Oktoberfest Brisbane sees part of the Brisbane Showgrounds transformed into a Bavarian village for a celebration that has been voted as one of the world's top ten Oktoberfests outside of Germany - and it's the next best thing to taking a flight to Germany.
For two weekends in October, happy crowds aged from 0 to 100, many of them in Tyrolean hats, Lederhosen and Dirndl, descend on the gates at opening time only to leave twelve hours of chicken dances, leg slapping, Bratwurst and pork knuckle gnawing, yodelling and cow bell ringing later.
For once ensconced in the Oktoberfest Tent, with traditional Bavarian Oompah band 'Münchner Buam' rolling out the barrel, yodeller 'Heidi' doing her stuff and the Alpenrosen Dance Group (from Brisbane) in full swing, it's easy to forget what time it is or that you're in Brisbane at all.
For those who take their Oktoberfest seriously, there's the chance for Fräuleins to be crowned Miss Oktoberfest Brisbane, strapping Herren to win the Bavarian Strongman Competition and the bearded to take out the Beardmeister title.
This year, you can kick off Oktoberfest on Saturday mornings with a hearty traditional Bavarian Breakfast* (2 plump, white meat & herb sausages with freshly-baked pretzel, sweet mustard and a wheat beer), just like a true German local.
During the day take a wander through the market food stalls to feast on some delicious Bratwurst, Pork Knuckle (Schweinshaxe) and sauerkraut, pretzels (giant and small), strudel, jam-filled donuts, gingerbread hearts and Black Forest cake (Schwarzwälder Kirsch Torte) and look out for the roaming street performers.
Inside the giant main marquee, join in the lively all-day-and-evening-long festivities with chicken dancing, ommpah band, yodelling and singing German traditional songs with a stein of beer in hand.
And, for some time out, head outside to the happening Biergarten, which features genuine Munich Oktoberfest wooden benches and tables under the Moreton Bay fig trees.
Lager (Helles) and wheat beer (Weissbier) is exclusively crafted by the 345 year old Tucher Brau (Brewery) in Northern Bavaria and flown in for the occasion, while the German-style Dark Beer (Dunkelbier) is handcrafted by Burleigh Brewing Co.
All beers are crafted in accordance with the 502-year-old Bavarian Purity Law (Das Reinheitsgebot), which states that beer must be made from four ingredients. And for wine drinkers, there's a variety of red, white and sparkling German wines to enjoy.
The non-stop program of entertainment includes live bands, fun competitions and dancing, dirndl and lederhosen fashion parades, a German choir, the Kasperltheater Puppet Show (based on a famous German character, dating back to the 17th century), and rides for all ages.
Oktoberfest is also a great place to release your inner child, with amusement rides throughout (free for all on Friday nights and free for kids on Sundays!) including 360 Dance Party, Flashdance (for adults & older kids), dodgems, jumping castle and a giant slide.
On Sundays, Oktoberfest is a family-friendly affair, with the Kinder Zone offering educational and fun activities such as: Learn German, Animal Planet's Snake Boss Reptile Show, baby animal petting zoo, Flying Fox Studios creative arts studio and Kindermusik. And new for this year - FREE RIDES for all minors all day both Sundays!
Nice to know - Parking is available at Brisbane Showgrounds for $13 per day. Entry via Gregory Tce.
Oct 5-7, 12-14
Fri 4pm-midnight, Sat 11am-midnight, Sun 11am-8pm (Family Day)
Entry stops 1 hr before close
Online A$22-$32 At Door $25-$35 CU18 Free
*Bavarian Breakfast is served in the Bayrische Ecke (Bavarian Corner) on Saturdays between 11am & 1pm for A$25 and C$13, available as an add-on to a Saturday ticket purchase or at the Festival on the day.
Oktoberfest Brisbane is a valued partner of Must Do Brisbane.com