England head to Australia this winter to try and cling on the Ashes. You can be there too! Freedom Australia have some great packages, taking in different venues and different cities. Here’s what’s on offer around the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
For many Englishmen, watching cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground is a more than suitable Christmas present, but in 2010 Andrew Strauss and his men laid on extra festivities, bowling Australia out for a meagre 98. The Aussies probably would have preferred coal in their stockings.
Larger than any sports stadium in Europe, the MCG presents a daunting challenge for visiting opposition. In addition to the 100,000 pairs of eyes wishing for an English wicket to fall, the ground is surrounded by Australian sporting greats of days gone by. Bronze statues portraying some of the finest to don the baggy green, including Warne and Bradman, team up with athletes and Aussie Rules legends, all of whom have satisfied the country’s constant hunger for sporting success.
Concentration, immense skill and delicate poise are often required to negotiate a fresh new cherry here at the G, but similar qualities can also be appreciated in other nearby settings. Merely a short walk from the stadium sits Hosier Lane, a canvas for all who have an artistic message. Melbourne’s most admired walkway of street art is nestled in the heart of the city centre with pieces being painted over daily. The real colour, atmosphere and opinions of Melbourne lie here.
Never has a Christmas lunch concluded with every morsel of food eaten. This is what the fridge trains all year for, to cope with the unhealthy amounts of leftovers and the subsequent days see turkey shamelessly invited into every recipe regardless of culinary suitability. While the food may not have much variety between Christmas and New Year, the location can. Grab your picnic baskets and eat amongst the flora and fauna in the Royal Botanical Gardens. The sights and smells of summer will juxtapose the far less welcoming essence of leather that Root and co will be experiencing down the road.
They may seem well accustomed to colder climates but penguins also appreciate some vitamin D. Every day of the year at sunset, Phillip Island – just a 90-minute drive from Melbourne – becomes a hotspot for the flightless birds. As they waddle across the beach, bearing an uncanny resemblance to WG Grace approaching the crease, you can start planning your adventure down the Great Ocean Road, but for now, all roads lead to Sydney and the final Test.