Frugal Foo

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Moomba Festival

Moomba 2012

Where to go to see the Melbourne Moomba parade, rides and best value car parking.

The Melbourne Moomba Festival is a long standing traditional cheap day of fun for Melburnians to round out the last of the warm weather before Autumn takes hold. Admission and events are free of charge but bring your wallet if you want to eat, drink or ride.

The Yarra River is the arena for various free events. Bring a picnic and plant yourself on the grassy river bank for the water skiing.

The zany Birdman Rally held Sunday 11th March 12pm, is where competitors attempt to launch themselves from an elevated platform into a glide through thin air above the river. All manner of home crafted flying contraptions made from such aeronautical materials as crepe paper and paddle-pop sticks, which have been constructed by enthusiasts quite possibly after watching too much Playschool on the ABC, are piloted by fearless jumpers. On occasion someone with Wright brother inspiration emerges with something that resembles crude aerodynamics. However none of the wannabe pilots escapes the laws of gravity for more than a moment.  In turn, each flying machine hits the murky water, instantly blending with the contents of the Yarra river below to form a mash of mud sodden paper mache, slurpy straws and Starbucks coffee cups.

The festival spans the Labour day long weekend and this year starts on Friday 9th March, until Monday 12th March. Much of the activity is located south of the Yarra River in the Alexandra Gardens, but the venue straddles both sides of the river with some rides and activities at Birrarung Marr.  See the clickable markers  in the map at the end of this post.

Moomba Parade

The Moomba parade is at a new location this year.  It runs up St Kilda Rd, beginning near the Shrine and ending near the festival carnival area.  The parade takes place at 11am on Monday 12th March. Claim your patch of the foot path early for the best vantage point.  See the red shaded area on the map at the end of this post.  The map is clickable for labels of the parade, parking and rides locations.


Fireworks are at 9:30pm on Sat, Sun and Mon nights of the Moomba Festival. After dark, find somewhere on either the north or south banks of the river, clear of trees, to see the fireworks.


Carnival rides are ticketed at individually operated booths. Last year the cost of rides started at $5 for children's rides and $10 for adults.  There are rides situated on both sides of the river.

Car Parking

Parking in town on weekends can be relatively cheap compared with parking in the same car parks during the week. On the map below I have marked two convenient car parks (click "P" on the map to see labels) where you will pay only $9 at Riverside Quay, or $8 at Eureka (which is the closest to Moomba) for the day on Saturday, Sunday and the Public holiday.  These car parks also have weekend (Sat / Sun) specials for only $5.50 if you book through book-a-bay.

Moomba Location Map

Click on symbols to see labels.

View Moomba Festival in a larger map  

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Rathnashikamani said...

Wonderful information about Moomba.
I liked the way you've presented it here.
'Moomba' sounds very strange to me.

The word might be having some special meaning.

I searched the net and found that this word is not a recent coinage but has a long history.

17 July 2011 at 10:51

Unknown said...

There is some urban mythology about the word "Moomba". It is supposed to be Aboriginal for "Let's get together and have fun". Other sources regard it as a prank translation which actually means "up your bottom". Sorry to be crude but it must be true since I read here in Wikipedia.

19 July 2011 at 18:06

Unknown said...

This post has been updated for Moomba 2012.

12 February 2012 at 23:17

Anonymous said...

You can ride into the city via bike if driving/public-transporting seems too costly.

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