With our customers spread out across the country through major cities and regional towns, there’s one thing we know for sure: Australians love a party (and the occasional bet). Maybe that’s why the main event of the spring horse racing carnival, the Melbourne Cup, has always captured the imagination of punters and partiers alike. And while the world looks toward the track at Flemington, there are some amazing lesser-known racing events and sideshows breaking off across the nation. Here’s a taste of the action that might inspire you to get that hat out of storage.
Hobart: 3 courses for a cause
If you’re going to splash out to celebrate the ‘race that stops a nation’, why not do it in the name of a great cause? That’s the idea behind this elegant Royal Hospital of Hobart fundraiser lunch held at the stunning culture-packed Mona (Museum of old and new art) in Hobart. If you haven’t yet paid a visit to the jaw-dropping architecture and art mecca that is Mona, this could be the perfect opportunity.
Sydney: choose seaside or trackside
Prefer prawns and Piper Heidsieck to the ponies? Swap hayfever for fresh sea air and head to the Manly Skiff Club. This nautical alternative is edged away from the crowds — situated on a delightful vantage point of Manly Cove. The Club’s Cup Day event this year promises to be a relaxed way to kick back and enjoy the day.
If you fancy a more equestrian-themed venue, you could do worse than celebrating Cup Day at Royal Randwick. Known as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the nation’s racecourses, Randwick combines live racing on the track with conveniently televised broadcasts from Melbourne through the day. As a side bonus, you won’t have to contend with the temperamental Melbourne weather!
Alice Springs: an outback track
Out in the Alice, local fashionistas and racing enthusiasts are just as passionate celebrating Cup Day as their big-city counterparts. The famous track at Pioneer Park has no city views or manicured rose gardens. Instead, a beautiful desert landscape surrounds the track for as far as the eye can see. This is one race day where you’ll definitely want to stay to enjoy the sunset with a cold drink in hand.
Gold Coast: a surf-side soiree
The swank Southport Yacht Club on the Gold Coast is hosting a full day Cup celebration where the champagne and fun will be flowing. While the races will be viewed on big screens, you’ll find the water views a suitable substitute for the racetrack. The day even features its own take on ‘Fashions on the Field’ — so don’t skimp on the outfit planning!
Darwin: Melbourne Cup in the tropics
Nearly 4000 kilometres separate the cities of Melbourne and Darwin, with wildly different climates, terrains and lifestyles. But that doesn’t stop the Darwinians doing a spectacularly good job of replicating the Cup Day celebrations, territory style. The heart of the action is at the Fannie Bay Racecourse where live racing, Cup Day broadcasting, betting, and Fashions on the Field all add to the carnival atmosphere.
Ladies bear in mind that November signals the start of the wet season here, with hot 80% humidity the norm — so dress for the heat, and maybe bring a fan for good measure.
Mansfield, VIC: high country racing
Just two hours’ drive from Flemington in ‘Man from Snowy River’ territory, you’ll find the location of one of Victoria’s most loved Cup Day racing venues. In Mansfield, the Catanach Cup always draws a colourful crowd. There’s something for every kind of racegoer, with Lawn Party Marquees, various fashion competitions and even a Pamper Station for those mid-afternoon make-up touch-ups.
No matter where you find yourself on Melbourne Cup Day, chances are there’s a celebration happening somewhere near you. Whether you’re in Tassie or the Top End, we hope it’s a great day spent with friends and family.
If you’re holding an event this Melbourne Cup Day or over the summer, get in touch about finding the perfect aprons and event uniforms.