Saturday, March 08, 2008

Roll Up, Roll Up For A Unique Festival

Melbourne's Moomba Celebrates Our Autumn


Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


With this week's Photo Hunt theme being "different", I had the perfect opportunity to show you something unique, so I shot these photographs late yesterday. This is Moomba weekend here in Melbourne - and I can assure you that Moomba is something unique. It is believed to be an Aboriginal word meaning "let's get together and have fun" although there is one alternative school of thought that says it means "bottom"!

Whatever, the bottom line is that it is a great big four-day carnival on the banks of the Yarra River. The Moomba water-skiing competition has not yet got under way, with Canadian maestro Jaret Llewellyn, an twenty-time winner of the Moomba Masters title, expected to be among the top contenders once again.

Moomba is always held on the first weekend in the Australian autumn, so while the rest of the world celebrates the arrival of spring, our days are starting to get shorter and the trees are taking on a beautiful palette of russet hues.


The bravest customers go for a ride (above) called The Slingshot - which produces G-forces similar to landing on an aircraft carrier (so I'm told). Let me just say that I am not a frequent patron. Am I a patron at all? Well, that is privileged information.


And on this ride (above) not only is there a height restriction, there is also a reminder that you need to remove all valuables before you climb aboard. No, there is no need to complete a will, but I'm not one to take chances.


Will I be going on this ride (above) which looks for all the world like a supersonic bumblebee? Er, no. Not negotiable.


The artwork here is very vibrant and I actually asked one of the construction crew if the artwork was ever changed or renewed. Yes, he told me with pride, in most cases the rides are newly painted each year. Obviously, there is no limit here.


Tickets must be purchased for all amusements, and this is one of the many booths that dot the area, to ensure that queues are always at a minimum. Didn't they have something like that in the Wild West - wasn't it called Booth Hill?


I shot this final image on my way out. As you can see, Moomba is on the south bank of the Yarra, with the central business district on the other side of the river. I lined up this shot very carefully to include the palm fronds and the high-rise office building several hundred metres away, in the city proper. The purpose of the neon sign? I guess it's to keep us on the straight and arrow!

43 comments:

Sniz said...

My favorite is the last shot. We have several similar amusement parks around here, but for most of them you buy a ticket to get in and then ride or do whatever you want.
It's so weird to think about it being fall there when I am dying for some sun and warmth. It won't stop snowing here. And I'm not even in an especially cold state.

Kathryn said...

Straight and arrow! HaHA!
I want to be there RIGHT NOW!!! It looks lovely.

Mima said...

You have got some really great photos there David, and the carnival sounds like great fun. I always wonder where the rides go the rest of the time!!

the mother of this lot said...

Oh, it's moomba in our house every day.

Well, this lot seem to think so.

jillie said...

Oh Moomba looks like it is right up my alley! I am all about getting together and having fun! I don't know about all of those rides though. If it spins me...the fun is just not there. But put me on a roller coaster and I am like a kid all over again.

Great pictures and enjoy the festivities ;o)

CrazyCath said...

I like the idea of getting together but those rides? No way! I am the original chicken. I like to keep my food in my stomach!

I love the photography again, especially the shot of the colourful and gawdy arrow with the contrast of the grey world behind, and nature's colours peeking in at the side. Pure masterpiece. Thanks again.

I reckon that what you are doing with your Post of the Day, connecting people as you do, is the internet equivalent of Moomba. And that's as in "getting together to have a good time" definition, not "bottom"!

Corey~living and loving said...

interesting take on the theme this week David. I love all the color, and your description of what it is like. Sounds interesting.
have a great weekend.

Dave Coulter said...

It looks like it will be a lot of fun!

Kimberly said...

Oh my, that looks like so much fun!

lime said...

oh that looks like so much fun. the colors are so bright and i do love the wild rides.

i have to laugh at the name 'moomba' either meaning suits me. it also reminds me of a funny incident from my childhood when i was exposed to 'boombas' and didn't know what they were...i may need to blog it . ;)

starnitesky said...

Moomba looks like lots of fun, I hope you enjoy it this year.

Janice Thomson said...

How interesting - I have not heard of the Moomba. It's always interesting hearing about another country's festivals. I'm with you on the rides - I've only been on one ever and came to the conclusion my stomach would much prefer other activities LOL.
A perfect entry for the 'different' theme.

joan said...

Sounds like it's a fun time. I like that last shot. Hope you have a nice weekend!

julie said...

Looks like a fun place to go to. W Straight and arrow, yup, just right :)

Katney said...

Oh, David, you are so punny!

Once again, I will have a different photo up by the time it is Saturday here--where, as always, I am a day late and a dollar short.

napaboaniya said...

David, I want to be there joining in all those fun!!! My kids will love the fun fair :P

The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

My favourite is the 'no limit' sign: vintage signage, that. I love amusement parks. I would be a patron, had I been there.

leslie said...

