Polish off your finest attire and gather your fun-loving friends, Melbourne Cup is back in all its frivolity on Tuesday 5 November. We're not letting the Tasman Sea stop us from enjoying the race that stops two nations. Oh no, we're donning our fancy threads and popping champagne corks at Auckland's fabulous Melbourne Cup celebrations.
We've found the very best parties in Auckland to watch the Melbourne Cup Races that could rival front row at Flemington Racecourse itself. Book your tickets and get betting, Cup Day is going to go off.
We can always rely on Longroom for a grand ol’ time, and this Melbourne Cup is no exception. Waltz up to the event from midday in your finest attire and score yourself a prize in their best dressed competition. While you’re there, help yourself to the amazing grazing tables they’ll be laying out while you boogie along to live DJs, and bet on your favourite horse at the in-house TAB betting. Tickets are $120 and are sure to sell out quicker than you can say your favourite racehorse's name.
Chic and cheerful Cup Day celebrations will be going down at Ostro. With a lawn at the ready, an on-site fashion in the field event, live DJs and plenty of champagne on ice, you can be sure that the day will be nothing but frivolous. Choose between an Italian style antipasto platter and flute of Veuve at The Deck for $70 a pop, or take it up a notch and grab a seat in Ostro’s classy and glassy dining room to experience a four-course set menu for $160. Both packs will include a Big Race Pack which will be your ticket to online betting (and hopefully some cash winnings).
Soul Bar, Viaduct
Viaduct hotspot Soul will be pulling out every stop imaginable for their Melbourne Cup extravaganza. We’re talking an impossibly chic celebration in their gorgeous waterfront restaurant that includes a flute of Champagne Mumm on arrival and a fabulous four-course lunch to follow. The festivities don’t stop there: there’ll be on-site betting, games and prizes for attendees. Tickets are $120 each, and it’s recommended to book your seats stat—rumour has it that they don’t stay up for grabs for long.
Popular for workweek lunches, after-work bites, Friday night partying and now Melbourne Cup fun is Seven. From 1pm, this Britomart rooftop will transform into a fabulous Melbourne Cup extravaganza, with big screens projecting the excitement of the race as revellers party away into the late hours of the night. Tickets are $65 and include a cocktail on arrival as well as endless canapés from Seven’s marvellous Asian-fusion menu.
Enjoy a day of Melbourne Cup extravagance with views of Rangitoto and the harbour as a backdrop at Regatta. This Takapuna hotspot is pulling out the stops with sabrage (i.e. popping champagne with grandiose swords), on site TAB betting facilities, plenty of live entertainment and three courses of their delicious fare from 12pm. Gather up your crews and nab a ticket ($150 each) before they’re gone, it’s going to be a cracker of a party.
Harbourside and Botswana Butchery
Waterside dwellings, fabulous food and all the action from front row at Flemigton—Harbourside and Botswana Butchery have got it all going on this Cup Day for $175 a pop. Fashionistas can take to the runway in a Fashion in the Fields parade and scoop up a best dressed prize, then tuck in to a four course extravaganza. Round up your crew and book a table for 10 at Harbourside, or party on at Botswana Butchery for smaller groups
Lula Inn, Viaduct
One of Auckland’s go-to spots Lula Inn is keeping the good times rolling this Cup Day. $215 will score you a ticket to an extravaganza of epic proportions. In true Lula fashion, there’ll be a four course lunch with drinks matched waiting for you after a flute of champagne on arrival. Races will be live streamed with betting available throughout and some of Auckland’s best DJs will keep the party going until late hours of the night.
Sugar Club, CBD
Sure a race front marquée might be a glamorous way of indulging in Melbourne Cup Festivities—but celebrating in Auckland’s tallest building gives Flemington a run for its money. A $195 ticket to The Sugar Club’s festivities will see you treated to live streaming of the race, champagne and exquisite canipes from 4-6, then a three course dinner with paired wines to follow. Talk about race day decadence.
Bumble x Melbourne Cup at Dr Rudi’s, Viaduct
For something a little bit different from a long-lunch Melbourne Cup celebration, dress to impress and head along to Bumble’s shindig going down on Dr Rudi’s iconic front deck. Bumble will be taking over the place with a stylish little section dedicated to race day celebrations. Show your profile to score their bespoke Bumble Cocktail upon entry, and indulge in their menu of special Melbourne Cup themed tipples as the afternoon partying rolls on. Bumble users can match with the in-app card for more information.
The Brit, Britomart
A great option for after work drinks and a friendly flutter, fave newcomer The Brit is putting on a Melbourne Cup event in collaboration with none other than Stella Artois. With the races streamed on the big screen, live music and a DJ set what more could you ask for. There'll be specials on food and drink on the day and surprises too. The best part is, entry is free. Get in.
OMF Melbourne Cup Day
Rounding out the list is the OG of racing, the Ellerslie Racecourse's OMF Melbourne Cup Day. The fun starts from 11.30am with options to suit every pocket with free admission right up to the more exclusive lounges. Looks like this year is set to be another sell out so book your places fast.
Keep the party going with a trip to one of Auckland's best rooftop bars.
Image credit: Christian Vierig