Written by on 03/07/2024

Rides, Show-bags, Fairy Floss, dodgem cars – it won’t be long before the Darwin Show kicks off once again to hordes of eager crowds looking for a fantastic family day out and of course a long weekend to boot plus did we mention fireworks! Yes – more Fireworks!!!

For 73 years the Royal Darwin show has been bringing friends, families, competitors, exhibitors, and community groups together in the Top End, so make sure you come on down to celebrate the diverse talent, local produce, plants and animals, arts, crafts and cultures, and loads of exciting entertainment. This years line up includes live music, precision cars, traditional spear throwing and fire lighting, fireworks, thrilling rides, the latest show bags and the fun of sideshow alley.

The Yellow Brick Road is back along with Celebrity Baking Challenge (can we get Matt to enter with his magnificent muffins?), Black String Puppet Theatre, Chainsaw Sculpting, The Sandman, Holden vs Ford V8’s Challenge, The First Nations Broadasting Mascot Race, Australian Light Horse and a whole lot more.


Territory FM will be there broadcasting live from our usual corner spot on Friday and Saturday with loads of merch and we will have mountains of family passes to win in the lead up to the Show weekend – and all you have to do to score one, is listen out through More Music Breakfast Show, The Classics or Drive for the cue to call.

Thanks to station sponsors the Royal Agricultural Society of the Northern Territory.

Co Sponsors Territory Proud will be hanging out with us helping sort fairy floss and show bags!

The Show runs from Thursday the 25th to Saturday 27th of July did and we mention live performances, music talent quests, 1000’s of exhibits and the 3-day event culminating in a fantastic fireworks finale.

Free parking is available at the showgrounds and the NT government will be providing free Darwin Show bus services on Friday and Saturday.

Entry tickets are available online now at www.darwinshow.com.au – remember, when you pre-purchase your tickets, it’s faster and easier to get in.

We’re counting the sleeps!!!



Free seniors’ morning tea from 10am on Thursday at the CWA area – start the day right.

The Yellow Brick Road Adventure is an interactive family favourite at the Royal Darwin Show! This year’s adventure map will again take children and their families on a fun, rewarding and educational journey around the show, in search of participating stalls and exciting giveaways, as they explore and visit the Show.

Black String Puppet Theatre: Australia’s only real life ‘original European’ Black String Puppet Theatre is coming to the Royal Darwin Show. Don’t miss their fun and entertaining performances over the three days of the Show! Puppets are hand carved out of Tasmanian Huon Pine trees and an incredible 1 metre tall! They are showcased in a specially made 6 metre enclosed stage which is fully equipped with modern theatre lighting, sound and special effects.

Celebrity Baking Challenge: On Friday at 11am you won’t want to miss the fun and taste of the popular Celebrity Baking Challenge with Charlie King as MC. This competition is held in the Reception Pavilion next to the Members Enclosure – as is tradition, once the 2024 winner is awarded, the cakes are cut up and shared with the audience. The 2024 Celebrity Baking Challenge is proudly sponsored by Charles Darwin University.

Live at the Bandstand: Don’t miss a top line up of live music and performances for all ages, from 10am to 9.45pm on Friday and Saturday, including a performance you won’t forget from special guest delta blues slide guitarist Bob Log III from Arizona, in his full body cannon ball man suit and face-shield microphone on Saturday evening. Enjoy a diverse program with local artists such as Gravy Train, Charlie and the Black Pepper Band, Four Bars In, The Corbs, Tang, Emma Rowe Band and many more including emerging new Territory talent, Abbey Rapkins.

From magicians, acrobats, dancers, performing artists, big band, country to rock, you’ll be spoilt for choice. This year again some of our most talented NT musos will perform at the Show for the chance to participate in the Passport to Airlie competition in front of a national audience, or in the Royal Darwin Show Country Music Talent Quest for the unique opportunity to win a national scholarship to CMAA Academy of Country music in Tamworth and learn from the best.

Chainsaw sculptor: You’ll be amazed by the master skills and speed of Rob Bast. Rob is a full-time sculptor who works mainly with wood and steel but has also carved ice and stone. Rob won 1st place at the Australian Chainsaw Carving Championships and placed at some of the biggest chainsaw carving competitions in the world. Rob will be creating beautiful wood sculptures at the Darwin Show over the three days. Don’t miss the opportunity to bid on one of his masterpieces at the auction on Friday afternoon.

The Sandman: World Champion Dennis Massoud, the Grandmaster of Sand will again bring to life amazing and unique creations each day which are sure to delight both children and parents. The master sand sculptor has more than a few tricks up his sleeve and has promised yet another spectacular and exciting creation. Don’t miss his fire breathing dragon, plus there’ll be free workshops so make sure the kids stop by and learn from one of the best in the world.

Holden Vs Ford V8s Challenge: The high-tech Trackskills performance utes are back and will get your adrenaline pumping as Holden and Ford V8s compete for superiority in the main arena with speedway-style figure 8 races that puts Holden and Ford head-to-head! This year ‘the best of the best’ Gary Baxter (Holden – SA National V8 Ute racer and motorsport champion) will face off against Steven Ling (leading NT Sprint Car driver and Hidden Valley Ford Manager).

The First Nations Broadcasting Mascot Race: New to the Royal Darwin Show, the whole family will be in stitches as our favourite lovable local mascots go head-to-head to compete on the Show’s main arena, to be the first to reach the finish line. Watch and cheer on a lanky giraffe, a porky pig and a fish out of water just to name a few, as they navigate hurdles and each other, over the course in full-body costumes. It’s a fun opportunity to promote your local club or organisation, with great prizes to be won for first, second and third.

