Batman and Wonder Woman will come face-to-face with wily woodchoppers, cunning canines and cherished chooks as the Royal Melbourne Show opens this weekend.
Organisers have promised the show, which has been running since 1848, to be "all-new" in 2019, adding an interactive walk-through with animatronic dinosaurs, an Elton John show, performances from escapologist Cosentino, and an alpaca competition.
Governor Linda Dessau will speak at an opening ceremony scheduled for Saturday night before an arena parade showing off livestock, exhibitors, volunteers and performers.
Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria CEO Paul Guerra said this year's show sold its highest-ever number of pre-purchased tickets, and also enjoyed a 30 per cent increase in website traffic and 500,000 visits over the past week.
"We are thrilled to see Victoria respond so well to the all new line up and take advantage of the great value online discounts for admission tickets and rides," he said in a statement on Saturday.
Other highlights for Saturday include an "extremely difficult" dog obstacle course at the K9 Ninja Challenge, a dairy cattle competition, and a poultry battle featuring 1200 chickens, ducks and turkeys.
A twice-daily entertainment precinct parade featuring marching bands and superheroes will be held throughout the show, which also claims to host the world's largest showbag pavilion more than 350 varieties.
For the second year, the event will host The Show After Dark, which focuses on food, drink, music, carnival rides and fireworks.
The Royal Melbourne Show runs September 21 to October 1, with gates open 9.30am to 9pm.
Australian Associated Press