From the land of Crocodile Dundee, Road Warrior and Vegemite is also the home to one of the greatest cattle shows outside of North America. While Australia may be world famous for producing UGG boots, AC/DC and the dual flush toilet it is their annual International Dairy Week that will have Showcationer’s from around the world flocking to Southern Australia in the middle of their hot season.
Melbourne is served by Tullamarine Airport, it is situated to the northwest of the city and is the main international and domestic hub. It takes about 22+ hours to reach Melbourne from North America and about 24+ hours from most European cities.
While the sites around Melbourne are easily all reached on foot, you will need to have a rental car to make it out to the Show location that is held in Shepparton, which is about 2+ hours north of Melbourne. Side note: If you are channeling your inner Mad Max you can make that drive in 1 hr. 15 minutes when you are late for your flight, but the speeding ticket from the aerial surveillance will significantly increase the cost of your trip, trust me I speak from experience.
Sights to See
While in Melbourne be sure to check out
- Flinders Street Railway Station
Arguably the defining landmark of Melbourne, a nice, colonial-era railway station at the junction of Flinders Street and Swanston Street. The main entrance is known for several clocks hanging over it and is a favorite meeting spot for locals. “Meet you under the clocks at Flinders Street station” is in the DNA of every Melburnian.
An entire new precinct filled with shops, bars, restaurants and things to do for all the family as well as a large sports stadium with a waterside setting. Boat trips touring Melbourne’s rivers and Port Philip Bay leave from here.
- Eureka Tower
Tallest residential building in the southern hemisphere, panoramic views of the whole of Melbourne.
- The Australian Open
First held in 1905, the tournament is chronologically the first of the four Grand Slam tennis events of the year. The Australian Open typically has high attendance, second only to the US Open. It was also the first Grand Slam tournament to feature indoor play during wet weather or extreme heat with its three main
- On the way to Shepparton be sure to check out the following herds – Bluechip Genetics, Coomboona, Cairnhill, Leslie farms, Darren Crawford, Paringa & Brunchilli. If you are planning on doing some extended touring, you may also want to check out the likes of Elmar Holsteins and Riverside Jerseys (Read more: RIVERSIDE JERSEYS: TRAVELLING HEARTS – A GIRL, A GUY AND THEIR JERSEY LOVE STORY)
- International Dairy Week
Of all the shows that I have been to around the world IDW has to be the most similar to that of North America. With many of its winners being able to to compete at the Regional/State level in North America and even a few that could compete at shows like The Royal or World Dairy Expo. The show may not be vast in its size, but its unique atmosphere with the booths surrounding the ring make it a great experience. (Read more: IDW 2016 HOLSTEIN SHOW) The passion among the exhibitors would be 2nd to none in the world. With the likes of Bluechip Genetics running a show crew that would make those in North America envious, contributing to them being premier breeder and exhibitor six of the last seven years. Pretty impressive for a program that only started in 2006. (Read more: DEAN AND DIANNA MALCOLM: FORWARD IN FIVE GEARS! THAT’S AUSSIE D.I.Y. and DEAN AND DIANNA MALCOLM: GOBSMACKED IN AUSTRALIA – LANDING RIGHT SIDE UP DOWN UNDER!)
- New Zealand – While half way around the world, make sure to stop in New Zealand just after IDW for their national show and see operations that will be certainly eye-opening for breeders as to how grazing operations operate.
What to eat
For the culinary traveler, Melbourne, and the surrounding region is one of the best destinations in the world. There is an abundance of affordable, high-quality restaurants representing almost every cuisine. Eating out is cheaper than in Western Europe but not as affordable as North America. The service in Australian restaurants may be more discreet than many North Americans may be used to. Although service staff in Australia are paid considerably more than their North American counterparts and tipping is not compulsory, a tip for good service is always welcomed. “Australian cuisine” is a nebulous concept that may include traditional native foodstuffs and more modern cafe infusions of international influences. Items such emu or kangaroo meat are unusual and are most likely to be found only at the high-end fine dining restaurants as a specialty item. You can, however, find great kangaroo steaks at the Napier Hotel (Napier St, Fitzroy) for around $30, or at the Edinburgh Castle pub on Sydney Rd, Brunswick for around $26. Melbourne nightlife is 24 hours; loud, colorful and anything goes. Door policies can be strict, but once inside high-quality entertainment is guaranteed. DJ’s, live music, artists, beautiful people and so much more can be found. There truly is something for everyone and every taste. It has a massive live music scene, with many inner-suburbs pubs catering many genres, with drink and food specials all week. The key is to find one you like the most!
Where to stay
Hotel spaces in Shepparton are limited so be sure to book as early as popular. Many repeat visitors enjoy staying at Quality Inn Parklake Hotel, but space fills up very fast. Other places to consider the BEST WESTERN Wyndhamere Motel, Paradise Lakes Motel, and the Country Home Motor Inn.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
When it comes to a great showcation® to see part of the world that is very different from that of North America or Europe, Australia’s IDW is certainly a showcation® that many dream of. It has become a very popular destination for young North America breeders to travel to and learn about dairying in other parts of the world. (Read more: DAIRY YOUTH WILL GO FAR: EXCHANGE IS GOOD!) The cattle at IDW would be probably the best outside North America found anywhere in the world, and their slang takes some getting used to (Read more: DAIRY SLANG: 22 PHRASES THAT MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS TO DAIRY BREEDERS). A showcation® to IDW is certainly one of the greatest experiences any breeder could imagine.