. albert park australian gp circuit and melbourne guide
Where we headed this time?
albert park circuit melbourne australia
Venue Physical Address: Albert park Lake, Melbourne, Australia (about 3 KMS from Downtown)
> Directions? How do we get there?
Along Queens Road out of downtown / CBD. You'll see the park on the right (you'll also find nowhere to park. Take one of the many trams from all corners of downtown to all gates.
Driving & Parking
Road Advisories/ Race Day Traffic Tips: No Parking of more than a 2 hour limit within miles of the raceway. Use public transport. Usually ticket holders travel free from downtown to the track (10 mins). See Below.
Drive Left, steering Right. Like in the UK and Japan. You'll need your home license and an international permit, available at your home Auto Club.
Hotels Accommodations nearby?
> Find 80 + hotels / motels in Melbourne (within 30 MIs of CBD) The track is just a short tram ride from downtown, so any central hotel will do. but check my Albert Park Circuit Hotels guide for specifics if you want a little walk. Note, riding a tram in grizly old Melbourne is fun - see below.
> Hotels in all Australian Cities & States
> What's the nearest major airport?
> (MEL) Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (transfer cost? about a $30 AUD taxi fare ride to downtown). Last I checked there wasn't a local public transportation mode for getting downtown. This may have changed. There are private bus services but this might not be so cheap. If you know, let me know via contact link below.
> Find Hotels near Melbourne International Airport Tullamarine (MEL)
> Official Airport website melair.com.au
Find Hotels near All World Airports
Shop for the cheapest airfare to MEL Melbourne Tullamarine Airport for your trip to Melbourne's Albert Park Circuit with with my online travel store or get your flight tickets from the Airline online and save. See my listing of Airlines of the World Links.
There is no camping at the track or in downtown melbourne. It's hotels, hostels, and the couches of dear (at least once a year) friends.
> Where's the Map?
here's the map choose between Satellite and Road Map.
> Local road work / construction?
Road Advisories & Local road work / construction?
Don't know if there's a website for this. Try a search for "Vic Roads", that's Victorian Roads. I think that's what the local authority is called. Knew once, but I forget.
> Got the weather and radar?
Weather Forecast: Melbourne 7-day weather forcast from Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Local Public Transit
> Nearest Train station / Bus Route If you can make it to downtown (and its possible from most suburbs by train, bus, or tram. You're only a few miles from the track. There are transit authority workers on all major downtown intersections directing you to the correct trams. The track can't be more than 1 mile across in either direction (its a man made lake) so any entry will do, unless you need will call, in which case ask for that gate specifically. Visit Metlink for timetables schedules and transportation maps.
> What's the local newspaper say?
Whatever Rupert Murdock recommends they should say - Herald Sun: http://heraldsun.news.com.au/
Casino? Yeah they got a casino. After midnight there's not much else to do.
> Yeah they got a museum and an art gallery.
Go Carts: Not Downtown
Theme Parks Near by: Not Downtown.
Lots, for Spanish Cuisine try Johnston street just a short cab ride to neighboring Collingwood. For quick food mall type food cross the river to the southbank office complex, for eats by the beach, check out what I think is one of the best hamburger places in the world, Greasy Joe's in St. Kilda, less than a mile from the Fitzroy Street exit of the circuit. Tell 'em I sent you!
> Who races there?
> Formula 1 World Championship
> Aussie V8 Supercars
Click links for coming series date / schedule
> Best viewing at the track:
It's a street regular road circuit effectively. The best viewing, if you get there early enough, if in fact from "brocky's hill" in the general admission area, where you can see 3 bends in one panorama. Seats offer limited viewing of what you see before you. The other place I like to wander too is the general admission area beyond turn 3, where grip is an issue, you can watch the cars work up through the gears, and, usually, 2 tv screens offer a view if you're watching them come towards you or go. Some negotiation required to see the turn 3 screen but it can be done.
> Wanna be a volunteer race marshall at the Australian Grand Prix?
Visit Confederation of Australian Motorsports (CAMS)
> Distance from nearest Major racing Centers nearby:
How far is Albert Park/Melbourne from?
