Australia’s largest community festival returns over the long weekend on 9-12 March. Of course you’ll watch the famous Moomba Parade, but what other fun should be high on your list? Here are our tips for a wonderful weekend with family or friends.
There are scary rides for big kids and kids at heart, but the Moomba Carnival also has a zone just for juniors. Little Land in the Alexandra Gardens has rides perfect for the youngest Moomba visitors, and more fairy floss than they can handle.
This space is slightly removed from Moomba’s major excitement, so is ideal for the family to chill out for a while. It’s far from boring, however, with delightful diversions such as yoga classes for kids and Woody’s Ukulele School. There’s music, magic, puppetry, circus, acrobatics and a festival essential, face painting!
If your kids like skating, scooting or BMX trick riding, visiting the Riverslide Skate Park is a must. Saturday’s Australian Skateboard League national finals features skaters as young as seven. There are more thrills on Sunday with the Pro-Scooter Competition and the Pro-BMX Jam on Monday. Plus free Learn2ride clinics with skating, scooting and BMX experts Saturday-Monday.
Summer may be over, but there’s still time for an outdoor movie or two! Every night during the festival at 6.30pm, Moomba’s big screen lights up with a Disney family favourite.
- Friday: Wonder at Marvel superhero Ant Man
- Saturday: Be enchanted by Beauty and the Beast
- Sunday: Go on a Pacific island adventure with Moana
- Monday: Get reacquainted with Pixar’s The Incredibles before June’s sequel.
Did you know that every Moomba Parade features floats designed by children during the previous year’s festival? Let your kids’ imaginations run wild at the Design Pavilion, 11am-7pm Saturday-Monday.
Friday Ride Pass
Moomba’s opening night offers amazing value for anyone who likes carnival rides. The $37 Friday Ride Pass is your golden ticket to hours of unlimited excitement, including on The Beast. The festival’s scariest of scary rides travels up to 120kph and swings 38 metres! Going as a group? Upgrade to a four-pass pack and save.
New to Moomba, the Palm Lawn’s Dance Zone hosts a lively series of cultural dance workshops and performances. Whether you have two left feet or can two-step with the best, let yourself go and learn a new dance style. There are Latin moves from rumba to merengue. Dance-sport elegance including the foxtrot and tango. From Bollywood to African, Indigenous to hip-hop, there’s something for everyone.
Day and night throughout the festival, Moomba comes alive with free music at the Star Lawn stage. From festival openers Super Mande Percussion to Monday night’s final chord by bluegrass boys the Davidson Brothers, it’s live and local. Roll up and rock!
Invention and silliness join hands and try to fly at perennial Moomba favourite, the Birdman Rally. Daring participants don costumes and contraptions to help them soar across the Yarra River. Will they fly or flop? No matter, it’s all in the name of charity and a truly ridiculous Sunday afternoon.
Moomba Masters Championship
Watch waterskiers and wakeboarders from 16 countries gather on the Yarra for the spectacular Moomba Masters Championship. Girls, boys, men and women compete in slalom, jump and trick categories, with heats on Wednesday to Sunday before Monday’s finals. Don’t miss the twilight night jumps!
All this and more, including riverside fireworks nightly at 9.30pm. Visit the Moomba Festival website for details.
Want to learn more about Moomba? Check out our Melbourne Magazine cover story.