Hosting exceptional events for motor racing and sports fans alike, the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia is situated a stone's throw away from the Melbourne CBD, and was opened in 1953 for the Formula One championship as well as V8 championship races. The circuit uses everyday sections of road that circle Albert Park Lake, a small man-altered lake just south of the CBD. During nine months of the year when the track is not required for Grand Prix preparation or the race weekend, most of the track can be driven by ordinary street-registered vehicles, which makes a good experience for out of town visitors looking for something interesting to do.
The stadium itself has various temporary grandstands named after motoring heroes, and holds a total of 80,000 fans. Over the course of the four day event, this could mean 300,000+ local and overseas fans flocking to the championship’s 3.2 square kilometer space.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Albert Park Circuit has an exceptional array of food offerings that delivers contemporary and quality produce for sports fans that is unrivalled in Australia.
The F1 Grand Prix is Australia's premier fan experience and motoring event. Due to the scale and size of the event, the food and drink options on show are abundant in both quality and taste. From greasy tasty food like gourmet hot dogs and waffles to yummy options that cater for vegetarians and vegans, the event is just loaded with choices even for fans with picky taste buds. There is Nando's chicken and chips, a McDonalds CYT (Create Your Taste) stand that produces gourmet burgers, vendors serving up Indian, Asian, and Spanish options, as well as everyday classics like hot dogs, chips and pies. The food is reasonably priced, and service lines are very quick due to the abundance of food trucks and food stalls. It is incredibly impressive to see such a huge variety of food on offer here, which is a highlight of the event, and something many major events could only dream of in Australia.
Like the food, drink options are high quality and in great abundance at the Albert Park Circuit. From ice-cold soft drinks of every variety to frozen drinks, craft beers, and general beers, to special spirits tents serving icy-cold rum and cokes as well as other selections, there is just so much on offer here if you are looking for a cold drink. Not to be out done are the hot varieties too, but bear in mind the event takes place in March, and temperatures hover around 30°C throughout the day. Nevertheless, quality coffee traders and juice stalls are available in multiple spots across the huge precinct, and free water stations as well as free drink sample booths from sponsors are available throughout the space. Samples include ice tea, soft drinks, and some spirits (over 18 years only), which add to the experience and help you get your money's worth.
There is simply no better food and beverage offering in Australia at a major sporting event. The high quality food and drinks from local producers and international chefs, coupled with the exceptional tastes, delivery, and service, make this an event not to miss if you're a foodie or a motor sport fan. This is truly an event which caters for every fan's taste buds.
This is the benchmark for the best fan experience for a major sporting event anywhere in the world. There is simply so much going on at this event that you can't have a bad day out. From food, educational workshops, and heaps of giveaways to fan engagement, kid's activities, and the race itself, you do not even have to be a racing fan to enjoy yourself here. This is an event that has to be seen to be believed.
There are multiple grandstands that snake around the course, which are set up each year for the event. The stands range in size from two to five thousand seats each, and house private bars for fans - these seats are considerably more expensive than a normal general admission ground pass that only allows fans into the event space. The ground pass is not a bad option though, as you can line up early and grab a spot right along the course.
There are added advantages of being in the grandstands, namely having a dedicated, reserved seat and a guaranteed view of the course as the F1 cars roll by. Seats in the stands are quite standard, but have the added bonuses of quick beer lines plus easy access to toilets and food, so they are a worthy option for fans. Views of the track are of course limited, and as it's F1, you won't see the cars for up to a few minutes as they whiz by, but it sure is a sight to behold as they do.
A standard ground pass is a very good option too though, as it enables you to move around the whole venue and take up various positions rather than having a standard reserved seat. The stadium area has so many unique areas, from the kid's activity zone to the V8 zone and the educational precinct, that this is literally a sports and motor racing fan's dream due to the variety of fun activities on offer. There are countless photo opportunities throughout the venue, with heaps of F1 livery around to take in a unique snap. Massive video boards surround the venue's various entertainment zones, as well as music stages and all the food tents and merchandise stalls.
