Kitefest Sign

Redcliffe Festival KiteFest – It’d be Good Value if it Were Free

My wife, baby daughter and I visited the Redcliffe Festival KiteFest 2015 this morning. We can see it from our home at Woody Point and we’ve thought about visiting for the last two years but never got around to it.

Kitefest Sign

This time we decided we’d go check it out with our 2 month old daughter. Knowing that the parking would be a problem we decided to walk from home. We got a fantastic view of the aerobatics display by a Yak-52 from the Woody Point waterfront.

Aerobatics Display as Seen From Woody Point
Aerobatics Display as Seen From Woody Point

There was a great view of the kites that were flying as we walked along Bell’s Beach.

As we walked past the white fabric wall towards the entrance I said something that got this shocked response from my wife Jacqui:

“You mean you have to pay?”

I responded in the affirmative. “Be prepared to be shocked by the price” I told her. I wasn’t sure what the exact cost was as I hadn’t checked in advance.

As it turned out it was $8 per adult, $5 for children or $20 for a family pass. A family pass covers 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children. Bad luck if you’ve got 2 adults and 3 kids. You’ll have to pay $25. Just to get in.

So what did you get for your money?

The main entertainment stage
The main entertainment stage

Well you got to walk around a smaller version of your local Sunday markets. There were a number of activities available for kids. For instance:

  • Kite Making Workshops – Cost $5
  • Animal Farm – Cost $5
  • Rides – $5 each or $25 for a day pass
Kite Flying Demonstrations
Kite Flying Demonstrations

There’s the main arena for kite flying displays and there was a number of water skiing displays during the day off the coast. In addition there was a live music stage in the main food area. Speaking of food, about 1/3 of the stalls were food trucks with a nice selection of food, but fairly expensive. We were there before the big crowds and yet the lines were still quite long. We ended up just getting a sausage sizzle.

The eating area
The eating area

We wandered around for about an hour and by that stage we were ready to go home. Sure there were a few shows coming up but they were age ages away and we didn’t want to queue for ages for food and drinks. Much cheaper to get some chips at the local fish and chip shop(for that matter the only food truck selling chips had run out – at 11:30am on Saturday). Plus you wouldn’t have to fight to find a place to sit amongst the too few tables and chairs.

One of the streets of markets
One of the streets of markets

The Bottom Line

The Redcliffe Festival KiteFest is a nice event. There’s some interesting kites displays and other shows. By and large though it’s a smallish Sunday Market. That’s fine it’d be a great thing to visit, if it were priced appropriately. $8 per person is just way too much. A family of 4 could easily end up spending $100 just to get in and have lunch. In our case, the $16 we spent to get in was money we didn’t spend at the food stalls inside.

Some more of the kite demonstrations
Some more of the kite demonstrations

The view of the kites and flying displays is better from Bells Beach or even the Woody Point Waterfront. If you’re just interested in the aerobatics, go to Woody Point Jetty.

An appropriate price would be $2 per person like the much better value Eat Street Markets. Free would be even better.

Had to laugh at the beautiful smoker's lounge - for once not taking up the nicest outdoor spot
Had to laugh at the beautiful smoker’s lounge – for once not taking up the nicest outdoor spot
For some reason Australian's can only be trusted to drink when they're behind a fence
For some reason Australian’s can only be trusted to drink when they’re behind a fence