In Australia you can indulge your passion for motor racing all year round. Head to Melbourne for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in March or visit the popular motorcycle circuit on Phillip Island. For adrenalin-surging V8 action, there’s the Gold Coast 600 in Surfers Paradise, the Sydney 500 and the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Watch elite sports cars race around Tasmania in the Targa Tasmania or witness true driving endurance at the Bathurst 1000. Follow quad bikes, 4WDs and motorbikes from Perth to Kalgoorlie in the Australasian Safari. Or check out mean street machines at Canberra’s Summernats Car Festival.
Street Machine Summernats Car Festival
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
The Street Machine Summernats Car Festival is held at Exhibition Park in Canberra over four days in January. The event attracts national and international car enthusiasts. Summernats combines racing events with a showcase of customised street machines, hot rods and special interest vehicles. The high-energy entertainment includes burnout and driving competitions, music bands, stunt spectaculars, fireworks and more. Attend the Street Machine Car of the Year Awards, where elite new cars are unveiled. There are also up to 170 retail and trade exhibitors with everything from high performance equipment to collectible art and paraphernalia.
Superbike World Championship Phillip Island
Phillip Island, Victoria
The Superbike World Championship is one of the top three global motor sport series alongside Formula 1 and MotoGP. Superbike racing is about showcasing the latest generation of high-performance four-stroke street bikes, with manufacturers competing for the world championship title. The event program sees more than 140 riders representing 27 nations and attracts around one million race spectators. The Championship takes place over 13 rounds across three continents over eight months. The spectacular Phillip Island has one of the highest average speeds of any circuit in the world. Pitch a tent and enjoy the entertainment in the track side campground.
Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide gets an adrenalin charge when the Clipsal 500 comes to town in March. The four-day event is the first round in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series and features V8 Supercar races across eight categories. It is Australia's largest domestic motor sport event. There are on-track stunts, spectacular air shows, motoring displays and a family zone. Join a glamorous ladies luncheon or take a scenic helicopter flight over the circuit. Check out historic motorcycles and limited-edition Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Aston Martins. The Clipsal is renowned for its huge after-race concerts, which attract some of Australia’s top musicians.
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix
Join the crowds for four days of breathtaking action as the world's fastest drivers and cars light up Melbourne and the Albert Park circuit at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in March. The Australian Grand Prix is the opening race of the Formula 1 season. The off-track action is just as exciting with demonstrations, exhibition zones and aerial displays by the Royal Australian Air Force. The roar from the stands matches the roar from the cars as the drivers race past at speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour. The event culminates in the post-race entertainment grand finale.
March, April, May, June, November, December
V8 Supercars is a touring car racing category based in Australia and run as an International Series under Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) regulations. V8 Supercar events take place in all the states of Australia and have drawn crowds of more than 250,000 spectators. The V8 Supercars themselves take as their basis either the Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon, two of the most popular passenger-cars in Australia. Races are held in Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Launceston, the Gold Coast, Bathurst and Phillip Island, Victoria. Race goers can expect a family friendly experience with a festival atmosphere and all the drama and non stop excitement of a motor race at all the V8 rounds in Australia.
Former world champions and speed-seeking celebrities clamour to drive in this exhilarating tarmac rally, which loops across Tasmania in April. Designed specifically for elite sports, touring and grand tourer cars, the six-day event starts in Launceston and travels more than 2,000 kilometres before finishing in Hobart. Cheer for the riveting race sections from dedicated spectator points. Or join the drivers for lunch in picturesque country towns such as George Town, Sheffield, St Helens, Devonport and New Norfolk. You can apply to drive your own sports car in this scenic rally, which is televised across the globe.
Busselton, Western Australia
The second round of the six-round Australian Rally Championship, the Quit Forest Rally is always a spectator and competitor favourite, based in one of Western Australia’s top holiday destinations.
Western Australia's round of the Australian Rally Championship attracts Australia's best cars and drivers, including the best classic cars. The rally also incorporates motor bikes, making it a weekend motor sport extravaganza. More than 200 cars and bikes compete in the event. Aside from the new vehicles in the championship, the rally sees the Quit Forest Rally Moto competitors taking to the stages across the weekend riding motorbikes and quad bikes.
