Updated April 2022
We visit the Sydney Royal Easter Show every year. It was an annual pilgrimage for my family when I was growing up and we’ve continued the tradition with Braeden and Amelia. I know many people avoid the show because of the crowds and cost but I’m here to share my tips on getting around the show, saving money and more. Sydney Olympic Park, where the Easter Show is held, was the site of the Olympics and Paralympics so it is wonderfully accessible.
If you have any tips, please add them to the comments at the end of this post. In the meantime take a tour with us by clicking on the play button on the arrow below –
The Sydney Royal Easter Show accepts the Companion Card which means a carer goes free if assisting a person with a disability.
All tickets must be purchased in advance and for once, you can book a companion card ticket via the internet. You can book your tickets via the Sydney Royal Easter Show link. Make sure you scroll down until you see the option “Companion purchased with a person with a disability ticket”. Concession tickets are listed under this.
Ensure you have your Australian Companion Card out and ready to show with your tickets when you enter through the gates at the Show.
TRANSPORT AND PARKING
Easter Show Showlink tickets include the cost of public transport to the event.
We prefer to drive so when everyone is tired at the end of the day we can just hop in our car to head home. Parking station P1 is the closest to the Easter Show.
The car park does offer discounted parking for those visitors with a disabled parking permit. It does take a bit of planning to take advantage of this discount and it cannot be booked in advance so get there early!
You must take with you a photocopy of the front and back of your disabled parking permit. Park in the disabled parking place displaying your parking permit.
Take your parking ticket and the photocopy of your permit to the ticket booth and you will receive parking at the discounted rate.
If you are only dropping off a person with a disability you can do so on Dawn Fraser Avenue from Olympic Boulevard to Edwin Flack Ave, where it is a short distance to the main entrance of the Sydney Royal Easter Show (located on Olympic Boulevard).
PARKING STATION HEIGHT DETAILS
I know many of our readers have vans and the height of car parks can be restrictive. The Sydney Olympic website lists the following height details regarding clearance –
P2, P4, P5 & P6 are open air car parks.
P1 clearance – 2 metres
P3 clearance – 2.1 metres
P8 clearance – 2.3 metres
HIRING MOBILITY EQUIPMENT AT THE SYDNEY ROYAL EASTER SHOW
There is a big demand for the mobility equipment for hire at the Sydney Royal Easter Show so you do need to arrive early to have the best chance of hiring a mobility scooter for the day or make a booking in advance via the website.
AVOID THE CROWDS
Download the Sydney Royal Easter Show app so you are able to plan your day. This will ensure you don’t get distracted along the way.
We all know that wheelchair users end up looking at backs and bums if caught up in big crowds. Apart from it feeling claustrophobic it isn’t the best way to see the show. We have a bit of a routine that helps avoid this for Braeden.
We arrive at the show before opening time. By the time we park, enter and make our way to the first pavilion it is usually just opening.
There are some pavilions and areas where avoiding the crowds is more important than others. We head straight to the agricultural display. It is hard to move in this pavilion later in the day.
We then make a beeline for the show bag pavilion. We have the kids choose their show bags online here before we get to the show so there isn’t time wasted making decisions on the spot. The show bag pavilion is a nightmare at the end of the day. People in the pavilion resemble Emperor Penguins waddling around the ice in a group and it is to be avoided at all costs.
We buy our show bags, hire a locker ($12 with $2 refunded on return of key) and put the show bags and other items we don’t need (additional drinks or food) in it. Choose a locker that will remain in the shade all day (especially important if buying bags with food).
If you are only likely to open the locker the once, there are $2 lockers. This is obviously a great option if it’s just a spot to store show bags until the end of the day.
It’s then time to hot foot it down to the animal nursery. The animals are the most active, hungry and interactive in the early part of the day. If you miss the morning, the animals are full and over it. The queues are also hideous.
The other pavilion which gets overwhelming is the art and craft exhibition. It is hard to get near the cake decorating and other art glass cabinets. That is our next pick.
THE MAIN ARENA AND SHOWS
Plan your day by checking out the guide online. The program changes daily.
We usually have our lunch while watching shows in the main arena. There is designated wheelchair accessible seating which is very popular. Families with prams use the accessible seating so get there early.
If someone is sitting in the seating that doesn’t look to have the need (I know this isn’t always obvious but the wheelchair seating and seating beside is specifically designed so a wheelchair user may sit beside their family or those that are with them there for the day) I suggest approaching a member of staff to sort out the situation rather than doing so yourself. People tend to cave to authority more than a regular Joe asking them to do something.
Getting a shady wheelchair accessible place is tricky in the middle of the day and if you want this I recommend arriving at least a 1/2 hour or more before the shows. BJ loves the cars and motorbikes and unfortunately this show is always in the main heat of the day.
The entrance and seating closest to the giant Ferris wheel is best for viewing the cars and motorbikes this year.
