is quite thick in the air.

A cup of food to feed the animals is still only $2 to purchase so it’s a good low cost activity for those who love to interact with the gaggle of farmyard pets.

Accessible bathrooms at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

There are many unisex accessible bathrooms available around the showground. The one facility which offers a change bed does not have a hoist. On day one of the Easter Show last year I took a staff member to the facility and explained the difficulty a person would have using the change bed without a hoist, not to mention individuals who need a hoist to use the toilet. The staff member was under the impression that a height adjustable change bed would be sufficient. I explained that some people with a disability would need the hoist to access the toilet and others to access the change bed. I also pointed out that a door opening out as you enter is somewhat problematic for a wheelchair user.

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Much to my outrage the portable facility which was hired last year is again being used this year. It does not have a hoist and it has an outward opening door. It is also located in a position that is out of the way and takes a long time to get to from some of the main areas of the show. It is not locked which is great for those that don’t have a MLAK key but while we were taking photos two staff members came to use it as it was close to where they were working. To say I am outraged would be an understatement and after reading the trouble the lack of hoist caused one of our Accessible Sydney group members I am even more outraged. Letters have been sent and more is to come. One of our other readers also reported that the water was not connected on day one of the show this year. Ultimately Sydney Olympic Park should have a Changing Places facility. The venue is used for major events, expos and the Sydney Royal Easter Show so it is a logical location for a hoisted bathroom facility.

I will be pursuing this further.

Accessible seating in the arena

Families with prams continue to utilise the wheelchair accessible seating areas. I suggest approaching RAS staff to ask them to move along if you can’t find appropriate seating available. Getting to the arena early for specific events, especially the midday events, is helpful.

Budget tips for the Sydney Royal Easter Show

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2024 - Have Wheelchair Will Travel

I’ve been sharing videos on budget tips for the Easter Show over on TikTok and there have been plenty of comments about how expensive the show is. I’d argue that a movie ticket provides two hours of entertainment for around $20. A person with a disability can attend the show for $28 and a companion can attend for free (with an Australian Companion Card). Once inside the showground there is a plethora of free entertainment and so much to see for the entry price. Yes, rides are expensive and food is expensive but you can avoid rides and take your own food and have a picnic.

If you want to still feel you’ve had a taste of the show and want to do so on a budget, there’s a range of showbags from $4-$10, cheese toasties for $4 and pies made onsite for $7.

I’d suggest if you take your own food and drinks getting one of the $2 lockers (in the shade) near the Lost & Found office and putting everything in there until you need it at lunchtime.

Water tanks are dotted around the show where you can refill your own drink bottles for free.

If you don’t want to take your own lunch, pop into the showbag pavilion for the $4 cheese toastie (stand is on the far left as you enter the pavilion).

Take cash for showbag purchases as there is a surcharge for using credit cards (around 0.8% up to 1%).

There are plenty of free activities. Let the kids grab an animal passport and have it stamped in each of the animal pavilions. Pat a pig or chick for free. The Farmyard Nursery is free. Watch the wood chopping, arena events and parade – all free.

Have someone drop you off instead of paying for parking, or use public transport which is included in the show ticket price.

If you are heading to the Royal Easter Show have a great day. Despite my disappointment in the access and lack of improvement from 2023, we had an absolutely wonderful day. So wonderful Braeden slept through the night – nearly 11 hours straight! For anyone that’s been following our family for a while you’ll know that’s no small miracle.

Check out our other Easter Show tips in this blog. 


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