>> downtown Melbourne - 3 miles / 5KMs.
>> Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit - 135KMs / 80MIs
>> Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW 720KMs
>> Sydney CBD: 895KMs
>> Eastern Creek, NSW: 854KMs
>> Wakefield Park, NSW: 691KMs
>> Oran Park: 828KMs
Other revhead Activites
> Every year around grand prix time the Melbourne Motor Show takes place. (see link for current dates) They're down by the river downtown in the Melbourne Exhibition Center, a place locals like to call "jeff's shed", after some guy who liked to spend a lot of money on ugly public buildings.
Check out also the other fine racetracks near Melbourne: Sandown Park International Motor Raceway ( http://www.sandownraceway.com.au/ ) , where the local SuperV8s Race, & Calder Park raceway (http://www.motorsport.com.au/ ??) , where the Australian AUSCAR series was born, and home of many a past Australian F1 Grand Prix.
> Also, regarding another form of horsepower, on the first Tuesday of every November, city hosts the famous, Melbourne Cup Carnival Horse Race at the city's Flemington Racecourse. http://www.melbournecup.com/ Find hotels near Horse racing here
> Don't forget there are still more international standard motorsports at nearby Phillip Island.
Other Major Local Sports
> Aussie Rules Football, of course the Australian Open Tennis is played in town at Rod Laver Arena. Find Australian Open Tennis Tickets See also hotels near Australian Venues + Tickets (all of them)
Circuit / Event Official Website: I think, although folks down there are probably still debating if it's valuable to the economy as a whole or just a few: grandprix.com.au
> Who's going to church on Sunday? Places of Worship:
If you really think praying will help BooBoo (Lewis) Hamilton not lose another world championship, downtown Melbourne is filled with churches and places of worship for almost all major religions. Say a prayer, catch a tram, see the race.
... Curency: Australian Dollar (AUD) - try oanda.com or xe.com for exchange rate calculations; > ATM Locator: Try VISA.com - they used to have a nice one & if you're into money of whatever kind, check out my page of Currencies of the world
...Tipping: Not Expected.
...Melbourne Prices include 10% GST:
> Time Zone: (GMT+10) with daylight saving
> Telephone Info:
... Emergency Number: 000
... Australian International dialing code is +61
You may need a visa See Australian Immigration Office Info
Customs/Tarrifs/Excise: Australian Customs Office Official Website
> Local Liquor Laws: Legal Drinking Age in Victoria Australia is 18.
Did you know?
On average only 4000 international visitors come to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix. Of this number 2000 are called "corporate guests", Whether this includes the formula one circus, which account for about 500+ support staff for the racing teams is not clear. So 2000 paying tourists. Little wonder much arguing is done about whether this is worth the huge investment the event costs the Victorian tax payer. If logistics and crowd numbers is your bag too, see my list of Race Attendances I've been collecting for a few years now... If you are a big event planner, or a big mouth that just likes spending public funds on stuff other than hospitals, did you know that an Olympic Games, and by argument, even a Grand Prix, actually hurts Tourism? Read More and keep your eye on my Sports Travel Hotels and Tickets Blog. I hear stuff. I been around.
Rumor has it that violence has gotten so out of hand in the streets of Melbourne that there's now a night curfew for folks in the downtown area. Correct me if I'm wrong. I think its 2 am but ask your hotel manager before you step out.
Stuff to do
Once you do get there, the plane does finally land after 15+ hours from Los Angeles, here's the prime list of things to do and check out...
> By the Yarra River, that runs alongside downtown, you'll find a casino that shoots flames from 4 towers, some dancing clubs, and a bunch of restaurants. Head for downtown if you want to wear a tie out eating and for a nearby inner suburb called St. Kilda if you like your dining stylish no less expensive than anywhere else, but less formal.
> I prefer the city's Spanish / latin street / zone in johnston street, Fitzroy, (it used to be called Fitzroy) for hanging out, a few bars / tapas places. It's not quite Barcelona, but one of the few places that can really cook on Saturday night, if you're into well packed bars with loud ethnic music.
