Brisbane's future & new infrastructure, Inner Brisbane events

Ekka still strong

The 131st Royal Queensland Show (the “Ekka”) wraps up this weekend and as one of inner Brisbane’s largest land holders we took a look beyond the Dagwood Dogs and cake cooking competitions…

The RNA Showgrounds covers some 22 hectares (5 ½ acres) in Bowen Hills and the site’s been home to the Ekka since 1876. That first show attracted 17,000 people, an incredible effort given Brisbane’s population at the time was just 22,000! They’ve missed just two Ekka’s since, in 1919 due to an outbreak of Spanish Influenza (this year’s city-wide sniffles is nothing to sneeze at by comparison) and 1942 when the army occupied the land.

The old Queensland Museum was once part of the RNA, handed over to the government in 1899 to settle some debts. The Association’s in pretty good financial shape now, utilising its venues for much more than just the Ekka by hosting over 500,000 people at 237 different events throughout last year. And the future for this mammoth city landholding? The RNA has a masterplanning process underway that might see other uses on parts of the land.