There is so much on offer here that to do all the activities (the majority of which are free) in one day is surprisingly difficult. There is such a huge focus on fan engagement, and the giveaways are awesome - be prepared to bring a backpack as you can walk home with any number of freebies, from toys to stickers and cards to food samples. Fans definitely get their money's worth at this event, and arriving early is a must so that fans can take it all in.
The very safe Albert Park area of Melbourne is situated close to the CBD with tram, rail, and bus transportation options in very easy supply on race days. However, it is also very easy to walk from the CBD to the ground, and would make for a nice walk the morning of a race. The tram operates day and night, and drops fans right at the heart of the main gates, making this the easiest and cheapest option to get to the stadium. Police, security, and ushers are in abundance around the venue, and staff are on hand to help throughout the event.
While restaurants and bars pepper the streets and neighbourhood leading up to the course, there are just so many options to try inside the event that it is a must do to pick up something after you go in. However, supporting the local businesses around Albert Park is a good thing to do as well, so perhaps have a bite to eat before or after the event from one of these local vendors.
The event is located close to the city, so there are a number of major attractions located nearby. The famous South Melbourne markets, the Melbourne Aquatic Centre, and the National Art Gallery of Victoria, as well as the hundreds of cafés that Melbourne is famous for, are all located very close to the event space and are worth visiting; many of these attractions offer free entry.
The event space is located close to the CBD, which has hundreds of hotels to choose from. However, there is also an abundance of world class hotels within a short stroll of Albert Park Circuit's main gates, which will offer fans a very warm welcome and an exceptional level of service. Two such options include the exclusive Pullman Hotel On The Park and Mantra St Kilda Road. The five-star Pullman offers free stays and breakfast for kids under 12, pool access, free parking, and exclusive business services, as well as being one of Melbourne's premier hotels, which makes this the go-to hotel for race goers. The Mantra St Kilda Road is another option of high quality that represents value for money and a premium accommodation experience. With gym facilities and spacious rooms, quality dining options and world class amenities that offer everything a guest could need, this is another hotel that is well worth staying in while in town for the race. Both are situated close to the event, and offer affordable rates and quality service from experienced hotel staff.
The fans at Albert Park Circuit are enthusiastic, passionate, and loud. From the very young babies with ear muffs to the kids having fun in the dedicated kid's zone, to the teens and young adults enjoying the various fun on offer, and on through to the young-at-heart rev heads, the fans here go absolutely bonkers for the race day action.
Typical attendance ranges from 20,000 to 80,000 per day over the course of the main event, with a total anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 over the course of the four days. With so much going on, and the ability to purchase one-day or four-day (full event) passes, there are fans here to soak up the atmosphere very early on, and all the way through to when the final bars close after the race is over. Kids make up a huge majority of attendees, given the cheap options for tickets and the heavy focus on ensuring an exceptional fan experience for the young ones, in order to draw them and their parents back every year. And with so much space inside the event zone it never feels crowded, and it always feels safe with a fun, friendly, vibrant atmosphere.
The cars themselves are quite loud, and the fans also let rip with plenty of cheers throughout the event. There is noise, noise, and more noise around the whole venue due to the fact that there are so many activations taking place, but also because fans can get their hands dirty testing out cars, participating in workshops, and doing everything else on offer. The free Wi-Fi enables fans to be social online, while the various photo opportunities that scatter the space mean that fans are always smiling, positive, and engaged throughout the day. Put simply, expect to come here and smile, scream, laugh, and have fun all day long.
With a world class event comes world class event management and accessibility, and the Albert Park Circuit is no exception. With plenty of off street paid parking and affordable facility parking, driving to the event can be a good option, however, public transport is the cheapest bet, and walking (for free) is a resounding winner with lots of fans as well. Handicap seating and toilets are both plentiful and of high quality. ATMs, cloak rooms, maps, and dietary options are all catered for, which is the main reason why this is such a quality event.
