If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, why not head to Kryal Castle where you can catch the second Tasman Shield Jousting Tournament? At around an hour and 20 minutes drive from Melbourne, Ballarat and the Castle are the perfect way to spend the weekend. Plus, the tournament is international – see champion Australian jousters don their armour and face off against some of New Zealand’s finest in a battle to the death (just kidding!).
Kryal Castle makes the perfect home team venue for the Australians – the Castle has featured jousting as part of their entertainment since the drawbridge was first raised back in 1974.
Multiple international tournament winner and veteran jouster, Luke Binks (of Queensland), will captain the Australian team. Joining him on the sporting field will be Andrew McKinnon (of New South Wales) and Kryal Castle’s own Katherine McWade (of Victoria). The New Zealand team will be captained by veteran international competitor, Callum Forbes. He will be joined by teammates Emily Perrin and Simon Neilsen, last year’s rookie.
Kryal Castle’s own Clifford Formosa will be filling the role of “Knight of Honour”, which means that he will step in to joust in a knight’s place should they have to retire due to injury or other unforeseen circumstances.
After having been crowned last year’s Individual Champion, Phillip Leitch has been invited to Marshal (umpire) the event – ensuring that a fair and honourable competition will be had.
There is a range of other activities to enjoy during your visit, including: face painting, tours of the torture chamber, archery, medieval arts and crafts, food stalls, live theatre, the dragon’s labyrinth, the maze, wizards displays and children’s sword fighting to name a few.
The Tasman Shield will take place over 2 days with 2 sessions held each day – there will be 2 preliminaries on Saturday the 17th of March followed by a third preliminary and the final on Sunday the 18th of March. Awards will be given for the winning team, Individual Champion and Champion of the Skill at Arms – be sure to stick around for the award ceremony!
Tickets for one day of the event (select either Saturday or Sunday) will set you back $35 per adult, $22 per child (from 4 to 16 years), $28 per concession and $99 per family (2 adults and up to 4 children). Tickets for both days of the event will set you back $52 per adult, $40 per child (from 4 to 16 years), $42 per concession and $149 per family (2 adults and up to 4 children). Children under the age of 4 are free.
To ensure that you can enjoy the tournament to the fullest, we highly recommend staying the night. The Ballarat Budget Motel is the perfect place to rest your head for the night – at around 6 minutes drive from Kryal Castle and offering a variety of accommodation options, you aren’t going to find anywhere better. With plenty of restaurants, cafes and even wineries in the area, you will be able to enjoy a delicious dinner before turning in for the evening.