Every cricket enthusiast dreams of experiencing the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Renowned worldwide and particularly cherished by Indian fans, the MCG holds a special place in the hearts of cricket lovers. While I’m not particularly inclined towards sports, visiting the MCG was an undeniable item on my bucket list during my stay in Melbourne.
Despite residing in the city for a few months previously, the chance to explore this legendary venue had eluded me. However, during my recent trip to Melbourne with a friend, we finally seized the opportunity to embark on a guided tour of the MCG.
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PIN for later reference – Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
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About Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Nestled within the picturesque Yarra Park in Melbourne, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is a quintessential Australian sports arena. Erected in 1853, this colossal stadium holds the distinction of being the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and ranks as the 11th largest globally.
Affectionately referred to as “The G,” the MCG boasts a storied history of hosting prestigious sporting spectacles, including the 1956 Olympics and the 2006 Australian Commonwealth Games.
With a seating capacity of approximately 100,024 spectators, the MCG is an impressive venue for cricket and AFL matches. Beyond its sporting functions, the stadium serves as a versatile host for musical performances houses the National Sports Museum, and offers many other events and activities.
Here are some noteworthy tidbits about the MCG:
- Fondly nicknamed “The G” by locals.
- Despite its cricket-centric name, the MCG accommodates various sporting events.
- The ground at the MCG is equipped with 96 sprinklers.
- Recognized for its historical significance, the MCG is listed on the Victoria Heritage Register and was added to the Australian National Heritage list in 2005.
- In 1877, the MCG served as the inaugural venue for test cricket, marking its birthplace in the annals of cricket history.
MCG also has a library where visitors can use the library. You need not be a club member to use the library.
Please be advised: Chains encircle certain areas, delineating boundaries beyond which visitors are restricted, and stepping onto the grass is prohibited.
How to Get to MCG?
The MCG sits a mere 2.5 kilometres from Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD), making it easily accessible within a brief 10-minute drive. Ample car parking spaces are conveniently available at the stadium for visitors’ convenience.
Given the stadium’s proximity to the city, I recommend opting for alternative modes of transportation such as walking, a mere 10-minute stroll, or utilizing public transport for added convenience.
By Public Transport
Utilizing public transport is highly recommended for the most convenient and hassle-free journey to the MCG. Tram stations, approximately 300 meters away, directly opposite the stadium, provide easy access. Visitors can consult Public Transport Victoria (PTV) for up-to-date information on routes and schedules.
Guided Tour at MCG
Visitors can take a guided tour at MCG, a captivating experience lasting approximately 60 minutes. Led by knowledgeable guides, the tour delves into the stadium’s various levels, encompassing three tiers, and provides exclusive access to behind-the-scenes areas.
Guests are encouraged to pose any inquiries, as guides typically offer comprehensive answers. This immersive tour provides invaluable insights into the MCG’s rich history and intricate details, making it a highly worthwhile endeavour for enthusiasts seeking to deepen their understanding of this iconic venue.
Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved.
Our guide, Belinada, proved exceptional, offering comprehensive insights into every facet of the stadium and its events. Throughout the tour, she provided detailed information about various aspects, leaving no stone unturned.
As part of our enriching experience, we were granted access to exclusive areas where players congregate, including their practice zones during matches, the luxurious VIP lounge, and the dining area frequented by athletes. Belinada’s expertise truly enhanced our tour, providing us with a firsthand glimpse into the inner workings of the MCG.
Visitors are encouraged to capture as many photographs as they desire during the tour. Additionally, the amicable guides are more than happy to assist in taking memorable snapshots of guests amidst the grandeur of the stadiums and stands, ensuring that every moment is preserved in picture-perfect memories.
While at the MCG, seize the opportunity to capture a photograph alongside the iconic images of cricket legends Don Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar. Rumoured to be among the few signed by Bradman himself, one of these original photographs holds a special place near the VIP lounge. Don’t miss the chance to immortalize your visit with this rare piece of cricketing history.
Cost and Booking for the Guided Tour at MCG
Tours can be booked conveniently through the official MCG website or via Get Your Guide to secure your spot. These tours operate daily between 10 AM and 3 PM. The cost of the tour, which includes a visit to the National Sports Museum, typically amounts to around AUD 40 per person.
It’s advisable to arrive at the stadium at least 10 minutes before the scheduled tour start time. Additionally, I strongly recommend avoiding the last tour of the day, as it may not allow ample time for exploring the souvenir shop and museum.
During our tour, our guide enlightened us about a fascinating tradition among sports enthusiasts: many choose to apply for club membership at the MCG when their children are born. This strategic move is driven by the staggering waiting period of over 30 years for securing club membership at this esteemed venue. Such is the enthusiasm and anticipation surrounding membership at the MCG, reflecting the deep-rooted passion for sports among its devotees.
Is Melbourne Safe for Solo Female Travellers?
Melbourne is widely regarded as a safe destination for solo female travellers, based on my experience of residing in the city for several months without encountering any issues. However, it’s worth noting that some challenges may arise when travelling via trains to the outskirts of Melbourne. Exercise caution, particularly during nighttime journeys, and remain vigilant of your surroundings to ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.
If you are a cricket lover, you may want to visit Bowral, Don Bradman’s home in Australia.
The MCG is undoubtedly a must-visit attraction, particularly for cricket enthusiasts, and deserves a spot on every traveller’s bucket list. I highly recommend visiting the MCG during your time in Melbourne. Even if you’re not particularly passionate about sports, like myself, exploring this iconic landmark is still highly worthwhile.
Have you had the chance to experience the MCG firsthand, or is it still on your bucket list? Feel free to share your thoughts with me by emailing Solopassport@gmail.com.
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