Once a year at the end of January, Melbourne Park is transformed into a tennis carnival, playing host to the world's best players. The Australian Open 2013 saw Novak Djokovic battle it out with Andy Murray amidst blue and white flag-waving spectators.
Bagpipes chirped from afar and crowds mulled about in afros and flags, testament to the fact that Aussie fans really know how to have fun.
If you're not up to dressing up, enjoy watching the people who do. You'll see painted faces, top hats and togas, the wackier the better. The group fans are hard to miss, people with player names plastered across their bodies and national colours worn and painted in every possible way. It's strange how sports brings out the spirit of patriotism amongst people with ancestries across the globe.
Fans in action. Source: Australian Open website gallery
Live action Watching the game on your couch is great but there's something about being in the stands that turns a great match into something more memorable. After the initial rush of realising that that is Federer or Djokovic in front of you, you'll find it hard not to get sucked into the action. Get ready also to join the ditties and chants which often leave the crowd in laughter.
Melbourne Park or the Rod Laver Arena, in particular, is an excellent venue for such a world-class event. Apart from tennis legends, the arena has hosted international celebrities such as Justin Timberlake and The Wiggles.
Its state-of-the-art retractable roofing system allows the game to go on, rain or shine, although the Australian Open is probably the grand slam with one of the fewest rain delays. The arena is equipped with top-notch kiosks so if you're feeling hungry you can easily nip out for some quality bites, including gourmet coffee.
Best January activity
Best January activity in Melbourne The Australian Open is one of the best things you could do in Melbourne in the summer. Even if you're not a tennis fan, it's a great place to chillax, check out a games booth or simply watch a live band with some bubbly in hand. If you're into shopping, the Lacoste shop has some great merchandise. Unfortunately those amazing-looking umpire jerseys are not for sale.
Australian Open tickets are priced at $29 to $39 for a Ground Pass. $90 for a 3-day pass and $130 for a 5-day pass.