Full days at the Aussie Open
Alright, so where were we?
You think you know who will win the Australian Open, but you still want to see it with your own two eyes, so you have bought a plane ticket to Melbourne and sat through that long, long journey. ’Twas long, but not that bad because you had so many things to do.
But, now what? Ah right. Well, you’re in Melbourne, staying at the five-star Langham Hotel, and have tickets to go to Melbourne Park to see tennis matches over the course of your four, five, or six nights in town (depending on the package you choose). That’s the good part.
Yet, what about when there’s no tennis? That’s when you go on a City Tour and, luckily for you, we have a sample itinerary.
After a first and long night of rest, you head over to the Botanical Gardens, a swampy site that was established in 1846 by someone named Charles La Trobe. You would crack a smile at the name of this deceased Lieutenant Governor, but you’re too busy picking your jaw up from the floor at how beautiful the site is.
Next on your itinerary will be St. Patrick’s Cathedral, or the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. Maybe (Catholic) faith isn’t quite your thing, which fine, but once more the place is just so pretty and gorgeous that you don’t mind.
So, what do you do in Melbourne exactly?
From there, you head over to the Shrine of Remembrance, Victoria’s war memorial and quite the city landmark. Officially opened in 1934, the Shrine remembers the 19,000 Victorians who were killed abroad during World War I and the families who grieved, and continue to grieve them, to this day.
To bring things full circle, the tour will then bring you to the Kooyong Lawn and Tennis Club, where the Australian Open was held until 1988—that’s why it’s celebrated as the spiritual home of Australian tennis.
Perhaps the coolest thing about this last stop is that if you play tennis—and really, you should do this whether you play tennis or not—you’ll have the chance to hit a few balls on site at the Club. That way, you can pretend you’re Rod Laver and see what it’s like to be a legend.
You’re not, but it’s fine to pretend once in a while.
Tennis & Travels is a new column that applauds the readers who do decide to combine business with pleasure. Because life is short, and you should travel and play tennis—maybe even do both at once.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG