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A Guide to Melbourne’s Spring Racing Season

Melbournes Spring Racing Season
The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the premier social event on the Australian calendar. With racegoers flocking from all over the country, and the world, to Victoria in November, we’ll give you the run-down on where you should be this spring. Here’s part 2 of your Melbourne Spring Racing Guide, featuring where to stay during your trip, as well as what you should wear to ensure you finish best dressed on the day.

Where to stay during the spring racing season

Melbournes Spring Racing Season (3)

Whether you want to be in amongst the action at Flemington, or would prefer to be in the heart of Melbourne CBD enjoying all the luxuries that go with spring racing, there’s plenty of accommodation options to suit all needs.

Crown Towers

Melbourne Spring Racing is all about showcasing your most glamorous self, so why not ensure the style and elegance of the day extends to your accommodation, too? Crown Towers is every race goer’s dream, with plenty of restaurants and bars to indulge in before the big day. The Crystal Cub is the place to be seen, and the hotel even has flat screens in the bathroom so you can kick back and soak in style after a long day at the races. It’s also just a short 15 minute taxi trip out to Flemington.

Quest Flemington

If you’re more of a stumble home after a long day kind of person, the Quest Flemington is about as close as you can get, just a 10 minute walk from Flemington Racecourse. It’s also easily accessible from the airport and if you’re staying a few nights, it’s close by to other attractions like the Melbourne Zoo.


There’s also plenty of affordable options for staying in Melbourne during this period like Airbnb. Just select your check in and check out dates and the property type you’re after, and you could find yourself an affordable party house to stay in. It’s perfect for privacy and big groups of racegoers travelling together.

Getting to and from the major races

You want to enjoy yourself on the day and not have to worry about how you’re getting home. Here’s the best ways to get to and from the major races at Flemington, from public transport to a making a stylish entrance. For the country races, parking is free at the majority of the venues so driving is your best option, or hiring a taxi or uber if you’re staying close by.

Public transport

Public transport is one of the easiest ways to get to and from Flemington. You’ll need a Myki travel card to tap on and off, which can be purchased at 7 Eleven stores or train stations.

Special trains run directly to Flemington Racecourse on race days, departing from Flinders Street Station and Southern Cross Station, and arrival and departure times will be published here two weeks before the day. You can alternatively opt for the tram, which departs from the corner of Elizabeth and Flinders Street. Hop on the 57 West Maribyrnong tram to Flemington Drive. Finally, the 472 bus from Williamstown, Footscray and Moonee Ponds will get you to Fisher Parade, where you can enter Flemington Racecourse via the Riverbank entrance.

Private hire

Taxis and ubers are a great option, however note there are restrictions on their entrance. They can only enter the racecourse off Smithfield Roach at the Stables Drive entrance, or drop off in Leonard Crescent via Langs Road. If you’re looking to up the class, why not swap your taxi for a luxurious limousine. Or even better, why not beat the traffic all together and arrive in a helicopter? Flights depart from Melbourne and land at the helipad area at Flemington Racecourse, with VIP Lexus courtesy vehicles available to transfer you from the helipad to the venue entrance.


Flemington has an on site carpark available for those of you who prefer to drive. Limited parking is available in the centre car park for $20, so make sure to get in early to secure a spot, and entry’s via Smithfield Road at the Stables Drive entrance. It’s recommended to get their early to secure a car park and ensure if you’re the driver, you aren’t drinking on the day. The car park is open from 7.30am on AAMI Victoria Derby Day and Emirates Melbourne Cup Day.

What to wear during the Spring Racing Season

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With the Melbourne Cup Carnival playing host to the prestigious Myer Fashions on the Field, you’ll want to make sure you look the part on the day. After all, horse racing is so much more than watching the horses race. We’ve got you covered – both women and men – broken down based on the traditional dress codes for each main events.

Women’s spring racing fashion

Ladies, it’s time to start planning your race day outfit. Have you got your dress? Comfy, but stylish shoes? A matching bag and accessories? Here’s the rundown on how to dress for the key races on the spring calendar.

Derby Day women’s fashion

The first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival features a chic black and white dress code and is the most widely adhered to of all the days, so make sure you leave the colours in the closet. The most stylish looks are those that showcase predominantly white or black outfit, with a statement piece such as bell sleeves, metal fastenings or light feathers. Your fascinator should be sleek and not too over the top.

Melbourne Cup Day women’s fashion

Despite being the most prestigious race of the year, Melbourne Cup Day has a less specific dress code. So this is your chance to stand out from the crowd with a bold outfit. Try injecting some vibrant colour into your dress or accessories like yellow, pink, red and green, and choose a brilliant fascinator that looks more like an artwork than a hat. While you want to wow the crowd with your outfit, make sure to keep it appropriate – hemlines should be long and avoid dresses that are too tight.

Crown Oaks Day women’s fashion

Ladies, if you’re going to dress to impress any day, this is the day to do it. Known as ‘ladies day’, this racing event encourages women to express their individual style. Delicate fabrics like satin, chiffon and silk, in soft pastel colours are a popular choice for showing of your feminine grace.

Emirates Stakes Day women’s fashion

The final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival is more commonly known as ‘family day’. This means the style tends to be a little less formal. Aim to find a balanced look that appears classic, while also being comfortable and relaxed, such as an unstructured dress, jumpsuit or separates. Wedges are a great footwear option for this day, you can even get away with flats.

Men’s spring racing fashion

Racing isn’t just about suits and sunnies for the men, there’s a fine art that goes into perfecting your racewear outfit.

Derby Day men’s fashion

In line with the black and white dress code, this is the day to pull out your best fitting suit and crisp white shirts. Grey has also become a popular choice recently for suits on Derby Day. While avoiding colours, you can add some character with some elegant cufflinks, pocket squares and by playing around with tie textures.

Melbourne Cup Day men’s fashion

While watching the race that stops the nation, why not turn some heads yourself in vibrant colours. Melbourne Cup Day affords plenty of freedom when it comes to your look. Neutral tones like white or beige are popular on the day, as well as bolder colours like cherry reds, grass greens and peachy ambers.

Crown Oaks Day men’s fashion

Ladies Day calls for lighter and more feminine prints for the ladies, so the men generally match this with floral patterns and pastel colours. You can also add a playful pocket square to really stand out from the crowd.

Emirates Stakes Day men’s fashion

To match the family atmosphere, opt for a more relaxed look on Emirates Stakes Day. A patterned suit is appropriate, as well as saturated colours like grey, emerald green and beiges.

Turn heads this spring

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