Let me just start off by saying that my mom might love tennis more than life itself, so when I moved to Australia she made sure to plan accordingly. I was a bit hesitant when she told me that she planned four full days for us at the tournament, but after the first day- I was obsessed. Even if you are not a tennis fan, the Australian Open is well worth a visit. It had a vivacious atmosphere, lands right in the middle of their summer (and Australia Day!), and takes place in the beautiful city of Melbourne. Even though we have been to a few tennis tournaments, this one took a bit of figuring out. Hopefully this post will have you smoothly sailing into those court-side seats at the Rod Laver Arena! 😉
What days to go:
We would recommend going the middle weekend of the tournament. It has some big names playing at the free courts, unlike the end of the tournament, and doesn’t have as many random matches, like the beginning of the Open. It also landed on Australia Day (January 26th), which made it so much more fun and a bit of a party!
How to book tickets:
We booked ours ahead of time online and had them mailed to the house. You can buy them there but I believe they are more expensive and harder to get if you are trying to book tickets for Margaret Court or Rod Laver.
How the courts work:
All of the courts are free except Margaret Court and Rod Laver (although, after thinking we were sneaky and got in for free, we realized that anyone could go into Margaret Court when the Hisense Arena was closed). Hisense is a massive stadium that allows anyone with grounds passes to enter. Once inside, you can get a 30 minute free pass to enter and leave the arena without waiting in the long entry line.
Where to eat:
There are tons of food trucks and little booths around the tournament, it does get a bit pricy so I would suggest grabbing some snacks and water before hand. Outside of the tournament, I have a list of great restaurants to try in Melbourne here.
Where to drink 😉 :
Let’s just say the Aussies are a wild bunch and the Australian Open was no exception. The sponsors this year were Heineken and Jacob’s Creek, so it was only fair that we gave them a try. Beers, wine, spirits, and everything in between were sold at the Open. They had a sectioned off bar/ beer garden area that was perfect for the younger crowds.
How to get there:
One thing I love about Melbourne is their public transport system. The trolleys are free for anyone to ride when traveling throughout the main parts of the city. They make it really simple for visitors by labeling different areas as “free tram zones” or “outside of free tram zones.” If you catch the trolley in front of Flinders Street Station, there are big signs pointing you towards the Australian Open. *Tip: If you take it to Rod Laver Arena there is a separate entrance with a bit of a shorter line.
Best of luck to anyone planning a visit to the tournament down under! If you have any further questions about The Australian Open or just Melbourne in general please comment below and I will answer to the best of my ability. (Any additional advice for the Open is also welcome!)
Little Brantley Abroad