As one of the world’s biggest sporting nations, Australia has some of the biggest and most unique athletic events in the world – a good majority of which cater to the luxury or out-of-the-ordinary traveller.
From horse racing to yacht racing and motorsports to rowing, major Australian cities and towns play host to some of the most elegant sporting events in the country every year.
Not only do Aussies love to watch sports, and participate in the fanfare that surrounds these big events, but a large part of the grand nature of many of these competitions also comes from the gambling industry. For instance, at events like the Melbourne Cup, all of the bet sites Australia has turn over hundreds of millions of dollars in a single day.
Of course, gambling and sporting revelry are not mutually exclusive, as shown by the fact that on average Australians tend to lose more from sports betting than residents of any other country, but if you want to find the money, it’s a good place to start.
With this in mind, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest and most luxurious sporting events in Australia, when to watch these sports and where they are hosted.
Festival of Sails
The oldest sporting event in a country with a rich sporting history, the Festival of Sails dates back to 1844 and today attracts 110,000 visitors. The Festival of Sails is the largest annual yachting regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with the main feature of the event the keelboat regatta.
Festival of Sails gets over 300 yacht entries and more than 3,000 competitors taking part every year at the end of January in Geelong, an hour away from Melbourne. The Festival of Sails also encompasses various acts across three stages along with arts and crafts stalls and of course fine foods and wine.
The first of four major tennis opens every year, Melbourne’s Australian Open becomes the centre of world tennis for a few weeks in late January/early February with the world’s best players descending upon Melbourne. Matches are held at Melbourne Park but festivities extend outside the courts into neighbouring Birrarung Park where live music and culinary delights are aplenty.
For the high-fliers, Superboxes can be booked for centre court matches and there’s even the opportunity to buy Show Court Finals tickets meaning you eat dinner on the court before the final.
Golden Slipper Stakes
The name says it all for the world’s richest two-year-old Thoroughbred horse race and like all horse racing events, glamour and style are a huge part of the day.
The Golden Slipper Stakes is held in March or April every year around Easter at the Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney and with a $3,500,000 purse for the winner, the event attracts the world’s best jockeys and trainers.
Australian Rowing Championships
Rowing is a sport that has its roots in the world of the elite and Australia’s premier rowing event is no exception. The Australian Rowing Championships see states, clubs and schools send their best crews to the Sydney International Regatta Centre in March every year.
Hamilton Island Race Week
With a sponsor like Rolex, the link between the Hamilton Island Race Week and luxury is clear. Australia’s largest offshore keelboat regatta is famous for its racing as much as it is for the awe-inspiring scenery, local food markets, yoga, outdoor movie screenings, pool parties, and cocktail receptions.
Hamilton Island is situated off Queensland’s coast and south of the luxurious Lizard Island Resort on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef and the sailing competitions are held throughout the end of August.
Australia’s most important motorsport event, Bathurst 1000 combines fast cars with plenty of corporate opportunities for a finer experience. You can book suites or lounges for your company or friends with food, beverage, and all the trimmings that you want.
Bathurst 1000 is held at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst New South Wales towards the beginning of October and is colloquially known as “The Great Race” in Australia.
“The race that stops the nation” as it is known throughout the country, the Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most well-known horse racing event, is the richest two-mile handicap in the world and also one of the richest turf races in the world.
As well as an elegant dress code, the Melbourne Cup Carnival combines food and entertainment with celebrity appearances and of course plenty of betting making it one of the premier luxury events on the Australian sporting calendar.
The Melbourne Cup is held on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.
Australian Grand Prix
Held at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne every November, the Australian Grand Prix is on the Formula One World Championship circuit so hosts the world’s top drivers, teams, and motorheads every year.
As well as being sponsored by Rolex, the Australian Grand Prix provides specialised catering, suites, and the opportunity to rub shoulders with celebrities for anybody willing to fork out to make the event extra special.
Australian PGA Championship
Held at the Royal Queensland Golf Club in Brisbane, the Australian PGA Championship is played in December every year and is one of the premier events in the PGA Tour of Australasia.
There are plenty of exclusive hospitality options for those who want to spectate in style with lounge and clubhouse options that include catering, live music and mixing with top golf executives as part of the experience.
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