Spirit of the Australian Outback
The Australian Outback is the kind of place to go when you want to experience a totally different realm from New Zealand. Outback tours from Sydney are often a complete eye-opener. Such as when visiting the Eugowra show …
There’s nothing that encompasses the spirit of the Australian Outback more than a rural Australian show. These iconic events, which are held in every town and village in rural Australia are a must for anyone who wants to discover what real Aussie life is like in the Outback.
On the weekend I spent the day at the 100th anniversary Eugowra Show. Eugowra is a village of about 700 people in central west NSW closest to the farmstay on which Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures stays on tours. The people there are typical of Outback folk with their welcoming and inclusive nature.
Agricultural shows are an opportunity for producers to show off the fruits of their labour on their farms, exhibiting their best sheep, cattle and horses, grains and wool, fruit and vegetables. But as well they allow people display their cookery and craft skills, to see the latest in machinery and agricultural equipment, to see antiques collected by others. And most of all it lets the locals get together and have a good catch up with a party atmosphere.
For me the best part of a show is the competition entries. Everything from zucchinis to flowers, grains to patchwork quilts and jams to fruit cakes are in the main pavilion to be admired. The entries have been judged and the best are honoured with certificates (and cash prizes).
Of course outside the static exhibition there are the animal competitions. Cattle, Sheep, Horses and all types of poultry are judged on their breeding and appearance. Sometimes there are pigs, alpacas and other exotic species. There are also many different types of competitions which rate the skills of animals. One of my favourites is the sheep dog trials where the dogs show their prowess at herding sheep. There are lots of horse riding and show jumping events and the Eugowra show had a competition called log snigging for draught horses where they pulled logs through a tight zig-zagged course without touching the sides.
One event loved by locals is the Miss Showgirl competition. Local teenage girls are judged on their rural knowledge, deportment and ability to represent the local region.
But the best part of the show when you are growing up are the side shows. A show just wouldn’t be the same without a few rides to churn the stomachs of the youngsters and a food items which I’ve only ever seen at shows (a dagwood dog is a sausage in batter, not to be missed) .
The atmosphere at a show in Australia is one of elation and excitement and it’s often the one time of the year when a far flung community from the Outback can get together . No wonder everyone loves a show!