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Rod Laver Arena

The Rod Laver Arena is the centrepiece of the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament.

Rod Laver Arena is located at Melbourne Park within the Melbourne and Olympic Parks sports precinct which also includes the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Hisense Arena, the National Tennis Centre and Olympic Park.

Built in 1988 as part of the original National Tennis Centre complex, the arena is the centrepiece of the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament and plays host to a wide range of sports and entertainment events, from motorbike super-cross and swimming championships to music concerts.

Named in honour of one of Australia's all time greatest tennis players, the Rod Laver Arena seats approximately 15,000 people.

At the time of its opening in 1988, the venue was one of the most high-tech arenas in the world with a retractable roof - an innovative world-first design which is formed by two rolling sections, each spanning the court with arched trusses that give the Rod Laver Arena its distinctive image.

For more than 20 years the venue has hosted a range of world class entertainment including music concerts of every style. Names such as U2, the Rolling Stones, Kylie, Pavarotti, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen have all performed in this versatile venue. The Justin Timberlake concert in 2007 recorded the highest attendance. In total, more than a million people visit Rod Laver Arena each year to view events and concerts. The Australian Open is held in January each year.

The arena was the home of Melbourne Basketball in the 1990s with the Melbourne Tigers calling the venue home, and attracting big crowds in the glory days of the NBL.

Experience an insider's perspective on a behind-the-scenes tour which will take you through areas exclusive to the Australian Open players and where all the champions have celebrated their victory. You can even hire a court and have a hit on the same courts as the world's best tennis players.

Melbourne Park is located off Batman Avenue and within walking distance of the Melbourne city centre. The Champions Walk and William Barak Bridge from Birrarung Marr Park makes short pleasurable walk from the city, Federation Square and along the Yarra River. Public transport is the quickest and easiest way to get to the Melbourne and Olympic Parks precinct. Trains, trams and buses drop you right at the door; or take a leisurely cruise along the Yarra River by water taxi, which dock opposite Rod Laver Arena.

Cross the Swan Street Bridge and you'll find yourself in the tranquillity of Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens. Wander through the displays of more than 50,000 plants, including rare species dating back to the time of Captain Cook. Join astronomical guides at the Melbourne Observatory for a chance to view the moon through historic telescopes. Journey into the ancestral lands of the Kulin indigenous people and explore their rich and thriving culture with an Aboriginal guide where you'll learn about traditional uses of plants for food, tools and medicine. During summer, the Royal Botanic Gardens becomes a vibrant cultural venue with an outdoor cinema, live performances, and exhibitions.