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.
Melbourne is built on its love on sport and is home to a number of high profile events and stadiums in the city. The city has hosted two of international sport’s biggest events – the 1956 Summer Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games. The Melbourne Cricket Ground with a capacity of over 100,000 is the largest sports ground in Australia, and is also home to the Australian Sports Museum.
Sport in Melbourne
AFL in Melbourne
Melbourne and the state of Victoria is the birthplace of the AFL. Nine of the 18 teams in the league are based in Melbourne, with a 10th in nearby Geelong playing at Kardinia Park.
One of the world’s largest sports venues, the Melbourne Cricket Ground with a capacity of over 100,000 hosts AFL’s Grand Final in September/October, as well as being home to four AFL team’s – Melbourne, Richmond, Collingwood and Hawthorn.
The 56,000 seater Docklands Stadium is also home to five AFL teams (Essendon, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne and Carlton).
Cricket in Melbourne
The MCG also hosts Australia cricket’s traditional Boxing Day test match and is home to the Victoria of the Sheffield Shield first-class competition and the Marsh One Day Cup. as well as the Melbourne Stars BBL team.
Tennis in Melbourne
The first tennis Grand Slam event of the year, the Australian Open, has been held on the hard courts at Melbourne Park every January since 1988. The tournament had previously been held on grass courts at at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club since 1972.
Motorsport in Melbourne
The Australian Grand Prix is the curtain raiser of the Formula One season, taking place around the streets of Albert Park in March each year at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit since 1996 after moving from Adelaide.
The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in nearby Phillip Island annually hosts MotoGP‘s Australian motorcycle Grand Prix since 1997.
Horse Racing in Melbourne
Rugby League in Melbourne
Rugby Union in Melbourne
The Melbourne Rebels play in Super Rugby and play their matches at AAMI Park after forming in 2011 but have yet to win the competition. Melbourne Rising represents the state of Victoria in the National Rugby Championship, playing at numerous venues across the state.
Football/Soccer in Melbourne
Two A-League teams are based in the city and play at AAMI Park – Melbourne Victory who have won the league several times and Melbourne City. A third formed in 2018, Western United FC are based in the western suburbs of Melbourne and play home matches at Kardinia Park in Geelong and Eureka Stadium in Ballarat.
Netball in Melbourne
There are two teams in Melbourne who play in the Suncorp Super Netball – the Melbourne Vixens who play matches at John Cain Arena and Margaret Court Arena, and the Collingwood Magpies who also play at John Cain Arena.
Basketball in Melbourne
There is one team in the city that plays in the National Basketball League, Melbourne United play at John Cain Arena at Melbourne Park.
Golf in Melbourne
The Royal Melbourne Golf Club has hosted Golf’s Presidents Cup three times – in 1998, 2011 and 2019. Other well known golf courses in the area include the Commonwealth Golf Club, Kingston Heath Golf Club, Victoria Golf Club, Metropolitan Golf Club, Huntingdale Golf Club, Yarra Yarra Golf Club and Riversdale Golf Club.
Travelling 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.
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.