THINGS TO DO
See the race that stops a nation
You’ll never have experienced anything quite like the Emirates Melbourne Cup. Almost all Australians tune in for "the race that stops a nation" at 3pm on the first Tuesday of November, watching as thoroughbreds streak down the track to the finish line. Emirates Melbourne Cup Day is also a public holiday in Melbourne, while the day before the race tens of thousands of people head to Swanston Street in Melbourne's city centre for a parade of thoroughbreds, jockeys, trainers and celebrity guests.
Experience the race days
It's not just Melbourne Cup Day: the Melbourne Cup Carnival consumes Melbourne for more than a week and hosts four unique race days. The Carnival begins with AAMI Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 29 October, which is considered the day for racing purists. Next is the jewel in the Melbourne Cup Carnival crown, Emirates Melbourne Cup Day, held on Tuesday 1 November. Thursday 3 November plays host to the Carnival’s traditional ladies day, Crown Oaks Day, while Emirates Stakes Day on Saturday 5 November is known as family day and concludes the celebrations.
Indulge in fine foods
Flemington is not only the destination for racing, fashion and entertainment, but also an array of glamorous marquees, private suites and acclaimed pop up restaurants. Menus are created by leading Australian chefs and showcase the best of local ingredients, with beverages from Australia’s top wineries and breweries.
Spot the celebrities
There’s as much to see in the crowds as there is on the tracks. Keep an eye out for the film, music and sporting celebrities who frequent the exclusive Flemington Birdcage. In previous years, the Melbourne Cup Carnival has hosted Princess Diana, Sarah Jessica Parker, Elizabeth Hurley, Eva Longoria, Naomi Campbell and Sir Richard Branson.
Dress to impress
Myer Fashions on the Field at Flemington is Australia’s largest outdoor fashion event, with both men and women donning their finest racewear to compete for a piece of the $400,000 prize money. Think fancy frocks and innovative hats. Want to take part? You'll need to register online before the event.
Make sure you arrive at Flemington early to secure your trackside seat or spot on the grassed area close to the Winning Post – arguably the most sought-after public area of the course. Grab a course map when you arrive so you don’t miss the array of entertainment, giveaways, celebrity-spotting, restaurants and bars on offer.
HOW TO GET THERE
Public transport is the most convenient way of getting to and from Flemington Racecourse. Trains depart regularly from Melbourne’s city train stations, including Flinders Street, Southern Cross and North Melbourne stations, direct to the racecourse. Taxis have designated pick-up and drop-off locations around the racecourse.