What’s on in Melbourne on 2018 Australian Grand Prix weekend?

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Melbourne is a vibrant city of sports, entertainment and festivals. Here’s some ideas to keep you busy away from the track on 2018 Australian Grand Prix weekend, March 22-25.

For more information on what’s happening at Albert Park this weekend, including the full on-track schedule, check out Trackside. Further ideas on the best districts of Melbourne and things to do in the city can be found in Off-Track Activities.


Melbourne is often referred to as the ‘sporting capital’ of Australia (or even the world). The city is rightly famous for events such as the Melbourne Cup horse race and Australian Open tennis, not to mention the Australian Grand Prix. Here’s a couple of the biggest sporting events taking place in the city alongside F1 this weekend.

AFL: Richmond vs Carlton

  • Why? The new season of the Australian Football League (AFL) kicks off this weekend at the MCG, Australia’s most iconic sporting ground. Don’t know how the sport works? Just ask a friendly local to explain the ins and outs.
  • When? Thursday, March 22. The game begins at 19:25.
  • Where? Melbourne Cricket Ground
  • More info: Adult tickets from $45. Buy here or at the gate.

Soccer: Melbourne vs Western Sydney

  • Why? The local soccer league (regular football, as opposite to Australian football) is rising in popularity and quality, attracting bigger names each year. Melbourne fans are passionate, so you can expect a great atmosphere at the stadium.
  • When? Saturday, March 24. The game begins at 19:50.
  • Where? AAMI Park
  • More info: Adult tickets from $28. Buy here or at the gate.


Melbourne’s multicultural food scene provides a taste of some of the world’s major cuisines, including Italian, Greek Middle Eastern and myriad Asian countries. There’s always something happening in the city when it comes to food and drink; we’ve listed this year’s biggest events coinciding with the Australian Grand Prix.

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

  • Why? This festival celebrates Melbourne’s diverse gastronomic scene and exceptional local wines. Choose from hundreds of events all over the city, including wine tastings, cooking classes and pop-up restaurants.
  • When? March 16-25
  • Where? All over Melbourne
  • More info: festival website

Queen Vic Night Market

  • Why? The Queen Victoria markets are worth a visit anyway, but this is the best time to do it for a lively atmosphere complete with food trucks and market stalls, plus live music and other entertainment.
  • When? Wednesdays, March 21 and March 28. From 17:00.
  • Where? Queen Victoria Market in the city center
  • More info: market website


Moonlight cinema

  • Why? Because watching a film in a pleasant outdoor setting like the Botanic Gardens enhances the experience, as long as Melbourne’s fickle weather doesn’t spoil the party.
  • When? Every night, apart from Mondays.
  • Where? Royal Botanic Gardens
  • More info: Adult tickets cost $19. Check schedule and book online.
  • Alternatives: If the films on offer at Moonlight Cinema don’t appeal, you may also consider Lido on the Roof in Hawthorn or Rooftop Cinema in the city center.

Brickman Awesome

  • Why? Because you’ll get to see all kinds of stuff made out of lego, including a  “7.5m high NASA SLS rocket model, life-sized Australian animals, our life-sized TARDIS from Doctor Who, the only life-sized LEGO Harley Davidson motorcycle ever made and a light-up Back to the Future DeLorean, all made from LEGO Bricks!”
  • When? It starts on March 21.
  • Where? Melbourne museum
  • More info: Adult tickets cost $25 until March 29, click here to learn more.

Live music and theater in Melbourne this weekend

Miley’s dad Billy Ray Cyrus is playing at Crown Melbourne on Thursday, March 22 and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are playing at the Forum Theatre on Saturday, March 24. Meanwhile, the Download Festival is happening on Saturday, March 24 at Flemington Racecourse and features acts such as Korn, Limp Bizkit and Good Charlotte, among other rock and metal acts. If you prefer electronic music, then head over to Hisense Arena on Saturday, March 24 for the Paradigm Festival. Popular theater shows on in Melbourne at the moment include Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.


  • Horse racing events are held almost daily in Melbourne or nearby, including night racing at Moonee Valley on Friday, March 23 from 18:30. Click here for fixtures and more information.
  • Hanging around a few days after the Grand Prix? The Melbourne International Comedy Festival starts on March 28 at various venues around the city.
  • Fan of Amy Winehouse? The Jewish Museum is hosting a ‘family portrait’ photo exhibition of the singer’s life until March 25. Adult tickets cost $12.
  • We are not 100% sure that the average F1 fan is going to be interested in the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (March 21-25) but you never know.
  • Still looking for more ideas? Check out Time Out Melbourne
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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

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