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)
As always, summertime in Australia means cricket rules the airwaves, but nothing beats witnessing it live. There are so many cricket matches to choose from but don't miss the India vs Australia Test Series in December through to 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 on the 10th January, with loads of entertainment and activities in and around the city. Followed by Australia's biggest summer party, the Australian Open in Melbourne, which delivers two weeks of pure tennis intensity, music and festival fun (14 - 27 January). In December 2019, Australia is excited to see two new championships added to the sporting calendar. The rugged and beautiful Tasmanian rivers will play host to the 39th FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships from 30 November - 8 December 2019. While golf fantatics can get their fix with 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 from 9 to 15 December. While across in Perth, you can catch the World Super 6 Perth golf tournament each February.
Autumn (March - May)
To kickstart the Autumn calendar, the Adelaide 500 race (28 February - 3 March) in South Australia is the country’s biggest event for V8 Supercars. Motor racing action continues at the Albert Park Formula One circuit in Melbourne, with the Rolex Australian Grand Prix (14 - 17 March) taking over the city. Don’t let the cooler months deter you from the water’s edge, Autumn is jam-packed with the Australian leg of the World Surfing Championships from the Quiksilver & Roxy Pro Gold Coast to the Rip Curl Pro Bell’s Beach in Victoria and then onto the Margaret River Pro in the South West. And next door you can sip fine wine and sample culinary delights amongst the Swan Valley grapevines as a spectator of Polo in the Valley on 7 April. The adventure sports continue in Queensland with the World Rafting Championships, where over 1000 of the world’s best rafters battle down rapids on the Cassowary Coast for a chance at the title. For first-class Australian football – or soccer as many Australians call the round ball sport – don't miss the A-League 2019 grand final, which will take place in 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. The national rugby union team, the Wallabies, take on New Zealand’s All Blacks in a not-to-miss Bledisloe Cup in Perth on 10 August. The keenly contested State of Origin rugby league series between rivals New South Wales and Queensland begins 23 June, while over in Melbourne the international basketball tournament sees the Australian Boomers take on the USA Dream Team (22-24 August) on home soil. Australia’s mild winters set the ideal scene for running, with the Gold Coast Marathon (6-7 July) followed by the Sun-Herald City to Surf, the world’s largest open fun run through Sydney city to Bondi Beach (11 August). The Northern Territory has all the family fun events packed into the one weekend, 13 July will be the day for the Alice Springs Camel Cup Carnival and the 14 July will host Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta.
Spring (September- November)
As the weather warms, the action heats up as several sports’ grand finals take place. The Australian rules football AFL Grand Final takes its traditional place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (28 September), while rugby league’s NRL Grand Final (6 October) is sure to be a sell-out as always. Motorsports enthusiasts mark their calendar for Queensland's Gold Coast 600 (mid October), as well as the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (25 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 (5 November). A major event on the international golfing calendar, the Emirates Australian Open sees top-seeded players take on the challenging course at the Royal Sydney Golf Club.