This is great - reminds me of the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) here in Vancouver. It's always the last 2 weeks of August which would sort of correspond to your end of summer "Moomba." I only rode the roller coaster once and that was enough until I did go on the space ride at Disneyland, not knowing it was a roller coaster in the dark! Needless to say, never again! :(

Still getting us with those punny titles. :D Mine's up now, BTW.

Colin Campbell said...

The slingshot is very popular at the Royal Adelaide Show. You couldn't pay me to go on it. I hate most show rides. I like the Ghost Train with the kids.

Indrani Ghose said...

Some of them are scary though. I loved reading this, me in India, exposed to such an adventurous festival in Melbourne, thanks.

Mar said...

That's the kind of different I like!! sounds like a great festival, enjoyed your pictures and description.
Happy weekend!
Mar

Lana Gramlich said...

Lovely bright colors. I need to get to an amusement park again (but Charles isn't very big on them & Hurricane Katrina destroyed our local 6 Flags.)

jmb said...

Well it might officially be the first day of autumn but CC was complaining of 39 in Adelaide today.
Looks like a fun place for children and families.

Maggie May said...

That was different! You captured the excitement of the carnival. I reckon though you could do the same with a bowl of peas!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Sounds immense fun. Although you wouldn't get me on a roller coaster for a gold clock.

Great pictures, as always.

Crystal xx

holly said...

i need a 'pay box' sign. well, first i have to get a pay box. or do i? which came first, the pay box sign or the pay box? if i build it will they come? if i build it will they pay?

probably not.

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

What a great photostory. Really like the juxtaposition in the last shot.

Someone recently asked a little lad what the best day in his life was, and he said going on the equivalent of one of these rides.

Someone else said the best day in their life was when they got off!

Liz said...

That looks like a fun place to be. Or avoid if, like me, you don't like scary rides!!

Aileni said...

I too, like that final shot the most.I hope the warmth of the colours presages a winter that isn't a horrid shock after recent years. I understand your summer was below par.
Now there's a difference.
Aileni.

Shrinky said...

I love fairgrounds, especially the rides! There is always such an air of excitement about the place (and that unique aroma of onions, burgers and candy floss wafting around). Our island has a fair that visits once a year (I think they take up the entire ferry).

Lovely shots David, thanks for bringing a smile to my face.

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

PS - if you're passing through check out the VEGEMITE ON TOAST speed painting video on mine.

Akelamalu said...

Love the photos David and I love carnivals, but I don't do scary rides! :(

Dragonstar said...

Fascinating - and groan-making! Booth Hill? Straight and arrow?

Hootin' Anni said...

What a fantastic time had by all...I can tell by the great photos!!!

My Photo Hunt Different is shared, I hope, if you haven't already, you can drop by and pay a visit. Happy weekend.

John-Michael said...

The "No Limit" shot is a real "grabber"! Quite nice indeed. You stirred my curiosity with your reference to Boot Hill. So (free of charge [and you are getting your money's worth]) here's something of fun note from the official Boot Hill site.

"The name Boot Hill comes from the fact that many of these graves were filled with people that died suddenly or violently with their boots on! Some two hundred fifty known people were buried in Boothill, before it officially closed its doors in 1884."

Do I have far too much time on my hands ... or what!?

Sharon said...

I liked this story. the pictures were so colorful and crisp and the descriptions were interesting. I liked the play on words. HAHA Booth Hill! I guess there wasn't much of a line at the orignal. Straight and arrow. I had to go back and read it again to see if I had missed any.

It is funny to think of you in autumn when we are struggling toward spring. It is funny that it is March and it snowed here in east Texas yesterday.

secret agent mama said...

I love that last shot! They are all certainly different, though. :D

PastorMac's Ann said...

Wow, sounds like a really fun time. Great pictures for our "different" theme.

BRUNO said...

I can count on ONE hand, the number of times that I rode a carnival ride. And they were all when I was a kid, and my parents said "Because it's FUN!" Yeah, it was. Until I got older, and saw by WHO, and HOW, the rides "up-here" were assembled, and learned the unwritten "law of worn-thin parts"!

Wonder if that warning about "remove all loose objects" applies to dentures? Or at least makes Poli-Grip mandatory...???

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

So Moomba announces autumn in Australia! That another fact I can add to my (vast) collection. It appears to be quite a festival!

We’ve almost two weeks to go here until it is officially Spring. With over a foot of snow on the ground and more coming down, I really can’t get into the spirit of spring.

Tokenhippygirl said...

Looks like a person could have an excellent time at the Moomba. Straight and arrow... bah ha ha ha!

Pato & Pearl said...

Moomba sure looks fun and exciting!!!

Pearl - have a great week ahead ;)

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Really good stuff. I would skip that ride too. Definitely.

Have a great week.