If there was ever a city that was built on sport, its Melbourne. The capital of the state of Victoria sits on the southeast coast of Australia and has a population of 5 million.
Sport in Melbourne
As noted above, Melbourne is built on its love on sport and you see can a number of high profile events and stadiums in the city:
- The first tennis Grand Slam event of the year, the Australian Open, takes place in Melbourne Park every January.
- The curtain raiser on the Formula One season takes place around the streets of Albert Park in March at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit.
- One of the world’s largest sports venues, the Melbourne Cricket Ground hosts AFL’s Grand Final in September/October, as well as being home to four AFL team’s – Melbourne, Richmond, Collingwood and Hawthorn.
- The MCG also hosts Australia cricket’s traditional Boxing Day test match and is home to the Victoria and Melbourne Stars BBL teams.
- The “race that stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse is the world’s richest handicap horse race and is a public holiday in the state of Victoria.
- Docklands Stadium is also home to five AFL teams (Essendon, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne and Carlton) and the BBL cricket team, the Melbourne Renegades.
- AAMI park is home to NRL’s (Rugby League) Melbourne Storm, Super Rugby’s (Rugby Union) Melbourne Rebels and AFL’s (Football/Soccer) Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City.
- Melbourne Arena also used at the Australian Open, hosts Netball (Melbourne Vixens and Collingwood Magpies) and Basketball (Melbourne United).
- Melbourne has hosted two of international sport’s biggest events – the 1956 Summer Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games.
- The Royal Melbourne Golf Club has twice hosted Golf’s Presidents Cup in 1998 and 2011, and is due to do so again in 2019.
Getting to Melbourne
Air – Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine Airport) is the second busiest airport in Australia, with international and domestic connections to many of the world and Australia’s destinations.
Search & book your flights through Skyscanner here.
Coach – Southern Cross Station is the main bus terminal and has long distance services to Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney.
Greyhound is one of the most well known companies and tickets can be booked through the official website here.
Getting around Melbourne
To access the city’s public transport system you will need to purchase a ‘myki’ card. Further information can be found here. Public transport on event day’s is usually free with your ticket.
To/From Airport – The airport sits approximately 25km north of Melbourne CBD, with Skybus being the most convenient option of getting to the CBD. The shuttle buses run 24 hours a day one way tickets starting from $18.
Bus – Although not as popular as the tram, the bus network is also extensive and will get you to most places in the city.
Train – Flinders Street Station and Southern Cross Station being the city’s main hubs for getting to travelling to the suburbs and other towns within the region.
Tram – Melbourne’s tram network is the worlds largest and covers most of the city, with travel within the city centre and Docklands area free.
Where to Stay in Melbourne
When I last visited Melbourne in 2018 for the Formula One, my accommodation choices were limited and I settled for a private room in the Discovery Melbourne Hostel.
Food & Drink in Melbourne
Melbourne is famed for its bars and restaurants, although I can’t recommend anywhere in particular, it won’t be hard to find somewhere great to go for food or a drink.
What to do in Melbourne
Having visited the city a few times now, I’ve never found Melbourne a great place for sightseeing. To me, the city is somewhere to enjoy the culture by walking through the city’s lanes and arcades, checking out the Queen Victoria Market and enjoying Federation Square.