There are plenty of accessible bathrooms around the showground. The worst time to go to the bathroom is after a show in any of the stadiums. Unfortunately, the disabled bathroom facilities are also the baby change facilities and families take a while when they have several children.
FOOD AND DRINKS
We take the majority of our food and drinks with us to save money. It’s boring and a pain in the neck but it cuts down on costs. The one indulgence we have is the Country Women’s Association Devonshire tea. Braeden loves his scones with jam and cream and the ladies of the CWA do a wonderful job.
This year the Sydney Royal Easter Show has Dole Whip and Braeden absolutely loves it. Normally a treat at Disneyland (or now at Delicious Desserts in Windsor) it was wonderful to share a Dole Whip at the show. The only problem is, he enjoyed it so much he hogged our shared dessert and we had to buy more!
The extremely popular chip on the stick requires queuing and seems to be the hit of the show in 2022 so get in early or be patient when it comes to queuing.
The rides are not a huge part of the show for us. We limit the kids with a set number of rides or games each. Queuing can be difficult with a wheelchair so approach the ride operator and they will often organise entry through the exit of the ride.
Braeden has always loved the dodgem cars so that is at the top of his list each year.
I think the games are a waste of money but I still remember the thrill of Braeden being able to do this clown game. It was the first one he could do independently and he was pretty chuffed with himself.
By lunchtime there were LONG queues for the ride tickets so purchase early in the day or via the app. Save time and energy.
THE COUNTRY COMES TO THE CITY
The show is a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn more about our farmers, their produce and animals. There are plenty of educational opportunities which is why it is so popular with school groups during the week.
UNIQUE TO SYDNEY ROYAL EASTER SHOW 2022
Television shows are making their mark at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2022 with plenty of photo opportunities.
Have your picture taken behind the news desk, on the Masterchef, Amazing Race or Bachelor sets.
My favourite, as a Big Brother tragic, was touring the Big Brother house for 2022. It’s well worth the walk through to see the magic of television.
2022 marks the 200 year anniversary of the Sydney Royal Easter Show and to celebrate there’s a great Heritage Exhibition. Check out the photos of shows of the past, the fashion and history of the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
COVID-SAFE MEASURES AT THE SYDNEY ROYAL EASTER SHOW
Sanitising stations are located throughout the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Arriving early and visiting the pavilions before the crowds arrive is my best advice.
Eat early before the lunchtime rush. We ate at 11.30am and had no problem finding a quiet table in the shade.
After midday it was much harder to socially distance.
The Sydney Royal Easter Show is a place where memories are made. I hope that some of my tips will help you feel less overwhelmed at tackling the show this year.
For all the official information about access at the Easter Show check out their website.
One of our Facebook friends, Fiona, has shared her tips for the show –
Visit on a weekday if possible to avoid the crowds.
If you just want to go for a few hours, there’s an after 4pm ticket which is cheaper.
If you are looking for a cheap snack, there are delicious cheese toasties for $2 at the front of the Woolworths pavilion.
Thanks Fiona for these tips.
If you’ve got a tip for visiting the Sydney Royal Easter Show we’d love to hear about it.
Don’t forget to pop on over and like our Facebook page where we share lots of other bits and pieces about our travels.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Speaking of memories, you mentioned the clown game being the one BJ can independently play and it brought back memories for me of this being my go-to game. It was definitely my game and I always won a prize. After watching my sisters and brother have fun all day, it was nice having something that was mine and I could do relatively easily. You’ve made me want to go back to the show now!
Thank you – that was very informative
Dianne Evans says
Love all the tips. For country people such as ourselves, it’s a 3 hour drive to the Royal Easter Show. We plan on staying at one of the hotels at Sydney Olympic Park. This means we are on site first thing in the morning as fatigue is a big thing for our daughter Tara. We also don’t have to worry about parking as we will park on site at the hotel. When we need to use the bathroom we can leave the Show and come back to the hotel to use the bathroom in our room and use the transfer aid we have there. Tara can even have a bit of a lie down before we hea back into the show. We can also offload the show bags in the air conditioned comfort of the hotel so they don’t melt (lots of chocolate is anticipated).
Beryl Caten says
Have just read your helpful info.
I am an 89 yr old with a walker and can drive to the show.
But your info is SO SO helpful.
Thank you and good showing
That makes me so happy Beryl. Have a great time at the show.
Thank you for all your tips, Hubby is in a disabled chair buy disappointed we can’t book parking cause sometimes we have slow mornings.
We take our food as well it’s usually better on his tummy as well. Are some of the toilet doors wider than others? I hope so as his chair is extra wide.
Thanks Beryl everyday’s and adventure
Gail Curran says
Love all the helpful tips but I was wondering if I could hire a wheelchair for the day..
Hi Gail, From memory there are scooters and chairs for hire as soon as you go through the gates at the rail end of the show. Have a great day.
Thanks very helpful information