The Melbourne Cup Carnival is a world-class event wrapping up racing, entertainment, fashion and food at the Flemington Racecourse. Flemington Racecourse is Australia’s oldest and most prestigious metropolitan racecourse and has hosted racing events every year since 1840.
Held across the first four days in November, it is one of the biggest sporting and social events on the calendar. Domestic and international visitors flock to the glamour of the Melbourne Cup. The premier thoroughbred race takes place on Melbourne Cup day and in the leadup there are many opportunities to get in on the vibe outside of the racecourse, including a star-studded breakfast and a charity ball.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival is an outdoor event and some areas are vulnerable to the weather. Despite this fashion is a key part of the event with attendees dressing to impress. There are lots of vantage points – the grandstand, restaurants, private boxes and more. At the Parade Ring racegoers can see the horses being saddled up before heading to the mounting hard. At the mountain yard they will be paraded before going to the race track.
Flemington is just a few kilometres northwest of the CBD. If you are travelling with your Melbourne car hire you may experience some traffic delays going through the city centre – consider a detour around the outskirts. There is a public car park ($20) and you can then enter the grounds off Smithfield Road at the Stables Drive entrance. Allow time to arrive early and get your bearings, including the best viewing points. Purchase a racebook – a guide to the day’s racing and horses, plus maps and other helpful information.
While there is not a vast range of accommodation in Flemington itself – and these are chiefly serviced apartment style accommodation – there are plenty of other options in the city. Southbank is a handy location to the central city and to Flemington itself. Southbank accommodation options for the Melbourne Cup include Crown Towers and Crown Promenade Hotel, among others. The northern suburbs of Melbourne are also just a stone’s throw away from Flemington Racecourse. Options include hotels like the Mercure or take your pick from the apartment style lodging providers.