Tens of millions of tourists from destinations overseas visit Australia each year. Some just come here to soak up the sun and the sand, taking advantage of the country’s fantastic white-sand beaches. Other people visit for specific reasons, and often it’s to take part in or experience one of the many world-class events that take place in various locations around the country each year.
Let’s take a look at just some of these major events that prove to be such a drawcard for overseas tourists.
Australian Open Tennis Championship
The Australian Open is held every January in Melbourne and it makes up one of tennis’s 4 Grand Slam events.
It’s the peak of the Australian summer when the tournament gets under way. It used to be played on grass like Wimbledon, but these days it’s a hard court surface.
The best in the world always make their way Downunder to participate, so if you love tennis and love to be courtside for championships like the US Open and Wimbledon, you’ll have a fantastic time in Melbourne watching the Australian Open and enjoying everything Melbourne has to offer visitors.
Some of the world’s best food and coffee can be found in Victoria’s capital, as well as fantastic shopping and entertainment day and night.
Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney has always been considered Australia’s capital for the gay and lesbian community, much like San Francisco has been in the USA. Interestingly this event has been run annually in March long before more recent acceptance of gay and lesbian people in society.
This is primarily a super colorful and gregarious street parade that has been enjoyed by spectators for decades.
Close to 10,000 people participate in the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras parade and it’s watched from the sidelines by some 300,000 spectators.
It was first held in June 1978, but since moved to the more mild month of March and has been a regular event each year ever since.
The Mighty Melbourne Cup Horse Race
This takes place on the first Tuesday in November in Melbourne and it’s a historical horse race that’s been run every year since 1861.
The Melbourne Cup is a race that stops a nation and attracts punters and spectators alike who ordinarily don’t have much to do with horse racing.
If you enjoy outlandish fashion, fine food and loads of champagne, you’ll love a trip to Melbourne during the Cup Carnival to witness the Melbourne Cup horses do battle for the ultimate sporting crown.
Seriously, this is a week-long party that’s about so much more than just a horse race. There’s something for everyone, including a colorful street parade that the kids will love.
There are 4 main race days during the week-long carnival and so much happening around the city that you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Australian Fashion Week
Held at picturesque Circular Quay on glorious Sydney Harbour every May is Australian Fashion Week. This glamorous event attracts the elite in the fashion world from all over the globe.
But it’s not all about the models and world-famous designers. There’s plenty of entertainment on offer for spectators as well.
Even those on the sidelines are encouraged to dress up and head down to the Quay to watch the numerous world-class fashion shows and contests.
The Darwin Beer Can Regatta
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
Darwin is located in the tropics right on the northern tip of Australia. If you love warm weather, a tropical vibe, live music, and a party atmosphere, then you’re sure to love the Darwin Beer Can Regatta.
So what is this event exactly?
Well, Australians can create some rather crazy ideas for an event, so if you want to witness something that’s unique to Australian culture, the Darwin Beer Can Regatta is about as close as you’re going to get.
The idea is for contestants to build a boat that floats entirely out of empty beer cans (often called “tinnies” in colloquial language).
Most of the boats fall apart, which is all part of the fun, as they have not been tested before the event. There are loads of other fun events throughout the regatta and it’s definitely worth a look for something completely different.