Events & Entertainment
Enjoy the Plateau's Finest
Traditional country shows are rare these days, so be sure to take the kids to the Dorrigo & Guy Fawkes Agricultural Show. Its quality exhibits, delicious food stalls, and old-world charm make it a great day out for the whole family. Come for the whole three days!
There will be displays of Poultry, Home Brew, Fine Art, Show Jumping, Motor Bikes, and much, much more! The fairground rides and many food stalls are open throughout the Show. Here’s a guide to help you find your favourite exhibits and events at this year’s Dorrigo Show.
The Show kicks off at 2pm on Friday with the Junior Beef sections. Last year, the Show highlighted the Beef Industry, and the competition attracted farmers from across the region. Even more have entered this year, with 15 different Beef breeds on display. See the Dairy and Commercial Beef sections on Saturday and Sunday. The Dorrigo Plateau has long been famous for its dairies, so it’s no wonder the Jersey and Holstein Friesian exhibits are always stunning
Don’t miss the thrills, spills, and bucking bulls at the Ray White Rural Rodeo on Friday night, 7pm! Competitors will face up to 30 bulls from Matthew Doak Bucking Bulls, Bundarra. These will include 10 to 15 “mini” bulls for the under-16 years events. Mr Doak’s “mini” bulls are bred to meet the height limitations required for junior riders. Rodeo classes will include Open and Novice bull rides, 14-to-under 18 steer ride, 8-to-under 11 poddy ride, 8-to-under-11 mini bull ride, and 11-to-under 14 mini bull ride. There are some generous cash prizes to be won! Contact Matthew Doak on 0428 237 343 for more information about fees and how to register. Tickets to see the Rodeo are included in the price for the Show.
The Dorrigo Show’s Woodchop Competition is a must-see. In pioneering days, the Plateau was famous for its cedar and rosewood logging, and the tradition continues. Dressed in team colours, the axemen will make the chips fly! See them compete from 10am on Saturday morning.
On Saturday morning, admire the Thoroughbreds, Guy Fawkes Heritage, and Arabs in Ring 1, Brumbies, Stock, and Quarter Horses in Ring 2, and Ponies and Miniature Ponies in Ring 3.
Kids can join in a Treasure Hunt, and everyone can have a go at guessing the weight of the Fat Bullock: $100 prize money for the correct answer. Don’t forget to snare a ticket for the Raffle.
Get yourself a ringside seat at 2pm Saturday to see the Grand Parade and Official Opening. Then watch the kelpies and cattle dogs flaunt their skills herding sheep and steers at the Bush Dog Trials. Around 4pm, there’s a Whip-cracking Competition for the kids, while adults can join in the Farmers’ Challenge. Form a team of four and test your abilities at tyre flipping, wheelbarrow racing, spud spelling, gumboot tossing, and other essential farming skills!
On Saturday afternoon and Sunday, horse riders will be competing in Heritage Horse Challenge, and Australian Stock Horse Challenge. Family favourites are the Harness and Novelty events. A full program of Showjumping events run across both days. There will also be a good line-up of industry-related trade stands so you can check out the latest equipment and best deals.
Popular local band, The Refreshments will be entertaining the crowds throughout Saturday evening from 4pm. Everyone is sure to love the fireworks display at 8.15pm Saturday.
On Sunday morning, musicians from across the region will join forces in a Brass Band. The Dorrigo Public School Concert Choirs will sing some childhood favourites. Enjoy morning tea at the Luncheon Pavilion and hear the musicians from 10.30am.
Late morning, the Ute Show sections include Best Vintage Ute, and Best Ute ‘Gone Wild’ (you’ll be amazed it still goes). There’s also Best Parade Ute and Best Ute ‘n’ Dog (usually the dog determines the winner). The Motor Bike time trial makes a noisy finish to the weekend!
Every year the Main Pavilion is filled with local produce, artwork, and handicrafts, with displays of flowers, jams, cakes, needlework, cheese, and much more. The Dorrigo Plateau is renowned for its visual artists, and paintings fill up two walls of the Pavilion (artworks are for sale). The Pavilion is open both Saturday and Sunday.
What to Eat and Where to Stay
For foodies, there are plenty of food stalls to sample over the weekend, including a bar area during the Rodeo. Marie’s Place (Fernbrook Road Gate) opens at 5pm on Friday night. On Saturday and Sunday, the Luncheon Pavilion serves traditional Ploughman’s Lunches and Devonshire Teas.
If you're looking for a place to stay for the weekend, you could book into one of the 21 B&Bs across the Plateau. There's also the Heritage Hotel Motel Dorrigo, and the Lookout Mountain Retreat. Camping is available at the Showgrounds, while the Dorrigo Mountain Resort Caravan Park is only a short drive away.
The Fine Print
Signing up as a member is the cheapest way to see the Show. Members can visit as many times as they like over the three days. The best deal is the family package of $50 for a group of six (two adults, four children). Other membership entry rates are: one adult $25, aged pensioner $10, and student $10. Pay your membership fee by 30 September, and you may be eligible for an Early Bird Discount.
Become a member before the Show starts: download a membership form here. If you prefer, you can pay your day entry at the gates (family $50, adults $15 per visit). Credit card facilities are available at all three gates.