Brisbane | Gold Coast

Gold Coast Melbourne Cup Guide

Off to the Races!

Gold Coast Melbourne Cup Guide

The Gold Coast may never sleep, but on November 1st even our vibrant city will collectively rest to focus on the race that stops the nation. The Melbourne Cup is more than just a horserace, it’s equally about spectacle, glamour, and companionship (even when that companion is your slightly too tipsy workmate, cheering for the horse she bet against). Of course, you don’t have to be in Melbourne to appreciate the Cup; it’s an unmissable nationwide phenomenon, to be run vicariously wherever you are (don’t be scared, the exercise will do you good. Who knows, you might even win!).

Here’s your guide to the Four Fs of Gold Coast Melbourne Cup Day:


To experience the Melbourne Cup, you first need somewhere to watch it. Your friend’s shoddy old radio playing delayed commentary is tempting, but this year you deserve better. If you can’t be there, but still want to be there, nothing beats watching the race at the Gold Coast Turf Club. All of the atmosphere, without the hassle of flying to Melbourne. Surrounded by likeminded patrons, you can either dress-up, or dress up; that is, fancy dress or formal, whatever takes your fancy. While there, relish live entertainment, on-track races, and the Melbourne Cup mega-screen. With an abundance of dining facilities and beverages, catering is taken care of, so all you need to do is relax, enjoy the race, and try not to lose too much money. If you do go wild, take advantage of the free courtesy bus afterwards.


Perhaps the Turf Club is slightly too crowded for your liking. Well, the Gold Coast houses numerous other race-day options. If you’re mainly in it for the food (and, be honest, who isn’t), feast on the sumptuous buffet luncheon at the Southport Yacht Club. Or, for a sensorial dining experience, Q1’s SkyPoint Observation Deck displays the race on a big screen, and the city on a bigger screen. A spectacular 360-degree view of the Gold Coast perfectly complements the three-course meal and drinks package. Then again, if heights aren’t your thing, the Gold Coast Arts Centre provides a serene, lakeside setting (and yet another big screen), along with sparkling wine, canapés, and coffee. Fancy! If that isn’t enough, proceeds are donated to Paradise Kids Gold Coast Children’s Charity. Eating for a cause!


If Melbourne Cup style is more your style, the Gold Coast has you covered. The Centre of Melbourne Cup, hosted by the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, runs a spring summer fashion parade, while the Sharks Event Centre hosts its own fashion runway. If you consider yourself a model, rather than an onlooker, prizes are awarded for best dressed male and female at the Palazzo Versace. Likewise, Runaway Bay Tavern rewards the best dressed, and the best hat. So strut your stuff, find the perfect combination of feathers for your headwear, and dress to impress.


You can be the best dressed with the fullest stomach, but does it really count without a group of acquaintances to enjoy it with (and brag to when your horse wins)? Whether you’re forced (or, rather, gently persuaded) to spend the day with workmates, or you’ve been planning the day with your closest friends ever since last year’s race finished, the only sure-fire way to appreciate Melbourne Cup on the Gold Coast is with company. After all, gloating to strangers after you win the fashion show just doesn’t have the same appeal.

About the Author

Dominic Murray

Dominic Murray

Words have always been my passion; creating them, arranging them, sharing them. Studying Creative Writing and Journalism at Griffith is just a natural extension of this. When I graduate to at the end of the year, I will continue pursuing this passion, with the ultimate goal being to publish original works of fiction. Really, though, any type of writing will do – it’s the best way to be reclusive, yet still connect with the entire world. In between times, I can be found head-banging in mosh pits, aggravating neighbours with my guitar, screaming in filled sports stadiums (or just at the TV), or (most likely) curled up in bed with hours of comedy streaming on Netflix, and, ideally, a strong glass of scotch within arm’s reach. If I’m feeling more productive, replace Netflix with a novel; something post-modern, the more obscure, the better. Then again, nights in bars filled with friends and alcohol are never declined. If there’s still some time left over, I have occasionally (maybe reluctantly) been spotted at the gym. Born in Christchurch, but an adopted Gold Coast local, I enjoy colourful clothes, rainbow people, dark humour, my dogs, and also everyone else’s dogs.