Savour the thrills and excitement of seeing the world's top tennis players compete for the champions' trophies at the Australian Open, the only one of the sport’s four Grand Slam events held in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Major Events
Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Victoria
Reasons to attend
1. Be amazed by the skill and stamina of the superstars of world tennis when they line up for the first Grand Slam of the year. This is one of only four tournaments each year that attracts all of the world’s top male and female players –Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams all regularly make the trip to Melbourne.
2. Ask the players what they think. Each year, the competitors praise the Australian Open as the friendliest of the big four tournaments, calling it “The Happy Slam”. Keep an eye out for the superstars outside the venue too. You can often spot them at the beach, strolling through a park or relaxing at a cafe.
3. Enjoy basking at the tournament in the height of the Australian summer, especially if you’re looking to escape the northern winter. This is a great time of year to see Australia at its sunniest.
4. Due to the number of games played in the first week, spend some time around the outside courts, where many of the best players compete. The outside courts, which seat fewer spectators, are where you can really get up close and personal to the stars.
5. Splash out for an evening session at the 15,000-seat Rod Laver Arena, one of the most magical experiences in world tennis. Its fully retractable roof enables night matches to be played under the stars or under cover if it’s raining. The fiercest battles can stretch late into the evening, sometimes finishing after midnight.
6. Give yourself a break and hang out at Grand Slam Oval, the venue’s entertainment precinct. Here you can feel the buzz as some of Australia’s hottest bands perform on the Heineken Live Stage.
7. Hungry? There’s always a great range of flavours on offer at the Australian Open, whether you fancy Korean barbecue, Indian curry or a grain-fed prime Scotch fillet steak at the licensed River Terrace restaurant that pops up just for tennis fans.
8. You’ll want some souvenirs of your visit to one of the world’s great tennis centres. There are plenty of shopping outlets selling official merchandise, including the ever-popular player towels, as well as Lacoste boutiques with specially designed event T-shirts.
9. Join fellow fans at the MLC Autograph Island where, in the first week, you can meet your favourite players and get their autograph.
10. After you’ve seen your final rally, take a short stroll or tram ride into the city centre to enjoy its celebrated restaurants, bars and nightclubs, which many believe are the best in Australia. That’s the beauty of Melbourne Park: it’s in the middle of the action in every sense.
What to look out for
Because the Australian Open is a knock-out event, the first week sees more players in action – and it’s the best time to have a ground pass. Starting at $39, a ground pass gives you access to every court at Melbourne Park except Rod Laver and Margaret Court Arenas. It’s one of the best bargains in world sport.
How to get there
You can easily walk between Melbourne Park and the city centre along the banks of the Yarra River. However, no visit to Melbourne is complete without a trip on a green-and-yellow tram: Route 70 goes to Melbourne Park. Other options include bus, train, taxi or water taxi.
For more details
More holiday ideas
See what else there is near here to inspire your vacation planning.
Top 10 Things to Do in Melbourne
Exploring Melbourne's laneways is just one aspect of this diverse city. Get a cricket or football fix. Soak up art and culture. Go high-end dining or grab the best pub burger. Shop for local designer fashion or cycle the bayside. Whatever you fancy, Melbourne is a city of choices.Add to your dream trip
Three Great Days in Melbourne
There's no time for sleep in Melbourne, a city where culture buffs, sport nuts, fashion lovers and foodies all have their niche. Discover cafes, bars and boutiques in city laneways sprawling secretly off ordered streets. Soak up the vibrant riverside atmosphere from Southbank and visit Federation Square, where creative and café culture meet. Cruise down the Yarra and wander the lawns and lakes of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Soak up the unique energy of the city's diverse precincts, from upmarket South Yarra to beachside St Kilda and edgy Fitzroy. Then day trip to the beaches, wineries, galleries and golf courses of the Mornington Peninsula.Add to your dream trip
The Yarra Valley is home to more than 80 wineries, ranging from small, family-owned operations to large estates. The region is renowned for producing Australia's finest pinot noir and sparkling wine, along with a range of other cool-climate wines. It was Victoria's first planted wine region back in 1838. The region is known for its fresh produce including freshwater salmon, trout and caviar, organically grown fruit and vegetables and handmade cheeses and preserves. Follow one of the many self-drive wine trails and fill your picnic hamper on the Yarra Valley Food Trail or at the many huge, fresh food markets.Add to your dream trip
A short distance from Melbourne you'll find the rolling hills, orchards, olive groves, historic mansions, and more than 200 vineyards of Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. In this food lover's region, you can buy organic vegetables from roadside stalls or pick your own strawberries, berries and cherries from orchards. Wander amongst olive groves with ocean views or picnic in one of the many public and private gardens. There are century-old rose gardens, sculpted hedge mazes and heritage homes to enjoy. After your food and wine journey relax in a day spa or play a round on one of Australia's top golf courses.Add to your dream trip