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Melbourne Sports and Activities

Australians are sports mad, both as spectators and participants. Melbournes temperate climate means that for most of the year it is possible to enjoy outdoor sports and the city hosts a number of major sporting events throughout the year.

In January, world series cricket takes place at Melbourne Cricket Ground (tel: (03) 9657 8879) and the Australian Tennis Open is held at Melbourne Park (tel: (03) 9286 1175).

The Australian Formula One Grand Prix is now in Melbourne each March at Albert Park. The Australian Grand Prix Corporation (tel: (03) 9258 7100) can provide information.

The Australian Football League season runs until September, when the Aussie Rules Grand Final is held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (tel: (03) 9643 1938).

The final event of the year is the most important in the sporting calendar and is a public holiday in Victoria: the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Race Course (tel: (03) 9258 4666), the highlight of the Spring Racing Festival, which takes place in October and November each year.

Tickets for most major sporting events in Melbourne can be purchased from Ticketmaster (tel: 136 166, Australia only) or Ticketek (tel: 132 849, Melbourne only).

Golf:

Golf courses that are open to the public include Albert Park Golf Course on Queens Road (tel: (03) 9510 8144); Brighton Golf Course, Dendy Street, Brighton (tel: (03) 9592 1388); and Yarra Bend Golf Course, Yarra Bend Road, Fairfield (tel: (03) 9481 3729). Fees for an 18-hole game start at A$20.30.

Health clubs:

These include St Kilda Sports & Fitness Centre, 97 Alma Road, St Kilda (tel: (03) 9510 9409), Collingwood Leisure Centre, Turnball Street, Clifton Hill (tel: (03) 9205 5522), and Waves Leisure Centre, 111 Chesterville Road, Highett (tel: (03) 9553 1038).

Swimming pools:

Melbourne City Baths, 420 Swanston Street (tel: (03) 9663 5888), is open daily and facilities also include a sauna and spa. Melbourne Sports & Aquatics Centre, Aughtie Drive (tel: (03) 9926 1555), has a pool and wave pool together with a gym.

Tennis:

Tennis is a great favourite with residents of Melbourne and there are many tennis courts throughout the city, although many are open to members only. It is possible to book a court at the famous Melbourne Park Tennis Club (tel: (03) 9286 1244), home to the Australian Open.