Melbourne was ranked “The World’s most liveable city” seven years in a row (2011-2017) and was only pipped into second place in 2018 by Vienna (EIU Liveability Index) so anytime is a great time to visit. But the Melbourne Cup Carnival in early November is a bonus that’s too good to miss if you can possibly get away.
Melbourne Trams Among the many delights of Melbourne are the trams. The Melbourne tramway network consists of 250 kilometres (160 miles) of double track, 493 trams, 24 routes, and 1,763 tram stops. The tourist friendly city loop is free and comes with commentary. It’s a great way to get from A to B in the city centre as well as get an overview of the layout and history of the city. We’ll do a loop together but you may repeat it as often as you like in your free time of course.
The Melbourne Cup Street Parade Almost as popular as the Cup is the street parade on the day before the Cup. It a chance for everyone to see former Cup winning horses, current and former jockeys, trainers etc as well as an assortment of brass bands, marching girls and kids in colourful and crazy outfits in the colours of this years Cup field.
Pharlap- Australia’s greatest racehorse. We’ll visit Melbourne Museum and get up close and personal with ‘The Red Terror’ himself, winner of 37 races from 51 starts.
Eighty-nine years earlier than our visit, in the first week of November 1930, during the height of the Great Depression, he raced 4 times, winning each start including the Melbourne Cup.
On Sat 1st Nov he won the Melbourne Stakes over 10 furlongs (2000m), then on the Tuesday won the Cup over 2 miles (3200m), backed up on the Thursday in the Linlithgow Stakes over 1 mile (1600m) and again on the Saturday in the C. B. fisher Plate over a mile and a half (2400m). His deeds must have been a welcome tonic for many Australians feeling the effects of the depression first-hand.
Living Legends, just outside Melbourne, is home to many former Cup winners, including the almighty Might and Power, and other champion racehorses. It’s also a wildlife park and boasts an impressive number of wild kangaroos. A Devonshire Tea in the Black Caviar Dining Room is a must and is included in the tour. You will almost certainly purchase of an item or two in the gift shop.
The Kyneton Cup is always run the day after the Melbourne on the picturesque Kyneton Racecourse. It’s a fun day out at this unofficial addition to the Spring Racing Carnival. Kyneton is in the beautiful Macedon Ranges, famous for Hanging Rock (pictured), about which the movie of the same name was made. Since it’s on the way, we’ll make a brief visit to the rock on the way to the races. Please, no-one get lost.
Phillip Island Penguins This attraction is not part of the tour but is an absolute must if you haven’t done it before. We’ll arrange ticketing for you for the afternoon/evening of Sunday 3rd Nov via Sightseeing Tours Australia . Their bus departs Melbourne at 3pm so we’ll get you back from Living Legends by 2pm so you can change and have lunch before heading off. You’ll be late back (11.30pm) as they haven’t trained the penguins to observe more tourist friendly hours yet. But the next morning you can sleep in as we only have a short walk to the Melbourne Cup Parade which starts at Midday.
Stable Visit- a leading trainer’s stable. Kristen will arrange a visit to the stable of a leading trainer (she knows lots of them very well). We’ll get the to see a bit of trackwork and stable routine before chatting with the trainer who may just have ‘the word’ on who will win ‘The Big One’.
Stud Visit- a leading stud. We’ll visit a leading stud in rural Victoria and meet their stallions and get a tour of their facilities. Being November there will be lots of foals on the ground. Who knows, you might get to give a ‘welcome-to-the-world’ pat to the next Winx.
The Blue Mountains– About two hours or so to the west of Sydney is the beautiful Blue Mountains World Heritage area comprised of one million hectares (3861 square miles) of tall forests, sandstone cliffs, canyons and waterfalls. We’ll take our coach for a day trip to view some of the best sights and if you are game you may take a ride on the Scenic Railway , Skyway or Cableway (at your own risk and expense).
Koala Park Sanctuary On our way home from the Blue Mountains we’ll visit Sydney’s famous Koala Park Sanctuary where you’ll meet not just koalas but a wide variety of Australian animals.