What are the must-visit racecourses in Australia? We've picked out the top 10 you should have on your bucket list...
For the pure quality of the racing, it is hard to go past ‘headquarters’ for number one. The inner Melbourne track with the massive straight is home to the week-long Melbourne Cup Carnival which brings together massive crowds of around 100,000 to each of the four days. The roar as the horses run around for the Cup is a must experience.
It’s pretty hard to split the two major Sydney venues but Randwick gets the nod due to the recent upgraded facilities and the advent of The Championships in the autumn. The venue is located on the doorstep of the city and is home to some great races including the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and the Doncaster Mile (1600m).
A great track to watch the races at. Similar to Moonee Valley in Melbourne where you are close in and get a great view as they come home down the home straight. Golden Slipper Day is one of the best days on the Australian racing calendar and is a great experience.
4. Moonee Valley
Moonee Valley is one of the most unique tracks in Australia and possibly has the best atmosphere of all. With the elevated lawn you can always get a great vantage point of the runners and the close up grandstands provide plenty of theatre, especially on major days such as the Cox Plate.
The inner Melbourne track also known as ‘The Heath’ has quality racing all year round, highlighted by the Caulfield Cup Carnival in October. It is one of the best-known racetracks in Australia and hosts some of the country’s most famous and historic races.
The famous Birdsville Races are held in the Queensland town each year and sees the population of the remote outback venue swell from 100 to 7000 for the two-day event. Patrons fly in by air and enjoy the biggest party in the Australian outback.
7. Fannie Bay
The Darwin venue is home to one of the most popular race carnivals on the calendar, the Darwin Cup Carnival, held over a week in late July/early August. The cup is the premier event at the carnival and has a rich and colourful history.
One of the most esteemed racetracks in Australia, Ascot is the premier venue in Perth and is home to a number of top events. The Summer Racing Carnival always attracts an enthusiastic crowd and the racing is great with events such as the Railway Stakes (1600m) and the Perth Cup (2400m) always a highlight.
Located in the picturesque Adelaide hills, Oakbank is home to the Easter Carnival. It sees a mix of quality flat and jumps racing and is popular with a variety of people. The unique event sees many holidaymakers camp in town for Easter to go to the races and experience a lot of the festivities that go on in the town during the carnival.
10. Eagle Farm
The premier venue in Queensland is the traditional home to the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and holds a number of the top races during Brisbane’s Winter Carnival.
Honourable mentions must go to a number of other venues including the Gold Coast, Healesville, Kangaroo Island and Warrnambool.