Horticultural Hall: View a wide range of Territory grown produce and plants on display in Horticultural Hall. There are heaps of exhibits from Giant Pumpkins and Tomatoes to stunning orchids, beautiful bromeliads, bonsais, miniature gardens, floral art, scarecrows, and recycled garden decorations. You’ll find fun and interesting information about native bees and gardening tips to encourage whole family participation. Kiddies can also learn the joy of gardening with little diggers this year and plant a seed to take and grow at home.

Australian Light Horse: Mick Batchelor’s Light Horse Display brings an important part of Australian History to the Show. He will be set up near the Main Area and will include a vast array of military memorabilia including flags, banners, old photos and poetry, as well as songs from that era.

Come and meet, pat, and get photos with Mick’s donkeys, mule and his two riding horses and his mascot camp dog, and check out the WWI bell tent housing an impressive display of Light Horse equipment, including carrier pigeons.

Arts/Crafts/Cookery: This year’s nominated fruit is ‘banana’ and you’ll find a high number of entries across most categories coming far and wide to compete for a Royal award. There are numerous entries for home brews and diverse categories likes in the ‘men only’ baking. You’ll see many varieties of delicious and creative home-made entries such as ginger beer, liqueurs, cakes and biscuits.

View the diverse range of creative arts and crafts entries from lacework, quilting, Lego masterpieces, woodwork to pottery, ceramics and graffiti art on display in Rotary Hall, plus the Territory Homemade Fishing Lure category. Don’t miss the highly contested schools’ entries and the junior art categories.

Spear Throwing/Fire Lighting: The traditional Spear throwing, and Fire lighting competitions are held on Saturday afternoon with MC Charlie King. This popular event has been supported by the Larrakia Lee family for many years and showcases traditional Aboriginal culture and skills with the throwing of hand-made spears, which can go as far as 35 metres. The spear throwing is on at 3pm on Saturday in the main arena, followed by the Traditional Fire lighting competition. There are great prizes to be won and you can still register by contacting 0408 821 912.

Animals Galore: The small livestock exhibits which primarily include chickens, turkeys, ducks and goats are back in the Joe Yates Pavilion. Poultry is one of the original show categories from 1951 with hundreds of entries each year. Find out about the amazing and diverse breeds of turkeys, chickens, ducks and geese, and imported breeds which are often the result of years of selective breeding. Different breeds and baby chickens will again be available for sale. The Junior Police Rangers, and everyone’s favourite Lily the goat will be there, with inquisitive baby goats and Damara sheep and hatchling chicks and more friendly furry and feathered friends for the kiddies to pat.

The dog event and Championship Dog Show and Trials are always a big draw card. Held later in the afternoon, the Royal Darwin Show will again have representation from around the nation, where junior and adult handlers compete on the same level. There’s the adorable baby puppies (3-6mths) category and you won’t want to miss the exciting agility and obedience competitions and the challenging Rally O orienteering course with dog and handler.

The Cat Association of the NT will again be showcasing an interesting array of breeds of cats in the Cat Pavilion, including this year Ragdolls, Maine Coons, popular British Short-Hairs, Russian Blues and Burmese. Domestic and companion cats will also be on display and in partnership with local rescue centres, each day there will be cats ready for adoption at the Show.

Equestrian: The Royal Show is one of the most prestigious events on the equestrian calendar and it is one of the biggest Sections at the show, with competitors from interstate as well as intrastate. There are hundreds of individual classes across diverse categories for various disciplines and breeds, from miniature ponies and Arabians to Welshes and Warmbloods. The category for fancy dress is on again and calls for all horses and riders to show off their creativity. There are plenty of traditional events to enjoy such as dressage, show jumping and pony club competitions for all ages, as well as the skills and action of the NT and Victorian Polocrosse mixed teams on the main arena, as they compete on Friday and Saturday.

Territory Cattle on Show: The cattle yards at the Royal Darwin Show will again showcase some of the best stud cattle that the Territory has to offer, all vying for the Supreme Champion trophy. With an estimated 50 head of stud Brahman cattle coming up from past winners Taminmin College and CDU’s Agricultural College Katherine, you can expect strong competition. All cattle will be weighed on Wednesday.

Don’t miss Thursday’s educational junior cattle judging clinic with entrants learning about what to look for in cattle from an interstate judge. Presentation of trophies will be held on Saturday along with the traditional NTCA BBQ and the opportunity to network with producers and industry leaders.

Agriculture Matters: Rabobank has teamed up with the NT Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade and Northern Hub, NT Farmers Association, NT Cattlemen’s Association and Young Livestock Exporters Network to provide an agricultural program of shared knowledge, insights and learnings, and support the local ag sector and charity partner the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Visitors can check out the RFDS flight simulation, learn how food is grown, watch demonstrations, participate in exciting competitions, and fully engage their senses to understand the journey from paddock to plate. Discover the critical role agriculture plays in our lives, and why ‘no farmers, no food, no future’.

Photography: Don’t forget to visit Photography Hall where a large and varied array of photos are on display and pick up some tips from the experts. The competition categories include monochrome, people, nature, photojournalism, landscapes and experimental fine art.

Darwin Council Fireworks Grand Finale: Watch as the sky lights up in the main arena with the spectacular Saturday night finale fireworks in sequence to music starting at 9.00 pm.

Cover Image courtesy Airnorth | Newsltd

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