Aussies love sport, all kind of sports. But I think in Melbourne it has become almost a religion: Melburnians are simply crazy about it! Melbourne is a very lively city with lots of cultural events all year round, and there’s always someting happening in the world of sport.
Anywhere and anytime, you can watch contests, games, or races of anything: swimming, biking, soccer, netball (an aussie favoutrite exclusively for women), sailing, quidditch (4 teams in Victoria!)… there’s always something to see and do for sport lovers in here.
So, whether you like it or not, if you come to Melbourne, there are a few events that you shouldn’t miss! Here si my top 5.
1. The Australian Open
Tennis lover or not, you probably know that we’re in the middle of the Australian Open. This world famous contest attracts the best players on Earth who sometimes struggle in the extremely hot weather.
It’s a bit like Wimbledon, or Roland-Garros, except that you have to wake up at unlikely hours if you want to watch the games from Europe.
Well maybe not in the best weather…
Everyone is not necessarily fond of tennis, but still, it is one big thing here in Melbourne.
But maybe not the biggest.
2. The AFL Grand Final
The Australian Football League is probably -wait a minute- I mean IS the most popular thing in Australia. Like ever. More popular than anything else. People here love it so much that you wouldn’t find anyone in the streets after 2 pm on that day: everybody would be indoor, yelling at their screens.
You can’t meet any Aussie who doesn’t have an opinion on the AFL. People seem depressed and the country is in sort of slow motion when the season is over. Fortunately, this happens in summer, and in summer, well, there are many other cool things to watch on TV, like, cricket!
3. The Cricket Boxing Day Test
I don’t know anything about cricket, let’s be honest (I don’t even understand the score at the end of a game and I wouldn’t probably know who even won the game…). So yes, I’m helpless at cricket, and I don’t really try to know much more, but I’m telling you: this is a big thing here! And apparently Boxing Day Test (whatever test means here) is a special day for all cricket lovers!
Not THAT kind of cricket lover.
But don’t worry, if you missed Boxing Day Test because you were enjoying Boxing Day sales, you can still watch many others in January, some of them last 5 days (only 8 hours a day, mind you) so I’m sure you’ll find a moment for it, while you patiently await for the Australian Open.
Seriously now, I’m sure if someone tells you a little bit about the rules, you’ll enjoy going to a game and feel that fun atmosphere! At least it’s worth seeing that legendary Melbourne Cricket Ground! And you don’t even need to stay until the end. (But does it ever end anyway?)
4. The Bells Beach Surf Classic
A litlle bit out of Melbourne, on the west coast, is Torquay. Torquay is famous for two things: the Great Ocean Road, and a surf contest that started in 1962. Bells Beach Surf Classic Easter Festival is the oldest professionnal surfing contest in the world.
This beach is also famous for being home to the final scene in Point Break, you know that movie with Patrick Swayze, you know that guy in Dirty Dancing, you know… Ok, so apperently this scene wasn’t even shot there. Anyway, this event is really the opportunity for you to watch some good surf in great realxed atmosphere.
And you can even include it in a trip on the Great Ocean Road, which is an absolute
must-see when you come to Melbourne.
5. The Moto GP
Located on the beautiful Phillip Island, the race track is home in october to the Moto Grand Prix, as well as other major events all year round.
This is a sacred place for all fans, and you can even enjoy a ride with a professionnal pilot to know what it fells like being in a race!
It is also the opportunity for you to see and visit Phillip Island, which is probably one of the most beautiful places in Victoria!
Another event is really popular in Melbourne: the Melbourne Cup. (I know I’m not gonna make friends on this one.) And all other races as well. There are races all the time, everywhere, and there’s even a public holiday for it… You know, the « race that stops the nation »… But as they use (and kill) horses for it, I wouldn’t consider it as a sporting event that deserves to be mentioned as such. An event, no more.
And I think that most people just go there to show off and get wasted more than anything else. But I’ve heard that it is definitely worth going, at least once, if only for the « show ». I’ll think about it. Maybe.