We want everyone to enjoy South Australia's largest event, however with so much to see and do, as well as large crowds, this may not be possible for everyone, particularly those Show-goers that have additional needs, or have a cognitive disability such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. We hope the below information assists you in planning your day, and making the Royal Adelaide Show a great experience for all who attend.
Location: Between Farm Expo and The Learning Centre (C10).
Times:11am to 6pm daily
Show-goers in need of some quiet time and relief from sensory stimulation can access our new Quiet Zone located between Farm Expo and The Learning Centre (C10). This space is designed as a retreat for families and individuals that may have special needs, with support staff from Autism SA on-hand to assist.
Plan Your Day
Every day of the Show we produce a Daily Highlights schedule which you can use to either make your way to see that event, or use this as a guide to avoid that area! You can also use the MyShow feature on our website to help you produce a schedule of places you want to visit during the Show.
Whilst everyone is welcome every day of the Show, if you prefer less people, the quieter days of the Show are likely to be:
Monday 2 September
Tuesday 3 September
Wednesday 4 September
Thursday 5 September
The Show is a fun place to be with a hive of activity, however we understand that some families supporting people with a disability, may have to plan their day more carefully to ensure there are some quiet time and space to relax.
We encourage Carers to bring their own noise cancellation headphones, ear plugs or devices to help people who are unable to cope with the noise generated at busy places and amusement rides.
Traditionally the Southern End of the Showground, particularly the Livestock areas tend to be quieter than the carnival and entertainment precincts.
If you would like to watch the Main Arena Entertainment, the grass hill on the southern end generally has less people compared to the grandstands. The NightShift program does feature a large amount of noise and excitement which may not be suitable for all Show-goers. The daytime program, consisting primarily of the Horses-In-Action competition is generally more peaceful and there is often ample seating in the grandstand available. Please refer to the entertainment timetable for performance times.
Pre-purchasing tickets not only provides a saving in costs, it also allows you to enter the Show with less queuing. Tickets are available from IGA and Foodland Stores, as well as theshow.com.au and ticketek.
Best Entry Point
Traditionally the quieter entrance, entering through Leader Street places you at the Southern End of the Showground - which is generally the quieter end. It also provides the opportunity to acclimatise as you head further North, towards the Carnival and Entertainment precincts.
If you are entering from the North, the Windmill Gate (Goodwood Road) and Railway are generally quieter, however these levels fluctuate depending on public transport timetables.
Best time to Attend
Mornings at the Show are generally quieter compared to the lunchtime-afternoon period. If you do attend on a weekend, we would advise getting here upon opening to maximise your time at the Show before the crowds arrive. We would suggest arriving slightly after 9am to allow the queues at the entry gates to dissipate.
The Showbag Hall can get quite busy, particularly in the evenings as everyone starts to head home. We suggest heading there first once the pavilion has opened.
Goyder Pavilion has a number of horticultural displays, as well as Art and Photography displays. There are a number of locations to sit down and relax, however around the Goyder Stage performances things can get quite busy. During Mid-Show Entertainment, the pavilion can be very busy and noisy with the excited Show-goers waiting to see their favourite TV Characters.
Jubilee Pavilion is a very popular shopping destination that is often busy, we would also suggest doing this early in the day.
Vili's Dog Pavilion is often very popular, particularly during the lunchtime entertainment and Agility and Jumping competitions. If you would like to watch the Dog Competition, the Northern Grandstands are usually less crowded, with a bit more space to spread out too. The Dog Benching Area can be very busy for most of the day so would suggest avoiding this Pavilion.
Pet Centre is also a popular pavilion, however early in the morning would be the best time to visit our furry friends.
Live Stock Areas are generally quieter compared to the main pavilions, these pavilions can still be hives of activity, particularly around judging when stock is moving about.
The Atrium, being an undercover and fairly enclosed area can get very loud, if you're looking for an undercover area to sit and relax, there are seating areas in the Kids Corner, as well as the Public Grandstands, depending on the time of day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a Sensory Friendly Session?
Unfortunately due to safety requirements, we are unable to have a Sensory Friendly Session at this year's Show. We advise to get here earlier in the morning as these tend to be the quieter times, as well as visiting on a weekday to avoid the popular weekend days.
Where can we go if a family member becomes over-stimulated or just needs a break?
We have a Quiet Zone, located between Farm Expo and the Learning centre. This space is designed as a retreat for families and individuals that may have special needs, with support staff from Autism SA on-hand to assist.
This area is not exclusive to those with special needs or cognitive disorders and is available to anyone who may need to take a moment to calm down.
How can we avoid Queues?
As South Australia's largest event, there are often times where you might have to queue. We suggest visiting the Show during our quieter days, and earlier in the mornings to try and minimise those waits. We also suggest purchasing Showbags early in the day, rather than waiting till the afternoon/evening.
Our food vendors are usually busiest around the lunchtime and dinner periods, so would advise purchasing food outside of these times to cut down on your wait time. As most items are prepared fresh, there may still be wait times once you have placed your order, however attending during off-peak times should help with your speed of service.
Entering the Show via Leader Street generally has shorter queues for security and bag check, we would also advise to pre-purchase your tickets so you can go straight to the entry rather than having to queue to purchase tickets.
What about Smells?
Some of our livestock pavilions can be quite strong in smell, we would suggest avoiding areas like the Pig Pavilion and Poultry, Pigeon and Egg pavilion.
Our Carnival and Entertainment precincts generally are quite low in smell, however there are a number of food vendors around which often have smells wafting through the areas.
The Goyder Pavilion features a number of horticulture displays which feature real flowers, these may also be an area to avoid if pollen is an issue.
Can we enjoy the Carnival Areas?
With the spinning and movement of the Carnival, this is one of our most popular areas. This area can also be quiet loud, with most rides playing music to accompany their ride.
If you're looking for a quieter area, Kiddies Kingdom, located near the Leader Street entrance has a number of smaller rides which generally have quieter music. Likewise the Kids Carnival is generally quieter in volume compared to the Main Carnival.
Visiting the carnival early in the morning should provide lower crowds and wait times.
We would suggest avoiding the evening as it becomes very busy, as well as the bright lights from the rides increasing the visual stimulation. The music is also generally more noticeable during the evenings.
Each individual carnival ride has set guidelines of usage that need to be adhered to at all times. Should these guidelines be met by the patrons, carnival operators are available to assist with access.
What is NightShift?
NightShift is our evening entertainment program on the Main Arena. This is very popular and the grandstands fill very early. There is lots of fun and excitement, but also lots of noise and movement. The evening concludes with the RAA Fireworks, which are very impressive but also very loud. If noise is a problem, we would strongly advise bringing noise cancelling headphones.
Depending on the weather, the southern hill can be a less crowded location to view NightShift from, as can the eastern stands.