Things to Do in Melbourne during the Melbourne Cup Carnival

Melbourne Cup Carnival has been a part of Melbourne’s history for over 150 years. An iconic event that is watched by millions in Australia and across the world, the Carnival creates a vibrant atmosphere in the host city in the lead up to the eagerly anticipated Melbourne Cup race. Horse trainer and Australian icon, Gai Waterhouse has attended the Carnival numerous times over the years and reveals her favourite restaurants, shopping areas and destinations to visit when she is in town to attend the race. Things to Do in Melbourne during the Melbourne Cup Carnival
Site Requires Javascript - turn on javascript!

Things to Do in Melbourne during the Melbourne Cup Carnival

Head to Melbourne and experience the dynamic atmosphere that takes over the city during Melbourne Cup Carnival.


Melbourne Cup Carnival has been a part of Melbourne’s history for over 150 years. An iconic event that is watched by millions in Australia and across the world, the Carnival creates a vibrant atmosphere in the host city in the lead up to the eagerly anticipated Melbourne Cup race.

Horse trainer and Australian icon, Gai Waterhouse has attended the Carnival numerous times over the years and reveals her favourite restaurants, shopping areas and destinations to visit when she is in town to attend the race. 

Melbourne Sporting Precinct, Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne is an ever growing international city with a multitude of things to see and do. While I am there, racing is my number one objective, but on many occasions I have enjoyed the walk between Spring Street, through the gardens to South Yarra and Chapel Street, back along the Yarra to the Crown Casino precinct. It is all very close. “

“Then on St Kilda Road, just a short distance from the centre of town, you have the magnificent Arts Centre and the National Gallery of Victoria. Then back across Flinders Street near the mighty MCG there is a little building; the Victorian Artists Society which has housed some of the greatest artists that Australia has produced. Dame Nellie Melba even used to practice her singing in the downstairs foyer.”

Melbourne, VIC

“Melbourne has some iconic shopping areas like Chapel Street in South Yarra, the petite Greville Street in Prahran as well as the major shopping centres like Chadstone in the Eastern suburbs. I enjoy visiting them all, together with the many beautiful galleries around the inner city.”    

“There are also so many wonderful food and wine establishments in Melbourne. After Fiorente won the Melbourne Cup we held a massive party at The French Brasserie in Malthouse Lane, so this place will always hold a special place in my heart. My husband, Rob, and I have always enjoyed the food and the service at Il Bacaro in Little Collins Street and for years our favourite coffee shop has been Lawson Grove in South Yarra.”

Find out what else you can see and do in Melbourne

More holiday ideas

See what else there is near here to inspire your holiday planning.

Gai Waterhouse's guide to the Melbourne Cup C...

Gai Waterhouse's guide to the Melbourne Cup Carnival

Melbourne comes alive during the Melbourne Cup Carnival. It’s a time to dress up, dine out and cheer on your horse at one of the world’s richest horse racing carnivals. Gai Waterhouse, a successful horse trainer, has attended many Melbourne Cup Carnivals over the years including in 2013 when the horse she trained, Fiorente, won the Melbourne Cup. Considered racing royalty and an Australian icon, Gai Waterhouse shares what it is like to attend the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the best places to see the race and some helpful fashion tips on what to wear on the day.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
Three Great Days in Melbourne, VIC

Three Great Days in Melbourne, VIC

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.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
Melbourne's hidden laneways

Melbourne's hidden laneways

You never quite know what's in store when you wander off Melbourne's grid of city streets into the maze of gothic laneways behind them. Even the locals find surprises here, where the venues for food, fashion and art are small, quirky and sometimes hidden. Discover a late-night jazz bar or watch the world go by from a tiny trattoria, browse the boutiques and check out urban art. You can unlock the city's real secrets in these distinctively Melbourne streets.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite
Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley

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.

View more information

Add to your dream trip add favourite