Public transport is quick, easy and cheap to and from the CBD, but users will need to purchase a MYKI travel card which comes with $5 credit. Generally tickets come with free tram travel from the CBD too, which is another reason that this event provides exceptional value for money. The Melbourne Airport is located approximately 15-20 km from the event and is a $30-50 Uber or taxi ride away.
Public on street parking is limited on race day, but is available near the circuit. Beware of parking inspectors as they will be out to fine illegally parked cars. Parking inside the venue is also a good option, and is cheap (around $15-20 per day). There are also large garages, hotels, and other locations where you can park that are also inexpensive near the circuit - just be sure to do your homework with Google Maps or Parking Victoria prior to arrival, and if possible just take public transport, as it's the best option.
There are multiple gate entries located on either side of Albert Park Circuit, which are large and spacious to walk through, so whichever way you come it means that entry is a breeze. Be ready for bag checks and do not bring glass or standard non stadium items to the circuit as they will be confiscated. Ticketing options include paperless and standard tickets, as well as mobile ticketing. There are also ticket booths onsite so you can buy on the day of (subject to availability).
The venue is incredibly spacious and tidy, so moving around with a family or friends is a breeze. Wearing sunscreen is a must as it gets very hot in March here. Good shoes are also a must as you'll be doing a lot of walking, if you want to take in all the activities, that is. Disability access is easy to find, and staff are on hand to help if needed. This is truly a world class event with world class stadium features, and great support from event staff means everyone will feel catered for.
An exceptional fan experience, Albert Park Circuit represents possibly the best value for money for a sporting event in Australia. A must do on the Australian sports calendar, this event has to be seen to be believed. Not just for racing fans, but sports fans and those who want to have a fun day out alike, this is an absolutely world class event.
From exceptional fan engagement activities and activations that represent best practice in this field to gourmet food options that would make an NFL stadium blush, to ease of access and how well the event caters for kids just exemplifies why this event is so good. The fan experience here is the best in the country and is the benchmark for not just Australian sporting events, but global sporting events as well. Ticketing is affordable, and the ability to sit where you want or have a reserved seat to view this world class sporting enables fans to have one heck of a fun day out.
There are a number of ticket options fans can partake in if they are on the lookout. These will vary year by year and as sales dictate, however, a number of sporting teams, Albert Park Circuit itself, and many of the attractions give discount for tickets of up to 50%. Even if you can't score a deal on grandstand tickets, the general admission prices are an incredible value for money and worth every cent.
Last year's event had a roving dinosaur from the 'Walking with Dinosaurs' exhibition. This was a sight to behold and something that blew fans away; a life-like dinosaur that roamed the ground and had nothing whatsoever to do with motorsport. It is this kind of crazy extra that has fans smiling, laughing, and dropping their jaws over how exciting and fun-filled this event is. Words cannot do this activation enough justice - take a look at the photos. People just had no idea it was obviously not real.
Besides the dinosaur, there are so many other extras here at the Albert Park Circuit. From educational motor sport workshops, car demonstrations, and classic car displays to merchandise tents, signing sessions, and race simulators, this event has everything a fan, or even a non-fan, could want from a major event. There are over 50 different fan engagement and entertainment activations, which is way too many to list here, but includes the Land Rover Driving Challenge, the Albert Park Champions walk of honour for past Grand Prix winders, the Star Wars game circuit, and the BMX stunt shows to name a few.
A truly exceptional sporting event and fan experience, the Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit is an event that must be seen to be believed. Come for the race, but stay for all the other fun - make it your number one sporting event each year and you won't be disappointed.
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Melbourne, Victoria 3206
180 St Kilda Rd
Melbourne, Victoria 3006
(03) 8662 1555
192 Wellington Parade
Melbourne, Victoria 3002
(03) 9419 2000
568 St Kilda Road
Melbourne, Victoria 3004