Lardner Park – World Jousting Tournaments

WJC event organiser Andrew McKinnon

“World Jousting Tournaments were thrilled to hold our international championships at Lardner Park in 2019, and we will be returning for the Australasian Championships in 2021. Lardner Park is an evocative, magnificent and diverse facility that offers an impressive blend of wide-open spaces, pavilions and covered areas, conference facilities and catering services all against a stunning backdrop of the iconic rolling hills that characterise the Gippsland landscape. The teams at Lardner Park and Baw Baw Shire Council are flexible and worked alongside us to make our unique jousting event a success. With close to 10,000 attendees over the course of the weekend, there was ample parking, amenities and facilities to cater for everyone involved. We would highly recommend Lardner Park as their range of facilities and services can cater for almost any type of event, along with their convenient and accessible location just an hour from Melbourne.”

The thunder of hooves and clashing of steel rang across Lardner Park when the World Jousting Championships (WJC) roared to life at the versatile venue in 2019.

The spectacular medieval festival brought just shy of 10,000 enthralled spectators to the Baw Baw Shire for an unforgettable experience, bringing up to $3 million in direct local spend.

An immersive pop-up medieval village complete with traders, artisans and historically accurate displays and demonstrations delighted all who travelled back in time for the weekend festivities.

Other attractions included a grand parade and the Globe Inn – an ancient tavern serving traditional mead, archery, a Knights’ School for children, ‘birds of prey’ with swooping falcons and the powerful trebuchet – a massive catapult originally created to destroy castle walls.

Vikings and foot soldiers also had their moments of triumph in the main arena, colliding on the battlefield in a breathtaking display of traditional warfare.

In the main event, Victorian knight Sir Phillip Leitch of Ballarat reigned supreme – taking out the solid lance jousting competition over a field of international rivals from as far afield as France, Canada and Russia.

The WJC joined a long list of Latrobe Valley Authority led events enhancing Gippsland’s reputation as a major regional sporting and cultural hub.