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.
Greatest sports events around Australia
Autumn (March - May)
To kickstart the Autumn calendar, the Albert Park Formula One circuit in Melbourne will host the Rolex Australian Grand Prix motor race (22 - 25 March), and in Adelaide the Adelaide 500 Supercars race (1 - 4 March) is the country’s biggest event for supercars. Sip fine wine and sample culinary delights amongst the grapevines as a spectator of Polo in the Vines, taking place at Dark Horse Vineyard (7 April). From four wheels to two feet, the Australian Running Festival operates the festival-like Canberra Marathon through the nation’s capital this season, (14- 15 April), followed by the Great Ocean Road Running Festival (19 - 20 May) in Victoria. And if you want to check out Australian first-class football – or soccer as many Australians call the round ball sport – don't miss the A-League 2018 grand final, which will take place over the weekend of 5-6 May.
Winter (June - August)
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, while the first Test match for rugby union’s Bledisloe Cup takes place in Sydney (25 August). The keenly contested State of Origin rugby league series between rivals New South Wales and Queensland begins 31 May (match two: 21 June; match three: 12 July). Australia’s mild winters set the ideal scene for running with the Sun-Herald City2Surf race open to all participants on its famous course through Sydney city to Bondi Beach (12 August). Get amongst the high-octane action at Crownbet Darwin V8 Supercars Triple Crown three-day event (16 - 18 June) in the country’s Top End. The Northern Territory town of Alice Springs holds the adrenaline-packed off-road motoring Tatts Finke Desert Race out to the remote Finke desert community for more than 12,000 participants (15 - 17 June), while the Australian Outback Marathon (28 July) simply pits runners against themselves and the arid beauty of the country’s Red Centre around Uluru. In late July/early August the English Premier League Champions, Chelsea FC is coming to Perth for the first time.
Spring (September- November)
As the weather warms, the action heats up as several sports’ grand finals take place. The third and final Bledisloe Cup rugby union match (21 October) is set to ignite Brisbane, the Australian rules football AFL Grand Final takes its traditional place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (30 September), while rugby league’s NRL Grand Final (1 October) is sure to be a sell-out as always. Motorsports enthusiasts mark their calendar for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 (4 - 7 October), a 1000 kilometre (620 mile) touring car race around the famous Mount Panorama circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, as well as the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (20 - 22 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, culminating in the "race that stops a nation", the Melbourne Cup (7 November). For those who prefer revs and wheels to ribbons and heels, the AUS-X Open motocross event (12 - 13 November) promises a night full of action in Sydney Olympic Park's Qudos Arena. A major event on the international golfing calendar, the Emirates Australian Open (23 - 26 November) sees top-seeded players take on the challenging course at the Royal Sydney Golf Club. Up on the Queensland’s sunny Gold Coast, the world’s surfing superstars and several Olympic contenders will battle against each other in the ITU Triathlon World Cup (12-16 September).
Summer (December- February)
In summertime, cricket rules the airwaves of Australia, but nothing beats witnessing it live. You can catch Test cricket matches in cities around the country and One-day international matches and Big Bash League Twenty20 cricket matches also take place throughout January. On Boxing Day (as the day after Christmas is known) spectators cram Sydney Harbour to watch the beginning of the spectacular Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, as vessels jostle for position in the quest to be first to Hobart. In Adelaide, the Santos Tour Down Under will be kicking off (13 – 21 January) with Aussie pop favourite, Guy Sebastian headlining the free opening concert. Tennis also takes centre stage at this time of year, with the sport’s Australian Open providing two weeks of pure intensity (15 - 28 January 2018). Four international teams will be invited to join Australia and New Zealand in the Brisbane Rugby Tens rugby revolution (9–10 February) for two jam-packed days pf 10-a-side games. While across in Perth, you can catch the World Super 6 Perth golf tournament from 8 -11 February.