With diverse tracks, stunning scenery, and a taste for friendly competition, Australia is one of the world’s most popular locations for motor racing of all stripes. There’s plenty of variety on show, with motorsports festivals and events being held throughout the year. Melbourne’s Formula 1 Grand Prix is one of the most notable industry events, while adventurers take part in off-roading excursions like the Australasian Safari. The following motorsports events are bound to get your pulse racing and adrenaline flowing, whether you’re a spectator or a participant.
Crossing 4,000 kilometres over a period of seven days, the Australasian Safari is one of Australia’s most epic events. A wide range of motorbikes, quad bikes, and 4WD vehicles take part in this rugged race, which passes through some of the most remote stretches of the outback. Highlights include gold mining towns like Coolgardie and the finish line at Kalgoorlie.
Street Machine Summernats Car Festival
A combination of racing events, customised car showcases, and live entertainment, the Street Machine Summernats Car Festival is one of the must-visit Australian festivals for automotive enthusiasts. Held at the Exhibition Park in Canberra each January, this event includes driving competitions, fireworks, stunt driving, and plenty of hot rods to drool over.
The Clipsal 500 race takes place over a period of four days in Adelaide, serving as the first round of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. Yet it’s more than just a series of races. Visitors to this lively festival can also enjoy on-track stunts, motoring displays, family events, and helicopter flights for a bird’s eye view of the proceedings. It’s all capped off with evening concerts after the races, which often features some of Australia’s biggest name musicians.
For many automotive enthusiasts, it’s hard to imagine motorsports in Australia without bringing the iconic Bathurst 1000 event to mind. Held for over 50 years at Mount Panorama, this thrilling event allows the world’s most famous V8 drivers to compete along a steep 1,000 kilometre track leading up the side of the mountain.
Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix
Australia’s motorsports events aren’t limited to V8 supercars or rugged off-road vehicles. Motorcycles are enduringly popular in Australia, seen on local websites like Bikesales and events like the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Held every year at Phillip Island in Victoria, this international event lasts for three days during which spectators can enjoy the roar of superbikes as they make their way along the seaside track, with the ocean providing a scenic backdrop.
Formula 1 Australia Grand Prix
Finally, no list of Australian Motorsports events would be complete without the mention of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. The world’s fastest cars, most famous drivers, and most enthusiastic fans all descend on Melbourne each March to enjoy the start of the Formula 1 racing season. In addition to the racing, there’s a festival atmosphere with automotive demonstrations, exhibitions, and aerial displays.
2011 Australian GP pit lane – Wikimedia Creative Commons
Bathurst 1000 – Wikimedia Creative Commons
Clipsal 500 – Wikimedia Public Domain
Guest Author Bio
Rachel MacDonald is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer who has worked as a copywriter for businesses from Lima to San Francisco. She specializes in travel, design, and the arts.