Melburnians are renowned sports lovers.
The city has an enduring passion for its many sporting traditions, and whether its Australian Rules Football (AFL), soccer, rugby league, cricket, tennis, basketball or car racing, you can expect to find tens of thousands of cheering fans in attendance at blockbuster matches.
Here’s a selection of Melbourne’s must-see sporting venues and attractions.
1. Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Likened to a giant cauldron and able to accommodate in excess of 100,000 people, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (referred to locally as the MCG — or simply as ‘the G’) is arguably Australia’s most famous sports venue. Whether you’re lucky enough to have tickets to a game or you just want to bask in the ambience of the hallowed ground, the MCG is easily accessible on foot or by tram or train from Flinders Street. Book a guided tour and go behind the scenes.
2. Flemington Racecourse
Flemington Racecourse is located west of the city and is best known as the site of the annual ‘race that stops a nation’ — the Melbourne Cup. The Spring Racing Carnival is the most exciting time to visit the course, and it’s a bucket-list experience to frock up and attend the Cup itself.
3. Melbourne Park
Melbourne Park is made up of Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena (tennis), Melbourne Arena (basketball and netball), and AAMI Park — home to the city’s rugby and soccer events. The precinct comes to life in January as the venue for the Australian Open tennis tournament, but there’s generally something happening throughout the year. You’ll be amazed to find these world-class sporting facilities right on the city’s doorstep. Welcome to Melbourne!
4. Calder Park Raceway
Melbourne certainly has a need for speed. The Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix is held in the city each year on the Albert Park street circuit, and you don’t have to be a rev head to appreciate the thrill of burning rubber at Calder Park Raceway (although it helps). The city’s renowned motor racing park includes a drag racing strip, numerous road circuits, a 4WD track and the infamous high-speed Thunderdome speedway. You know you want to…
5. Australian Sports Museum
In your rush to soak up the fun and atmosphere of a real-life sporting event at one of the city’s famous venues, don’t miss the opportunity to also delve into the history of sport in Australia. The excellent Australian Sports Museum (formerly known as the National Sports Museum) is located at the MCG and features an extensive collection of memorabilia. Entry to the museum is included on several of our Melbourne sports tours.
This list of key sights is provided as a guide only and is not covered in its entirety on every Melbourne sports tour offered by The Big Bus. Please check the itinerary notes for your preferred tour for a list of the included sights and stops.
Additional images: Bigstock
About the writer
Julietta Henderson is a Melbourne-based travel and feature writer. Originally planning to visit London for six months, she ended up staying for ten years and now divides her time between her home in Australia and several months of the year in the UK, Italy and France. Julietta has travelled extensively through Europe, North America, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia and Russia, and believes the keys to a great travel experience are an open heart, an open mind and an open-ended ticket.
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