A horse is a horse, of course, of course – except those on Flemington Racecourse that is!
If you can get to Melbourne for the first Tuesday in November to watch the race that stops an economy – or any other time during Spring Racing Carnival – you’ll find a city buzzing with holiday fun, both on and off the track.
Here are four exciting things to see and do in Melbourne during Cup week.
Melbourne Cup – inside and outside the track
On the day before the Melbourne Cup, you can get up close to past jockeys and champion horses at the city parade, then wander around the Flemington Heritage Centre to get a sense of the Cup’s 151 years of history.
On the big day, most tickets are sold out, but you can dress up and head to the racecourse carpark for champagne, beers, food and count down to 3pm. Even if your horse doesn’t win, you can always have a bet with your buddies on which high heeled celebs will need propping up from the VIP tent to the limo.
Top off your Sport of Kings holiday at the InterContinental Hotel Melbourne The Rialto with lavish cocktails at one of the bars before Asian-European inspired dishes and fine wine at Alluvial Restaurant.
Savvy and stylish shopping at Docklands
Worried that your race fashion might not stack up against those snazzy Melbournians? Don’t go shopping before you leave home. Restock your wardrobe at the well priced Harbour Town Shopping Centre at Docklands.
Along with two levels of brand name stores, there’s black light mini golf (for the bored, whining man in your shopping life) and a child amusement area, Monkey Mania (with the convenience of ‘drop and shop’).
Enjoy the personalised touch of a boutique hotel, without monster price tags, at Hotel Sophia. Try the billiard table and Greek restaurant feast.
Get a sports fix at the MCG
If racing alone can’t satisfy your sport desires, why not take a tour of the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground?
Depending on the tour you choose, your guide will take you out onto the arena and into the players changerooms (providing there’s no event on that day, of course!)
You can also visit the onsite National Sports Museum, filled with interactive exhibitions and thousands of sporting memorabilia.
You’ll be as fit as Phar Lap after a couple of nights at the Bayview Eden Melbourne splashing around at the indoor heated rooftop pool and sweating it out at the gym.
Famil fun at the National Gallery of Victoria
If you’ve got your own little jockeys in tow, head to the NGV Kids Space at the National Gallery for hours of hands-on activity art.
Or, if you need some sharp-dressed-bloke tips, the Man Style exhibition is on until 27 November displaying menswear from 1740 to now, including everything from embroidered silk coats to polyester flares and more.
At the recently renovated Jasper Hotel Melbourne you can play with mod-cons and gadgets like iPhone docking stations and WiFi internet access.
See more great Melbourne hotel deals around 31 October – 2 November.