Watching one of the four tennis Grand Slams would be a dream for anyone who follows the game closely. Especially if you aren’t lucky enough to live in Paris, New York, London or Melbourne! So when given the opportunity, with a work trip planned around the dates of the Australian open, I definitely didn’t want to miss it. I managed to catch some of the Australian Open 2015 action and was lucky enough to see Rafa play; yes I’m a big fan! The Australian Open is a great event to plan your travel around. Here are the top five highlights of my visit:
Tennis, Tennis and Great Tennis!
Some legendary players have said that the Australian Open is by far the toughest of all Grand Slams. Physically, with summer temperatures soaring, it takes so much more to win this one. In 2014, Djokovic fried an egg on the court to show how hot it was!
You are sure to watch some magnificent games with all the top seeds playing here. There are always upsets and new heroes so even a first round match could be extremely exciting. This year the 2nd round match Rafael Nadal and Tim Simzyck was a thrilling 5 setter. I had to change my dinner plans because what was expected to be a 2 hour walk in the park for Nadal turned out to be a 4 hour nail biting game.
The Atmosphere in the courts!
If you haven’t watched a Grand Slam before, this is the place to start. The atmosphere in the courts is sure to make you love the game even more than you already do. I made it to Rod Laver Arena and stood in awe. The sight of the roof above the court opening is spectacular. I have never seen a game command pin drop silence when the players are on court. There is no movement in the stands and absolutely no noise. You can’t ask for a more perfect setting to immerse yourself in the tennis.
Take your kids – they’ll love it
Those with children needn’t worry about their little ones sitting still. There’s plenty to do around the courts. There are special play areas for kids, organized game sessions, a little kids court for them to try their hand at tennis and get their face painted. This year, Disney comes to the Australian Open and is setting up an entire play area with free access. So take your kids and have a fun picnic at the Australian Open.
It really isn’t that expensive
If you plan in advance, a trip to Australia isn’t very expensive. Air fare can be reasonable with plenty of options to choose from, depending on where you’re flying in from. Melbourne has great bed and breakfast options, so start searching early and you can definitely find some good deals. As for tickets, the ground passes are a great option. Single day passes and weekend passes cost about AUD 35 – 40 and give you access to all the courts except Rod Laver and Margaret Court Arena.These can be purchased online or at authorized Ticketek centers.You are sure to catch some truly world-class tennis at affordable rates.
Summer in Australia
If you think tennis might be too small an excuse to visit Australia, plan an entire vacation. It’s a glorious summer in Australia and the country is beautiful. There is so much sport in Melbourne. Cricket is happening right now and footie is just around the corner. Apart from sports, the Melbourne art festival is a perfect way to get in some music, theatre and drama. The Great Ocean drive is a great way to spend the weekend. Combine it with another couple of days in Sydney. Walk along the Darling Harbor and catch a performance at the Sydney Opera House after which you can dine in some of the best cafes and restaurants in the world. There is no doubt that you’ll have an unforgettable holiday!
To plan your visit to the Australian Open, check out Eventraveler’s page for the event.