Melbourne Cup Horses And Fun: What To Look Forward To

horse racing

Every first Tuesday of November, the most famous annual Thoroughbred horse race in Australia, the Melbourne Cup race, is held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria. If you live or work in Victoria, then that’s a holiday for you. But you can still join in the fun if you aren’t a resident of Victoria. (1)

The Melbourne Cup isn’t just a one-day event but rather a week-long event that kicks off on the last Saturday of October with the Victoria Derby Race. The entire week is called the Melbourne Cup carnival. To ensure a week of fun, you shouldn’t miss a day or two during this period.

Here are some of the things to look forward to:

1. The Melbourne Cup Race

The Melbourne Cup race is the most important event of Cup Week. It’s usually scheduled for 3.00 p.m. local time. The race has consistently been attracting more than one hundred thousand fans to the Flemington racecourse for the last decade. But the onset of the pandemic has forced authorities to limit the number of attendees.

If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket, which is priced at around AUD$90.75, you’ll get to enjoy a first-hand view of the horses as they compete to the finish line. Alternatively, you can follow the horse race on several big screens around Melbourne or anywhere else in the world. The race attracts TV audiences of up to 650 million, and it’s equally thrilling to watch the race remotely. (2) (3)

2. Cash prizes

In 2020, one punter turned a one-dollar bet into AUD$30,000 after correctly predicting the first four horses to win. That’s just one isolated example of the winning potential you have if you choose to bet for the Melbourne Cup race. (4)

Indeed, Australian punters wager an average of AUD$88 each year for the race. In 2020, the total amount wagered soared to a record of AUD$221.6 million. If you want to earn money, you’d want to join them by also betting on your favourite horses. (5)

The first thing you must do is to study the profiles of the Melbourne Cup  race horses to know which one stands a higher chance of winning. On top of that, make a point of following analyses by horse racing experts, and you’ll increase your chances of winning on your bets.

3. Fashion shows

The Melbourne Cup carnival is almost synonymous with fashion shows. Most race attendants step out fancy outfits specifically designed for the day. Likewise, dozens of entertainment joints around the city hold fashion competitions. You can consider attending these for your chance to walk away with cash prizes should you emerge the best-dressed person.

You can also hold a localized fashion show with your friends at home or any outdoor venue. Simply inform them to show up dressed to kill and have one or two judges select the best. Each of you can contribute some little cash toward the prize money.

To make it even more fun-filled, think about having a hat-making competition. Set up a craft table with all the essentials and task every participant with making a hat that matches their outfit. This will give everyone in your group the chance to display their creativity.

4. Fine dining

During the Melbourne Cup carnival, you’d want to have a restaurant experience that’s more sophisticated, unique, and pricey than what you usually find in average restaurants. Fortunately, dozens of restaurants around Melbourne understand your desire. That’s why they develop special dining packages for the entire Cup Week.

Whether you visit the restaurants with your family or a couple of friends, you’re sure to find a suitable package. Make sure you try the not-so-common menus, perhaps foreign cuisines or long-forgotten traditional local foods.

5. Cruise into Melbourne

If you have more days off, say two or more weeks, consider cruising into Melbourne instead of the usual flights or bus rides. Travelling from Brisbane to Melbourne on a cruise ship takes about eight days, while travelling from Sydney to Melbourne takes six days.

Choose those cruise lines that customize their ships to pull out the horseracing thrill. For the several days you’ll be over the waters of the Tasman Sea, take time to relive and appreciate Australia’s horse racing culture.


There are plenty of fun activities to engage in during the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Top on the list is watching the horse race live, betting your favourites, dressing fashionably, dining in classy restaurants, and taking a cruise into Melbourne. Whichever activities you choose for Cup Week, it’d be best to tailor them to Australia’s centuries-old horse racing culture.


  1. “Melbourne Cup 1866,” https://www.nma.gov.au/explore/collection/highlights/1866-melbourne-cup
  2. “How to Buy Melbourne Cup Tickets Online,” https://melbourne-cup.online/get-tickets-online.php
  3. “Melbourne Cup Day in Australia,” https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/australia/melbourne-cup-day
  4. “Melbourne Cup race day punter turns miracle $1 bet into $30,000,” https://wwos.nine.com.au/horse-racing/melbourne-cup-winning-bets-race-day-punter-30000-win/f0c114e7-2813-439e-8ded-cd0191e52d23
  5. “How much the average Aussie spends each Melbourne Cup Day,” https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/how-much-the-average-aussie-spends-each-melbourne-cup-day/ar-AAQd75r