Are you thinking of attending Melbourne Cup week but not sure where to start?

What days do you go…. where do you stay and what tickets do you need to buy? It can be a bit overwhelming with all the decisions to make so, being a seasoned attendee (my 5th year this year) I have put together this little guide to help you.

In this guide I’ll be covering the following topics:

About Melbourne Cup Week

Melbourne Cup week is by far, my favourite time of the year for racing fashion. Not only because I get to attend 3 big race events in a week (Derby Day, Melbourne Cup Day and Oaks Day… or 4 if you stay for Stakes Family Day) but because of the atmosphere. Melbourne goes into racing fashion overdrive; the whole state even gets a public holiday for Melbourne Cup Day! That’s passion.

Flemington is the most beautiful race track I have seen. The fields are immaculate and are adorned by rose bushes, 16,000 to be exact. It is bustling with thousands and thousands of people, and they’re all dressed to impress. If you’re single, the viewing of men in dapper suits is enough to make your day! Haha

For Fashions, they have created ‘The Park’. A grassy enclosure that holds the Myer National FOTF competition stage, a band area, food stalls, Ferris Wheel, Pony Bar, karaoke and makeup touch up stands. It’s almost like a mini carnival.

The Dates for 2019 Melbourne Cup Week

flemington spring carnival

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Derby Day Saturday 2nd November 2019

Melbourne Cup Day Tuesday 5th November 2019

Kennedy Oaks Day Thursday 7th November 2019

Stakes Day Saturday 9th November 2019

Choosing which Days to Attend

When deciding which days you will attend, it is good to note that the Myer National FOTF competition final is held on Oaks Day (Thursday). If you are seriously competing in the FOTF competition, then you will want to be there for Oaks Day, as winners of Derby and Cup Day FOTF must compete on Oaks Day for their chance to become the Victorian State finalist. If this sounds confusing, then read this blog on how the National Final competition works.

A lot of us FOTF enthusiasts choose to stay for the three main days; Derby Day, Cup and Oaks Day. This can get quite costly with accommodation and race day entry costs as it means you’re in Melbourne for about a week.

spring carnival week calendar

When I attend Melbourne for the three days I like to fly in on the Friday evening before Derby Day so I can get a relaxing start to the day. Some ladies do choose to catch an early flight on race day morning, all dressed and ready to go. This does save a night’s accommodation cost.

If you are flying in for the day, you may choose to come fully dressed in your outfit. I have seen many race enthusiasts do just this, complete with hat on head, in the airplane! Although I imagine the flight attendants might ask you to remove your hat if it is disrupting other passengers. Or you may have to take a carry on with your outfit that you can change into at the airport toilets.