> Get a Chinese meal in the 5 blocks that are china town in the downtown area (Little Bourke Street)
> Get one of the best gourmet burgers in the world (I know, I've been keeping notes) at greasy joes in Akland Street St. Kilda (only 5 minutes on a light rail tram from the circuit and with a nice view of the Pallais Theatre.)
> Walk along the beach - which I'm told you can't swim in because of pollution from the sewer outlets into the bay and heavy shipping that passes by on it's way to Melbourne's port a few miles away.
> Ask locals what they think of the "modern" architecture (worth the entire cost of the trip). Then go to look at some of the neat buildings from the city's history that seem to be hiding for shame from the new monstrocity that has dubbed itself the, aptly, concrete "heart" of Melbourne.
> nearby downtown is the Italian zone in lygon street (http://www.lygonstreet.com.au - you know the place Skyhooks sang about in their famous "Lygon Street Lymbo" - although the place has scrubbed up very squeeky vanilla since those old gritty 70's days - 2 blocks from the University of Melbourne's historic campus. If you are tifoso this is about the only place you'll feel really welcome in a town that lives and breathes racing only 3 days a year. Don't expect to find anything nearly as elaborate as Montreal's Crescent Street, though. In the former bohemian center you'll find a strip of around 40 italian restaurants, with kids cruising and honking horns, and 3 or 4 mostly (Ferrari) merchandising tents. You'll find lots of people, but no real air of a race weekend, unless of course Ferrari win the race in which case Sunday night is a PARTY! (wasn't in 2003<) On more quite afternoons during the week, stop there before anywhere else for a premium cup of some of the best coffee that side of italy. Check in at my favorite little italian cafe there too, tiamo. Who knows who you'll find sitting at a table outside reading a newspaper!
> Get to the circuit/park a few days ahead of the event early and watch workers erecting the palm trees and craning the yachts into the 3-foot deep man-made mud lake in the center of the park. Also, for many years it was posible to gain entry to the main straight in the week before the event and watch the cars arrive and garages get organized. check the local ticketmaster site for other events during the weekend. Melbourne's summer is ending in March and there's lots of international entertainers visit during this time.
> When you're planning your visit consider taking in Adelaide (around 500 miles west) and it's awesome street party race weekend around the super v8 race, the clipsal500 (see link for dates), run on the old Formula One™ street layout that really was fun to visit, and much better value for racing dollars (and friendly smiles) than Melbourne could ever be.
> You'll get a taste of the v8 supercars at Albert park too. At the track you'll swear there isn't an f1 TM race on at all, since the locals appear in droves to support their local heroes and only stay on for the "big" event out of curiosity, and because they paid so much for their tickets.
> Check out, too, what the protesters of the race have to say, their yearly vigil over the park is environmental and highly polical, and tells much to reveal about the problems of the city as a whole.
>Take suntan lotion, and an umbrella, while I roasted in 2000 and 2001, in 2002, it rained cats and dogs until an hour before the race in 2002 and 2003 and rained again in 2007 and 2008 on Saturday. Take a good book and an ipod / walkman thingy with a radio.
> Wonder where all the aboriginal people are and visit the melbourne zoo to see local wildlife. Need a hotel near this zoo
> The city usually has a week long sideshow called "Moomba" (recently renamed Melbourne Moomba Waterfest, no website yet) around Grand Prix time. It features smaller amusement rides, waterskiing competition, and ferry floss by the river downtown. A Kind of hokey county fair without the animals.
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Australian Formula One Grand Prix Weekend Pics
Stood on the grid
Met a few folks on the way...
which of these two fellows will get your vote this year, Michael Schumacher or Juan Pablo Montoya? Me, for one, I'm undecided...
The Michelin Man
Minardi F1 team Principal Paul Stoddart. I asked him if he'd hire me to do public relations for the team. "Not in that shirt!", he replied. Read the interview
meeting formula one world champion and living racing legend Sir Jack Brabham! A thrill indeed. The vehicles displayed...
vodaphone grid girls. They took a picture of me for their vtx site, I took one of them for grandprixcities™.
Track and Speedway Guides
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check out the list hotels near big ticket venues feature city guides page. + Best Hotels and Tickets Guides