Melbourne, Summer and Sport

Yep. Howdy everyone up in the Northern Hemisphere, down under here in ‘Straya it’s Summer, which has been pretty hot in Melbourne on the whole. As I write this post, a few days before it will be published, the rain has moved in. Yesterday we sweltered through 40 degrees with high humidity (this Summer has been humid, which is not the usual pattern for Melbourne which mostly experiences dry heat). This afternoon the cool change came through though, and then an hour or two ago the rain started.

Melbourne does have the relief of typically cooling down after a few days of heat, although it’s been a while since the last cool day. And then it cools right down, for example we are looking at 20 degrees after it hitting 40 and having a number of 30 plus days in a row.

We don’t usually see a lot of rain in a Melbournian Summer. So this is nice because there’s something unrelenting about dry summers which turn into droughts. The joy of rain after a long stretch without any is actually pretty special.

As for Summer activities, well, there are plenty. But sport is always hugely popular in Melbourne regardless of the season. Winter has football, Aussie Rules and Rugby. Summer turns its attention to cricket, tennis and soccer. The basketball season (NBL) also runs through summer.

The A-League is Australia’s ‘premier’ football (soccer) is run in the summer so as not to be in competition with the other football codes which are incredibly popular. Melbourne hosts games at AAMI Park and Etihad Stadium.

Cricket is big in Australia. Our national team is not as good as it once was, but at home they are still pretty hard to beat. The crowds have been huge this summer with the ‘arch-rival’ England out here. But if you don’t want to head to an international game, the national competition of T20 cricket is on through summer (we’ve just hit the finals) and it’s full of big blows, explosions and excitement.

It’s also pretty affordable too, and it’s a lot of fun. Unlike the international test matches that go up to five days, these games are done in 3-4 hours. Unsure of the rules? Hit the ball as far as you can. Run. Highest score win. Anything else, go with someone who knows and they can explain it, or, work it out yourself. Cricket is full of strange and pedantic rules, but you can easily get by without know them! Truly!

And the crowning glory of Melbourne’s sporting summer is the Australian Open tennis. This year Roger Federer (who is almost an adopted son) won his 20th grand slam title at the Australian Open. Caroline Wozniacki won her first against the incredible Simona Halep. It’s an incredible achievement. And he loves the tournament. Everyone seems to. The first week you can see so many stars with an outer court pass. Second week for the big names you will need tickets to the specific sessions.

Sport is embraced so warmly by Melbournians. And visitors too. Many people come to Melbourne just to catch sporting events. There’s more too – it’s also gold season if that’s your bag. Surfing and any other beach sport. Melbourne is a great place to watch sport in Summer!

Thanks for reading – and May the Journey Never End!

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