Horse Racing

Melbourne is the only city in the world to declare a public holiday for a horse race—the Melbourne Cup—held on the first Tuesday in November since 1861. The Cup is also a fashion parade, and most of Melbourne society turns out in full regalia. The rest of the country comes to a standstill, with schools, shops, offices, and factories tuning in to the action.

The city has four top-class racetracks.

Caulfield Race Course. Caulfield Race Course, 10 km (6 miles) from the city, runs the Blue Diamond Stakes in February and the Caulfield Cup in October. Station St., Caulfield, Victoria, 3145. 03/9257–7200; From A$10.

Champions: Thoroughbred Racing Gallery. Horse-racing information, displays, and a mini-shrine to Australia's most famous race house, Phar Lap, take center stage at this gallery in the National Sports Museum. Melbourne Cricket Ground, Brunton Ave., Gate 3, Yarra Park, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. 03/9657–8879; A$30. 10–5 on nonmatch days.

Flemington Race Course. Australia's premier racecourse, 3 km (2 miles) outside the city, is home to the Melbourne Cup each November. 448 Epsom Rd., Flemington, Victoria, 3031. 1300/727–575; From A$12.

Moonee Valley Race Course. Moonee Valley Race Course is 6 km (4 miles) from town and hosts the Cox Plate race in October. McPherson St., Moonee Ponds, Victoria, 3039. 03/9373–2222; 1300/843825; From A$10.

William Hill Park. This park, also known as Sandown Race Track, hosts the Zipping Classic each November. Corrigan Rd. and Princes Hwy., Springvale, Victoria, 3171. 03/9518–1300; From A$10.