Australia's sports calendar
Australia is a passionate sporting nation that offers drama, excitement and plenty of true-blue sportsmanship.
Sport plays a huge part in weaving together the fabric of Australian society. Visitors flock from all over the world to enjoy this country’s incredible calendar of sporting events, from the casual and fun to the intense and highly-prized. We may be a competitive lot, but Australians also love to socialise over sport, so don’t be surprised if you make new friends at whatever sporting event you attend.
Summer (December - February)
Australia's warmer months bring a variety of sports to the forefront, but nothing says summer in Australia like a cricket match. Witness one live during the Domain Test Series, which takes place in December and January. On Boxing Day (the day after Christmas), spectators flock to Sydney Harbour to watch the beginning of the spectacular Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, as vessels jostle for position in the quest to be the first boat to arrive into Hobart. Fishing fanatics can get their fix from 30th November to 8th December 2019, when the clear, calm rivers of Tasmania play host to the 39th FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships.
Golf lovers should plan their trip around the return of the Presidents Cup at the prestigious Royal Melbourne Golf Club. It's Victoria’s third time in the event's 25-year history to host the week-long tournament. Across the country in Perth, you can catch the World Super 6 Perth golf tournament each February.
Looking forward to 2020, Adelaide will host the Santos Tour Down Under cycling race, which kicks off on 16th January with loads of entertainment and activities in and around the city. Next, join in Australia's biggest summer party, the Australian Open in Melbourne, which delivers two weeks of pure tennis intensity, music and festival fun from 20th January to 2nd February. Head to Bondi Beach for Bowl-A-Rama, a huge skateboarding competition held over two days (17th and 18th February). At the end of February, gear up for another round of cricket as Australia hosts the ICC Women's T20 World Cup.
Autumn (March - May)
To kickstart the autumn calendar, the Adelaide 500 race (20th - 23rd March) in South Australia is the country’s biggest event for V8 Supercars. The motor racing continues at the Albert Park Formula 1 circuit in Melbourne, with the Rolex Australian Grand Prix taking over the city. For first-class Australian football (soccer), don't miss the A-League grand final, which takes place each autumn.
Don’t let the cooler months deter you from the water’s edge; watch the waves come alive with the Australian leg of the World Surfing Championships, which includes the Quiksilver & Roxy Pro Gold Coast, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in Victoria and the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia.
For something more relaxed, take your seat as a spectator at Polo in the Valley, where you can sip fine wine and sample culinary delights amongst the Swan Valley grapevines.
Winter (June - August)
Winter might bring colder weather, but the events calendar heats up with rugby, running races and even the one-of-a-kind Camel Cup. At this time rugby league, Australian football, and rugby union draw crowds at major stadiums every weekend. Each football code's website can keep you up to date with venues and match fixtures. The keenly contested State of Origin rugby league series between rivals New South Wales and Queensland is played over three games, typically held from May to June.
Australia’s mild winters set the ideal scene for running, with the Gold Coast Marathon held each July. The Sun-Herald City2Surf is the world’s largest open fun run, following a route through Sydney city to Bondi Beach. Check the website for more information on dates and entry.
The Northern Territory's winter is all about the weird and the wonderful, hosting a range of events for the whole family. The Alice Springs Camel Cup carnival happens each winter, culminating in a humorous camel race. The Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta is another quirky Top End event, where teams compete in a boat race with a difference; in this race, the boats are made from beer cans.
Spring (September - November)
Spring is one of Australia's best seasons for sport. As the weather warms, several sports’ grand finals take place. The Australian Rules Football AFL Grand Final takes its traditional place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, typically held in late September or early October, while rugby league’s NRL Grand Final is one of the season's sell-out events.
Motorsports enthusiasts mark their calendar for Queensland's Gold Coast 600, as well as the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (27th October) on Victoria’s Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit. For pageantry and colour, few events can beat racing’s Spring Carnival at Melbourne’s Flemington racecourse. The lively one-day event culminates in the "race that stops a nation," the Melbourne Cup. Plan your trip early to be a part of the spectacle, which usually takes place in early November.