The first host city of the Formula 1® season offers a friendly welcome to traveling fans. Melbourne is a multicultural destination with world-class attractions and an exciting atmosphere on Grand Prix weekend. It’s also one of the best attended – and best organized – races on the F1® calendar. Here’s our top ten travel tips for getting the most out of your weekend at the Australian Grand Prix in 2018.
Fly into Melbourne’s main airport, Tullamarine (MEL)
The city does have a second airport called Avalon (AVV), but it’s much further from the city and less convenient. The best way to get downtown from Melbourne airport to the city center (a distance of 12 miles, or 20 kilometers) is to take the Skybus for $18 AUD or a taxi for $40-50.
Stay central & take the tram
The best places to stay in Melbourne for the Grand Prix are downtown (in the Central Business District, or CBD), Southbank or St Kilda. All these areas are close to Albert Park and you can take a free tram (or even walk) to the circuit each day, then make the most of Melbourne’s vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene in the evenings. Just don’t be in a hurry to leave the circuit after the race as the trams can get very overcrowded. Also, by booking your hotel stay with F1® Experiences, you’ll be treated with transportation to and from the circuit every day.
Make the most of the Grand Prix events
The Australian Grand Prix organizers put on a packed four-day schedule of events. In addition to around 6 hours of F1® action, the schedule features the hugely popular and competitive Australian Supercars series, plus Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, Australian GT Challenge and Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific. Away from the track, check out the F1® Fan Zone for the best interactive displays and watch some live music on the stage in the Heineken Village. Finally, make sure you don’t miss the Australian Air Force’s “Roulettes” aerobatics training team doing their thing in the skies above the circuit several times over the weekend.
Get your favorite driver’s autograph
Beat the crowds at the circuit by enjoying VIP Access to the Melbourne Walk with an Official Ticket Package from F1® Experiences. You can also stay with F1® Experiences at the Crowne Plaza hotel in the center of the city, which is where most of the teams stay. You never know who you will run into at the breakfast buffet.
Take a walk in the park
For most of the year, Albert Park is a popular recreational space for walking, picnics and sports. The abundance of trees and grassy areas make for one of the best General Admission zones on the current F1® calendar, despite a lack of elevation. The best days to get out and explore are Thursday and Friday, when the circuit is less crowded. You can get really close to the action at many spots around the circuit. We recommend turns 3, 6-7, 9-10 and 11-12. Some of the ticket packages have seating Friday through Sunday in the Schumacher, Prost, and Fangio Grandstands to allow fans an exciting view on top of their experience packages!
Explore Melbourne by night
Melbourne is a bustling, multicultural city with an outstanding restaurant and bar scene. After a day at the track, head to one of the city’s many famous food and entertainment precincts (CBD, Southbank, St Kilda, Lygon Street, Brunswick Street, Chapel Street). You’ll be able to sample food from all around the world, but especially Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine. Kick on in the laneway bars of the CBD or head to a pub or club; there’s always something happening in Melbourne, including live music, comedy, theater and opera.
…and by day
If you have a few more days to explore the city, we recommend visiting the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and adjacent Melbourne Park, home of the Australian open tennis tournament. The National Sports Museum within the grounds of the MCG is also worth a look. Other attractions to check out include the Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne Zoo, Botanic Gardens, Federation Square, Southbank, Docklands and the beach at St Kilda.
Get out of the city
Melbourne is the gateway to the beautiful Australian state of Victoria. Add a few days to your Grand Prix holiday and hire a car to visit the stunning Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island motorcycle circuit, Yarra Valley wineries or Grampians mountain range.
Shop till you drop
If you are travelling from overseas, you’ll probably want to buy some Australian-themed gifts for your friends and family back at home. The best selection and cheapest prices can be found at the iconic Queen Victoria Market in the CBD (open every day, apart from Mondays and Wednesdays.) Nearby is Bourke Street mall, the pedestrianized hub of shopping in the center.
Get exclusive access with F1® Experiences
Witness the 2018 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in style. By choosing one of F1® Experiences Official Ticket Packages, you will enjoy exclusive benefits such as meet-and-greets with racing legends, a pit lane walk, a Paddock Club party, a driving tour of the track, and more to compliment your 3-day race ticket!