G’day Travelers! Following on from my recent post about traveling to the Clipsal 500, I thought I’d continue on with one of the biggest international motorsport events in Australia, the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne.
People from all over the world head to Melbourne every year for the opening round of the Formula 1 Championship. Melbourne really knows how to put together world-class events and it’s a great event showcasing both Melbourne and Australia to countries all over the world.
I’ve been to a the Grand Prix in Melbourne a few times now, so here are my tips for Traveling to Melbourne for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Where is the Australia Grand Prix held?
The Australian Grand Prix is held in Albert Park which is located halfway between the Melbourne CBD and St Kilda Beach. The track itself runs around the Albert Park lake using the access roads within park and golf course, which are open to the public most of the year.
Where To Stay?
There are plenty of accommodation options in and around Melbourne’s CBD. You wont be hard press to find somewhere to stay. However for the connivence of travel specifically for the Formula, 1 there are a couple of things to consider when looking at accommodation options.
If you’re looking to splash out and happy to spend the extra cash you can stay where the Formula 1 teams stay. There are a few big name hotels along Queens Road in Albert Park adjacent to the circuit, where the F1 teams choose to stay. However for most people staying that close to the track a bit pricing.
As an alternative I’d recommend staying near either Southern Cross Station or Flinders Street Station. These two train stations are the start and stop points for the free Grand Prix Tram services that go directly to the track. It’ll make getting to and from the track much easier. They are also ideally located to explore the rest of the city, with Southern Cross Station a short walk from Crown Casino and Flinders Street Station a short walk from Federation Square.
Looking for accommodation for the Grand Prix? Here’s a selection of some of the hotels in Melbourne.
Getting To and From the Grand Prix?
As I just mentioned there are free tram services to and from the track for Grand Prix Ticket holders. There are two main tram lines that service the Albert Park. The first one starts from the Southern Cross Station that heads to gates 1 and 2 and second from Flinders Street Station to gates 8 and 9.
On Saturday and Sunday Grand Prix Trams are well-marked, but Yarra Trams put on extra staff to help people find the right trams for all 4 days of the event. The staff are easily identifiable and make finding the right tram a really easy process.
From my experience Gate 8 is your best option for getting to and from the track, the queues of people are smaller and the trams more frequent. A large majority of the spectators use Gates 1 and 2 (given their proximity to the Grandstands) causing lengthy queues to get back to the city, I’ve found that using Gate 8 is much easier and faster.
What To Do In The Evenings?
Melbourne has plenty to offer, you wont be hard pressed to find something to do in the evening after a day at the track. In recent years the on-track schedule has been moved to later into the day (usually starting at 10am and finishing at 6pm) so you can go out at night, get a sleep in and still make it to the track on time not to miss anything.
There are plenty of Grand Prix related activities in and around the Crown Casino area that are worth checking out. The Crown Casino and greater Southbank area also has plenty of dinning options if you like fine dining experiences. If you love Ferrari’s head on over to Lygon Street, known locally in Melbourne as Little Italy, the street has a high concentration of Italian restaurants and become inundated with Ferrari’s and Ferrari fans during the Grand Prix.
Although if you’re a little over cars, or just looking to experience what else Melbourne has to offer, there are plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants littered throughout the CBD.
Spending Time In Melbourne Before or After?
Having tried before, there’s really not much point trying to flying in the day of the event and fly out the night it finishes, I’ve tried a few different combinations and the airport is always flooded with people, it just doesn’t make for a pleasant experience. So I’d recommend extending your stay a couple of days either side of the Grand Prix to see what else Melbourne has to on offer, which is plenty. Why not check out my top 5 things to do in Melbourne.
Australian Grand Prix Tips
Even though I’ve been recently attending the Grand Prix as a photographer, I have in the past attended as a paying spectator. From that experience I’d recommend buying a Grandstand ticket over a General Admission ticket. The Grandstands are setup in all the best spots offering great views of all the action (which I’d love to access as a photographer). Grandstand tickets still allow you the freedom to walk around and see the tack from other vantage points, but you have a guaranteed seat when crowd builds the big event starts on Sunday. The Grandstands are also setup insight of the large TV screens, so you can see the rest of the action around the track.
Traveling to Melbourne for the first time? You may also like to check out my tips for traveling to Melbourne for the first time. For more information about the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne including maps and where to buy tickets head over to the Australian Grand Prix website – www.grandprix.com.au
If you’d like to see my photos from the 2015 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, head on over to – http://vandersyde.com/2015/03/19/australian-grand-prix-2015/
Have you been to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne before? Feel something else should have been on the list? Let me know comment below so I can check them out for next time.
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