Australian Grand Prix Corporation
220 Albert Road
SOUTH MELBOURNE VIC 3205
Tel: + 61 (03) 9258 7100
Each year a minor miracle takes place in Melbourne. It’s the transformation of a leafy, inner suburban park into an international gathering-point for some of the biggest movers and shakers in world sport. Each year a small army of construction workers, organisers, officials and volunteers change Albert Park into the finest in Australian major events, the Australian Grand Prix. A few miles of commuter roads suddenly become a 5.3-kilometre challenge to the greatest drivers in the world.
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Albert Park, Melbourne
Posted by: Steve Slater
There really couldn’t be a better place to start the season. Albert Park is also one of the most friendly and easy-to-access venues in Formula One and in addition to providing a wonderful welcome, the Australian Grand Prix is one of the best organised on the calendar.
Your ticket gives access to a four day-long festival of track action, with everything from a BMW Celebrity Challenge, to the big Aussie V8 Supercars, as well as Formula One!
The laid-back atmosphere of Albert Park is great for spectators and teams alike, with the buzzing atmosphere of the St. Kilda seaside resort within walking distance or you can take a tram to the track from the city centre.
As well as the lottery of how the new cars and technology such as KERS will work, the Melbourne track offers some special challenges. Like Monaco, Valencia and Singapore, it’s made up of closed public roads, so no testing is possible on its dusty low grip surface, while the short pitlane means its open house on refuelling strategy.
Favourite corners? Turn 1, named after Aussie World Champion Alan Jones, or Turn 3. They are the places for late-braking overtaking challenges. The ultimate high-speed challenge come at Turns 11 and 12, an ‘S’ bend which demands total accuracy and a similar amount of bravery at 200kph!
There are more than 2,000 restaurants in the downtown area of Melbourne, while museums include Captain Cook’s cottage, transported from England and the Old Melbourne Gaol, where outlaw turned national hero, Ned Kelly eventually met his end. Serial shoppers head for Queen Victoria Market, originally opened in 1878. It is now the biggest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere.
Musts to see and do include taking a look at the track from the 55th floor of Melbourne’s tallest building. The observation deck of the Rialto Towers gives a stunning 360-degree panorama of the city. Head out of town on Victoria’s famous Great Ocean Road and take in Philip Island late afternoon, to watch the evening return of the tiny Fairy Penguins from the ocean to their nests, or take the Puffing Billy steam train that winds its way through the beautiful Dandenong Mountains into the vineyards of the Yarra Valley.