10 ways to join the Melbourne Cup madness

Pic: melbournecup.com

Pic: melbournecup.com

If you don’t know what the Melbourne Cup is and you are currently in Australia you’re in for a rude shock on Tuesday 5 November at 3pm. That’s because everyone from work places to shoppers in the city malls will disappear to watch the telly when the clock strikes the hour. Weird? Well yes and no. The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s richest horserace and it is so widely followed it’s been called “the race that stops the nation” because it literally does. It started in 1861 and now has such a huge following that even celebrities regularly turn up to watch the races trackside at Flemington and join in the action.

So how can you get involved?
1. Get to a TV at 3pm to watch the event wherever you are, or pull out your smartphone and watch it live – you’ll have people peering over your shoulder
2. Join the punters at your business – most work places will have some sort of Melbourne Cup betting going on
3. If you’re in Melbourne (and parts of Victoria) enjoy the public holiday
4. Get yourself a hat and fishnet stockings and frock up for all the fun. Men too need to have a look for Melbourne Cup.
5. Host your own Melbourne Cup party or get yourself invited to one. If you’ve got nowhere else to go just head to your local pub.
6. Head to Melbourne for all the fun and frivolity on or off the track
7. Get tickets to all the action at Flemington race track
8. Study the race guide and stats so you know who to bet for but whatever you do get to the TAB early to avoid the queues. If you know someone that understands racing and form then pump them for information.Set yourself a limit as to how much you’ll bet. An eachway bet is a good idea – this puts money on the horse winning and simply placing.
9. Organise your own Sweepstake. There’s plenty of online help out there.
10. Stock up on the food and beers wherever you are but go easy! It’s a long day and you have to pace yourself.

For those heading to Melbourne next week here are some VIP Backpacker hostels to consider during your sojourn. Happy punting!

base Backpackers St Kilda
504_E_Palms

WHY STAY AT BASE ST KILDA? To quote the Lonely Planet guidebook… “St Kilda is one of Melbourne’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan areas.” Spend some time staying at base and you will understand why St Kilda is the place where the coolest and funkiest people in Melbourne hang out. Base is situated in the heart of St Kilda, yet we are only 15 minutes by tram from Melbourne city centre. We are minutes walk from famous Ackland and Fitzroy St’s and St Kilda Beach. We are committed to being the cleanest hostel in Melbourne. All dorms and ensuite bathrooms are cleaned daily. 24 hour Reception. Security card access keys. All beds have their own locker.

Room Types Cost Available
Dorm (8) (ens) from $33.00 BOOK
Dorm (8) (F) from $38.00
BOOK
Dorm (4) (ens) from $40.00
BOOK
Double (ens) from $140.00
BOOK
Space Hotel
1410-Space

At Space Hotel you’re smack bang in the middle of Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia. You’ll be in the midst of what makes Melbourne great – art galleries, live music, sporting venues, groovy café culture, serious and not so serious dining. Of course, you can make Space Hotel your base for deeper exploration into the fray.

Room Types Cost Available
Dorm (8) from $31.00 BOOK
Dorm (6) from $32.00 BOOK
Female Dorm from $32.00 BOOK
Dorm (4) from $38.00 BOOK
Bunk from $89.00
BOOK
Queen Room from $79.00 BOOK
Twin from $85.00 BOOK
Queen Room (ens) from $95.00 BOOK
Family Room – 4 Beds from $129.00
BOOK
Family Room – 5 Bed from $149.00 BOOK
Family Room – 3 Bed (ens) from $149.00
BOOK
The Spencer – City Central
Hostel Image

Dorms/twins/doubles/singles – Ensuite rooms available – Weekly rates available – 24 hour access – Free pick up – Central heating – Job search assistance – Safe deposit – Free parking – Great kitchen

Room Types Cost Available
Dorm (6) from $24.00
BOOK
Twin from $50.00
BOOK
Double from $65.00
BOOK
Double (ens) from $80.00
BOOK
Discovery Melbourne
57-Reception

Large city hostel in amazing CBD location, great local staff, Wi-Fi available throughout the whole building & breakfast, job agency, loads of events, basement bar with DJ’s, licenced café, travel desk, all at great value rates!

Room Types Cost Available
Dorm (8) from $33.00
BOOK
Large Dorm from $31.00
BOOK
Dorm (4) from $36.00 BOOK
10 – 12 Dorm from $29.00 BOOK
10 – 12 Dorm from $29.00 BOOK
Dorm (8) from $29.00 BOOK
Dorm 4 (F) from $33.00 BOOK
Twin from $110.00
BOOK
Habitat HQ
754-HHQ-Crew-In-front-of-building

Habitat HQ is Melbourne’s Music Hostel & the backpackers of choice when visiting Melbourne. Voted No. 1 hostel in Melbourne as Winner of the Golden Backpack Award, Winner of 2011 & 2012 Victorian Tourism Award & awarded us 4th best hostel in Australia in 2010 by an independent review site! More than just a bed, we offer unbeatable value, a great atmosphere & grassroots connections to ensure your experience in St Kilda & Melbourne is unique & fun.

Room Types Cost Available
Dorm: 10 bed from $31.00
BOOK
Dorm (8) from $31.00 BOOK
Dorm (ens) from $36.00 BOOK
Dorm (6) from $33.00 BOOK
Dorm (4) from $38.00 BOOK
Double (ens) from $119.00 BOOK
Twin (ens) from $119.00
BOOK

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Hope you’re enjoying the VIP Backpacker’s Travel Blog. If there are any travel topics you want covered feel free to contact Jo at viplounge@vipbackpackers.com