They don’t call it ‘the race that stops the nation’ for nothing. Even though apparently there’s some kind of sporting event going on in the background, as far as we’re concerned, Melbourne Cup is an opportunity to do some midweek day-drinking, eat lush canapés and let’s be honest, it’s basically our only chance over the whole year to wear a hat with feathers.
So whether you want to order a cold beer and put a few bucks on the race, or pop on your Kath and Kim-style fascinator and sip 'kardonnay', we’ve got you covered with the best Melbourne Cup events on the Sunshine Coast.
If you ever attended Pascal and Kristie’s famous Melbourne Cup lunches in their old digs at Gaston, you might have an idea of what you’re in for. Even though it’s still all shiny and new, Bombetta will still be glamming up with some fab decorations for the day, along with best-dressed competitions for the guests and sweepstakes. Enjoy a three-course Italian feast, unlimited beverages plus a cocktail on arrival.
Cost: $100 per person
Race Day At Rickys
Spoil yourself with a leisurely four-course lunch at this legendary Noosa restaurant with a welcome drink on arrival. And don’t let the girls have all the fun, there’s a best dressed man competition as well! Kick on into the evening with DJ and cocktails overlooking the river—only at Rickys.
Cost: $140 per person
Get a bit fancy for Melbourne Cup at Noosa Boathouse. Enjoy a four-course lunch which includes a two-hour premium drinks package. You could watch the race on the big screen—although who has time for horse races? There’s champagne to be drinking and fabulous millinery to drool over! Come to think of it, better book the Wednesday off work too…
Cost: $119 per person
Book a table with your besties at the sexiest spot on Hastings St. Enjoy a glass of champagne on arrival, followed by three courses of Locale’s famous Italian dining. If you can drag yourself away from the food, check out the fashion show by Bow + Arrow Trading and live music.
Cost: $110 per person
Melbourne Cup at Padstows
As far as bang for your Melbourne Cup buck, you can’t go past Padstows. They’re pouring a four-hour drinks package with premium Stone & Wood Pacific Ale, Prosecco and everyone’s fave daytime bevvie—rosé. You’ll also get a four-course meal and a sustainable fashion parade, showcasing wearable art by The Trashy Artisan Collective, hosted by InNoosa fashion editor Carlie Wacker.
Cost: $95 per person
We all know Miss Moneypenny did her best to charm Bond, but he never really appreciated her. Well, Miss Moneypenny's in Noosa is putting on ALL the charm for Melbourne Cup this year with three different parties on the go. If you’re up for the whole shebang, book a table at the three-course lunch with a premium drink on arrival and a prime view of the Rip Curl Fashion Show. You can also enjoy the fresh oyster bar in The Birdcage. If you prefer to mingle, The Birdcage might be more your style, with roaming canapés, an oyster bar and Moneypenny’s famous woodfired pizzas. Or, for those of us who just want to show up once the race is over, the After Party kicks off after 3pm with tunes by La Fiesta Sound System and woodfire pizzas by Moneypenny’s.
Cost: Three-course lunch, includes entry to The Birdcage and After Party $135 per person; The Birdcage $75 per person; After Party $20 at the door ($10 pre-sale)
Cafe Le Monde
Rock up for a Surf n Turf BBQ, freshly-shucked oyster bar and two-hour drinks package at the hottest place to be seen this Melbourne Cup Day, Cafe Le Monde. And to make sure your epic fashions on the field are captured, there will be a professional photographer on site all day. Settle back for tunes with DJ Tim Fuchs after the race.
Cost: $75 per person (or $95 for VIP area)
Melbourne Cup at Noosa Surf Club
For race-lovers who aren’t interested in frills like hats and canapés and cocktails, head to the Noosa Surf Club to watch the game on the big screen, put down some cash at the TAB and get a great lunch with the best view on the Coast.
Spicers Tamarind Retreat
For a slightly more refined Melbourne Cup event in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Spicers Tamarind Retreat is dishing up a Thai banquet in the rainforest with the sounds of Gardners Falls splashing in the distance. Enjoy a welcome glass of champers, and if you have one too many, we can definitely recommend the spa villa accommodation!
Cost: $95 per person; accommodation starts at $400 per night
Copperhead Brewery and Restaurant
Everyone’s favourite newcomer to the Noosa Hinterland, Copperhead Brewery is opening their doors for Melbourne Cup this year. They’re offering bubbles on arrival, followed by a four-course meal which includes an epic dessert tasting plate. If their bookings since they’ve opened are anything to go by, we recommend you reserve your table soon!
Cost: $85 per person
Central And Southern End Of The Coast
The Post Office
We’re not always in need of a long, boozy sit-down lunch. Or so our therapist tells us… The Post Office is throwing a low-key Melbourne Cup event with a glass of champagne on arrival, two hours of canapés and the races on the big screen. If you’re up for more partying afterwards, there will be live music in the beer garden.
Cost: $29 per person
Tickets are booking out fast for the Melbourne Cup Garden Party overlooking the Hamptons-style pool bar at 26 Degrees. The race will be shown on the big screen while you sip on a premium four-hour drinks package and nibble roaming canapés all afternoon. And we dare you to try and resist the dessert bar!
Cost: $129 per person
Giddy up! Head to the Wharf Tavern for fashion, lunch and drinks overlooking the Mooloolah River. The crew are putting on a three course meal, followed by soloist Brad Schultz setting the vibe for a relaxed afternoon.
Cost: $50 per person
Sunshine Coast Turf Club
The only place you can actually watch races IRL on the Sunshine Coast. Not THE race, obviously, but still… Frock up to the eyeballs, day drink in the sunshine and have a dabble on the horses, with the afternoon predictably ending a little less couth for some. But alas, don’t you just love it?! With free buses from Noosa, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba and Caloundra to take you to and from the Sunshine Coast Turf Club, when it comes to awesome things to do on the Sunshine Coast, it doesn’t get much better than this, folks!
Cost: From $20 per person
Need to find yourself a new frock for the big day? Check out these Sunshine Coast fashion boutiques.
Image credit: The Urban List