Melbourne Cup Accommodation
Now is the time to start thinking about where you'll stay and what you'll do during your time in Melbourne, for the once in a lifetime experience that is the Melbourne Cup!
While you may want to be close to Flemington Racecourse on the day of the big race, you can also take the opportunity to holiday in some of the region's surrounding areas on your trip. Here are some of the best.
If you do choose to base yourself in the city, you'll find plenty of holiday homes at your fingertips to help you settle in. Flemington Racecourse is located on Epsom Road next to the Melbourne Showgrounds and can be accessed via car or public transport. Choose accommodation in Footscray, Brunswick or the centre city to enjoy being close to both the racing and the heart of Melbourne.
If you are staying close, public transport may be your best option on the day to help reduce traffic congestion and allow you to indulge in some champagne on the day. Trains will be running from Flinders Street Station, making a couple of stops then running express to Flemington - just make sure you have a valid Myki for your trip. This re-loadable card makes public transport in Melbourne quick and easy.
You could also catch a tram or a bus, both of which will take you to the racecourse. A free shuttle bus will be running after the last race back to Footscray, close to the train station. A similar bus will run from the main turnstiles to Southern Cross Station on each race day from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Melbourne has plenty to do when the racing's not on, regardless of your budget. Book in a trip to the Eureka Skydeck for the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere. Located on the Yarra River, the building has 360 degree floor-to-ceiling views of the CBD, sports precinct, Docklands and more. By day you can view the Dandenong Range, and at night the glittering skyline comes to life.
You may also wish to explore the Royal Botanic Gardens, which offers free entry on every day of the year. Roam over 38 hectares and take in the more than 50,000 plants in this immaculately-maintained oasis. Along with diverse plant collections, the Gardens frequently hosts events and tours, and has the reputation of being one of the world's finest gardens.
Southbank is quickly becoming one of Melbourne's most attractive suburbs for holidaymakers, with the lively, affluent Southbank Promenade providing particularly appealing for shoppers and diners alike. It stretches along the Yarra River between the Southgate shopping and dining complex and the famous Crown Casino. Try your luck at roulette or simply watch the heavy hitters work the tables while you enjoy a cocktail overlooking the city.
Take in a show at the Malthouse Theatre, a contemporary theatre company house in a treasured Melbourne building. There's an annual program featuring work by writers, directors, choreographers, designers, audio artists and performers alike.
Explore Polly Woodside, a maritime monument with a twist. The 1885 restored ship is a beloved Melbourne icon, and has been added to the Victorian Heritage Register to enjoy the highest level of state heritage protection. It's open at the weekends, when you can join a first mate and sign up as a crew member to embark on a complete tour of the ship - and its duties. Scrub the decks, push the capstan and haul the sail as you find out more about the ship's history and adventures of life at sea.
Dine on the waterfront, overlooking the iconic Yarra River. The views of Melbourne's city are first-class, and some fantastic restaurants are available for walk-up dining. World Restaurant and Bar is the perfect place to meet with friends to enjoy a cheeky drink or two, while sampling some high quality tapas or if you're a little more hungry, a full blown meal. Live music is often playing as well. If you want to treat yourself, then Ludlow Bar & Dining Room might be for you. On the banks of the Yarra, Ludlow offers a unique dining experience with a variety of local and overseas specialties. The steak in particular will take your breath away!
Southbank's rapid residential development in recent years means there's plenty of holiday accommodation there, with the majority of residents living in high rise apartments like the Eureka Tower.
Ideally located if you're attending the Melbourne Cup, Carlton is vibrant, bustling and home to Melbourne's Italian community, so you can guarantee you'll find some stunning eateries here. Residents have flocked to the area from Eastern Asia, South-Eastern Asia and the United Kingdom, adding a real multicultural flair to the suburb.
Stroll around Princes Park, home to the Carlton Football Club's training ground. There are also bowling, tennis and cricket facilities on these manicured grounds. Take the little ones to the children's playground while you gaze at the 'Within Three Worlds' sculpture before settling down to enjoy the picnic and barbecue facilities.
If you can't resist a meal of authentic Italian pizza, pasta or gelati, head to Lygon Street. Known as 'Little Italy', this precinct is the true heart of Melbourne's Italian culture, and there's always a lively atmosphere here no matter what time of day you arrive.
Treat yourself at Brunetti, where you'll find a range of gourmet sweets, cakes, savouries and some of the best Italian coffee in town. The Roman design aesthetic is both sophisticated and inviting, and you can choose from 30 different pizzas produced in a specially designed wood-fired oven.
Breakfast fans should try Lygon Food Store, a real Melbourne institution. Stock up on quality-made grocery goods in the store, or settle in for a brunch to remember. Enjoy poached eggs with Swiss brown mushrooms and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, or indulge your sweet tooth with ricotta hotcakes with blueberry and mascarpone.