Australia is full of great things to do, fantastic places to see, and marvellous experiences to enjoy. If you are looking for some unique activities to do while travelling in a motorhome hire, you should include the Melbourne Cup Carnival in your to-do list!
What is the Melbourne Cup Carnival?
Do you enjoy horse racing? You’re in luck. The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of the best racing experiences in Australia, directed by the Victoria Racing Club at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, every year.
Make sure to mark your calendar for the month of November when this fun-filled day takes place. It’s more than just a sporting event! It’s a place where you can socialise while showing off your fashions on the field. It’s an experience that will give you a glimpse into Australia and its history.
The History of the Melbourne Cup Carnival
The Melbourne Cup Carnival isn’t just any old horse-racing experience. It is one of Australia’s oldest events which started in 1861. This is one of the most elite horse-racing events in the country and draws crowds like none other. Lasting through the decades and watching the country change, the Melbourne Cup Carnival has remained a staple of the Australian society.
Following are some of the highlights of the Melbourne Cup Carnival history:
- The Melbourne Cup first took place at Flemington Race Course. There, a famous horse named Archer won the cup to the dismay of the locals. Archer wasn’t from the area and he beat the crowd’s favourite horse. Archer went on to win the race twice.
- The Melbourne Cup has always been a place for people to show off their latest fashion picks, much like it is today. Unlike other racing events where fashion is traditionally monochrome and sleek, the Melbourne Cup is known for its vibrant flare. Since 1861, the fashionably well-dressed have always played a part in the attraction of the Melbourne Cup.
- The horse racing event lasted through both of the World Wars. The fun-filled day was a welcome and uplifting distraction from a world that had been turned upside down by dire circumstances.
- Betting on the Melbourne Cup both at the racecourse and off-course has always been a big part of this event. During the end of the 1800s, it wasn’t uncommon for families to go place bets at their local grocer.
- Phar Lap was Australia’s most famous horse that won a cup at the Melbourne Cup Carnival (amongst many more cups). He was supposedly killed with arsenic in San Francisco, although the debate on his death still continues to this day.
- The Melbourne Cup has seen several horses win and many of them were trained by Bart Cummings, who many considered to be the best Australian racehorse trainer in the Melbourne Cup’s history. He started training horses in 1965.
- The Melbourne Cup has always been known as one of the most challenging horse races in the world. It started out this way and to this day is still highly popular and well-known as a cup that you don’t want to miss. If you are traveling in Australia in a motorhome hire, you will want to put the Flemington Race Couse on your map. It’s worth attending at least once in your life.
- The Melbourne Cup is known to be one of the richest races in the world. It has always had a high prize for the winning owner but in 1985, that prize went higher than ever before. With it currently standing at around A$3 million, you can just imagine how much competitors want to win the Melbourne Cup.
- The Melbourne Cup didn’t start out as the big event it is today but within just a few years, the number of attendees grew from 4,000 to 100,000 in the late 1800’s. The number nowadays goes up to around 300,000 or more.
If you plan on travelling through Australia during early November, you will want to plan time to visit the Flemington Racecourse. Being the most popular horse race in Australia, you’ll need to plan ahead and secure tickets if you want to watch the races trackside. The Melbourne Cup Carnival is where you will get to experience a historical event that has lasted through the years. It’s an icon of Australian culture and is truly worth your time if you enjoy watching competitions of any kind.
From going all out with vibrant outfits to enjoying the experience of betting on your favourite horse, you won’t want to miss this iconic Australian experience. As you map out your itinerary for your road trip in a motorhome hire, make sure to include Melbourne on the map.