Alice Springs, Northern Territory
The Finke Desert Race is Australia's premier off-road racing event that attracts bike, car and buggy enthusiasts. It is reputed to be one of the most difficult off-road races in one of the most remote places in the world. It is a multi-terrain, two-day race through desert country from Alice Springs to the small community of Aputula (Finke). The race is run along sections of the Old Ghan Railway service track along a winding corrugated track, through typical outback terrain of red dirt, sand and spinifex. More than 12,000 people camp beside the racetrack, sleeping under the stars in tents.
Australian Targa Championship
Adelaide, South Australia; Australian Alps, Victoria; Hobart, Tasmania
August - April
The Australian Targa Championship is comprised of four rounds, starting with the Targa Adelaide in August; the Targa High Country in Victoria in November; and Targa Hobart during the month of February. The series finishes with the ultimate rally, Targa Tasmania across the state of Tasmania in April. The format provides a unique opportunity for the owners of sports cars and GTs to drive on some of the most challenging tarmac roads in the world. The Australian Targa Championship is drawn from the best features of the Targa Florio, Mille Miglia, the Coupe des Alpes and the Tour de Corse.
Regional Western Australia
The seven-day Australasian Safari stretches more than 4,000 kilometres from Perth to Kalgoorlie. Even the hardiest of 4WD vehicles, motorbikes and quad bikes are tested on this rugged endurance race through Western Australia’s golden outback. Follow sections of the course on your own motorbike or 4WD, stopping at spectator points to soak up the dust-flying action. You could explore Perth, the scenic Swan Valley and old gold mining towns like Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie along the way. There are also fully-guided adventure tours, which let you experience the competitive exhilaration of the rally first-hand.
V8 Supercars Bathurst 1000
Bathurst, New South Wales
The Bathurst 1000, held at Bathurst’s Mount Panorama in October, is a gruelling 1,000 kilometre endurance track race. It is an icon of Australian motorsports and has been running for 50 years. The race has its roots in the 1960 Armstrong 500 and today is a round of the V8 Supercar Series. Watch the world’s best V8 drivers battle it out for the trophy and the title of ‘king of the mountain’. Sporting fans from around the world flock to Mount Panorama for the massive line-up of on and off track entertainment, and one of Australia's most renowned sporting events.
Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix
Phillip Island, Victoria
Whether you are an avid fan or new to the sport, MotoGP is an unforgettable experience, with bike enthusiasts from all walks of life coming together to enjoy world-class racing at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The race on the breath-taking Phillip Island Circuit is considered the bike race of the year. It is one of the world's most unique and exciting racing tracks, with a stunning panoramic ocean backdrop and outstanding spectator viewing areas all around the circuit. The event provides an opportunity for true enthusiasts to eat, sleep and breathe motorcycle racing for three glorious days.
Gold Coast, Queensland
The Gold Coast 600 is a V8 racing car carnival held in Surfers Paradise over three days in October. The beaches of the Gold Coast are the perfect backdrop for this event, where the social program is equally as important as the action. Watch the world’s top V8 Supercars whizz around the beachside track or catch an exciting endurance race with 18 top international drivers. In the evening, the dedicated entertainment precinct at Broadwater Parklands comes alive. The huge trackside music concerts feature both Australian and international performers. Past events have included performances by world-famous pop stars such as Pink.
Sydney, New South Wales
The world’s number one freestyle motocross (FMX) competition takes over Australian turf and air space for the climax of the World Tour each year. Cockatoo Island on Sydney Harbour hosts the finale of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in October. It is the final stop for the series that will see the best athletes on the planet fighting for the World Tour Title. See gravity-defying dirt bike riders performing stunts and back flips, with Sydney Harbour as the backdrop.
Sydney, New South Wales
November - December
Hundreds of thousands of fans converge on Sydney Olympic Park in December for this high-octane, three-day finale of Australia’s V8 series. Even world-class drivers have trouble completing a perfect lap on this challenging, champion-designed course. Watch the experts tackle the bumps and breakneck corners from the grandstands during the day. At night, celebrate with free music concerts in the stadium. The trackside attractions also include a huge car show, a family zone, an international food village and high-energy dance performances. Don’t miss the indoor exhibition paddock, where you can watch teams fine-tuning their cars and maybe secure a driver’s autograph.