Your ultimate guide for a perfect day and night at the 2023 Australian Open

blue tennis court with crowd at australian open

RACV staff

Posted January 09, 2023

The Australian Open will swing into action at Melbourne Park from January 16 and go to January 29. From what to bring to how to make the most of a ground pass, here's how to ace a day at the AO.  

The Australian Open runs in Melbourne from 16 to 29 January and there are many changes in store for the much-loved event that showcases our city to thousands of international visitors and a worldwide TV audience of millions.

The event will extend from Federation Square to Richmond Station, with festival favourites including the Ballpark, Grand Slam Oval, and Garden Square set to be bigger and better than ever. There is also a stellar line-up of music on the AO Live Stage (opening with a bushfire benefit concert), fine food from some of the city’s top restaurants and chefs and, of course, the world’s best tennis players battling it out across multiple courts.  

Whether it’s your first visit or you’re a seasoned AO veteran, here’s how to ace a day at the country’s best tennis tournament, plus some expert tips from Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley.

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Your ultimate guide to the Australian Open 2023

When is the Australian Open?

The Australian Open runs for 15 days from Monday 16 January to Sunday 29 January.  

How do I get there? 

By car 

If you are planning on driving, there are both on-site and off-site options. If you want to park on-site at the National Tennis Centre, this must be added as an upgrade when you book your tickets. For off-site parking, the Yarra Park Car Park, accessible via Gate 3 off Punt Road, is the closest. Parking costs $10 (cash), with all money invested into upkeep of the park. You can find metered parking along the Yarra River on Alexandra Avenue and around the Royal Botanic Gardens on Birdwood and Linlithgow avenues. There are also secure parking facilities in the CBD and on Southbank. 

Wilson Parking

  • 28 Flinders Street
  • 32 Flinders Street
  • Federation Square
  • Southgate Car Park
  • Eureka Car Park

Federation Square

  • 202 Flinders Lane

Le Garage

  • 114 Flinders Street


One of the easiest ways to get to the Australian Open is by train. Melbourne Park is just a short walk from either Richmond, Jolimont or Flinders Street stations. The last train services will depart Flinders Street Station at midnight during the week, and hourly from midnight on weekends.  

Note that due to Metro Tunnel works during January, buses will replace trains on the Frankston, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines between Flinders Street and Caulfield stations. The Sandringham line will also have buses replacing trains after 8.15pm from 20 to 23 January. 


Australian Open ticket holders can travel free on the route 70 and 70a trams from the CBD to Rod Laver Arena and Melbourne Arena (Melbourne and Olympic Parks) tram stops from Monday 16 to Sunday 29 January. There is also an AO shuttle, which runs between Fed Square and Melbourne Arena, with trams every two to three minutes.


If you're taking the two-wheeled route, bicycle parking facilities are available at the underpass of the William Barak Bridge and Entrance A, as well as at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Batman Avenue.

For help planning your journey, or finding the nearest car or bicycle parking, download RACV’s arevo journey planner app for real-time public transport information, traffic updates and even closest parking locations. 

Which entrance should I use?

There are five main entrances to the Australian Open

  • City Entrance: Closest to the city, Flinders Street station and the Birrarung Marr precinct. If walking, access via Tanderrum Bridge.
  • Garden Square Entrance: Access by foot, tram or rideshare.
  • Grand Slam Oval: Closest to bike parking and pick-up/drop-off points for taxis, water taxis, and public and chartered buses.
  • Eastern Plaza Entrance: Closest to the Yarra Car Park and Practice Village.
  • Richmond Entrance: Closest to Richmond Station and a short walk to the Practice Village.


Close up of Rod Laver Arena sign

With tickets starting from just $29, the AO has something for everyone.


How much are tickets? 

Tickets start from $29 for a Ground Pass ($10 for kids' ground passes for week one and $5 for week two), with stadium seats starting from $65 for Margaret Court and John Cain Arenas, and $109 for Rod Laver Arena. Expect to pay upwards of $300 for stadium seats during finals rounds and book early to avoid disappointment; many sessions are already selling fast.

If you want to level up your Aus Open experience, there are also a range of VIP tickets on offer, from dinner at some of Melbourne's premier venues with reserved seats at Rod Laver Arena to on-court seats with exclusive access to a private champagne bar.

Where can I buy Australian Open 2023 tickets? 

Tickets are available online through and through Ticketmaster retailers.

What does a ground pass ticket get you? 

This access-(almost)-all-areas ticket gets you into all outdoor courts as well as unreserved seating at John Cain Arena. You can also access the AO Live Stage, AO Ballpark and all-new Practice Village, as well as entry to myriad bars and dining options where you can soak up the sun, the sport and the festival atmosphere. If you want to see a game at John Cain, Margaret Court or Rod Laver Arena, you will need to buy Stadium tickets separately.   

But Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley says you don’t have to hang around the big show courts all the time – the outside courts are worth a look, especially later at night on weekend one, and during week two when they can be more peaceful. "Slow the pace by finding a seat at Grand Slam Oval and relaxing while you people watch," he says.

Which are the best days to go to the Australian Open?  

The first two to three days of the tournament are always the best if you have a Ground Pass as players haven’t yet been knocked out so this is when the most matches take place. Make the most of your ticket by studying the schedule and working out which matches you want to watch and what other activities you’re keen on.   

How can I get reserved seating?  

If you want to get into key games or to see specific matches, you’ll need to buy a Stadium ticket. Stadium tickets will ensure you have reserved seating at either Rod Laver, Margaret Court or John Cain Arenas so you can come and go as you please. Stadium tickets are sold as either day sessions or night sessions. If you purchase a day session, you can stay and watch tennis in the outdoor courts after 5pm. Night ticket holders cannot access the grounds before 5pm.   

Stadium tickets also act as a ground pass, allowing access to all outside courts, as well as the AO Live Stage, Ballpark, Practice Village and other entertainment across Grand Slam Oval, Garden Square and the wider Melbourne and Olympic Park precinct.  

I really want to see *insert fave tennis star here*. How will I know who is playing when?  

Being an elimination event, it is impossible to know in advance who will be playing in which rounds and on which days. The schedule for each day will be posted on the AO website the night prior. Depending on who’s playing, the big names will generally play on the stadium courts, and the best blockbuster matches are most likely to be held in the evening.  

When is the Australian Open tournament draw? 

The Australian Open draw will take place on Thursday 10 January at 6pm. Visit for all the latest scheduling and event information.

Which stars are coming to the Australian Open?

The best of the best will once again be coming out to battle for the Australian Open championship, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios, Iga Swiatek, and Aryna Sabalenka.

There have been some late omissions in the lead up to the tournament including two-time champion Naomi Osaka, current men's world number-one Carlos Alcaraz, and Venus Williams who was offered a wildcard. 

Will I be able to meet tennis players or get their autographs?  

Players usually have practice sessions on the outdoor courts during the day so, if you’re lucky, this is your best bet of getting a #grandslamselfie or meeting your tennis idols.

Practice sessions will take place on Rod Laver Arena between 9.30am and 2.30pm, or you can try your luck at the new Player Practice Village outside the National Tennis Centre between 8.30am and 4pm. Players also do signings during the day at Garden Square. As always, it’s very much the luck of the draw.  

What should I bring on the day?  

A hat, sunscreen and sunglasses are a must. If you forget your sunscreen, there are sunscreen stations around Melbourne Park precinct where you can slip, slop and slap, as well as free water stations around Melbourne Park. Avoid getting dehydrated by drinking water throughout the day and refilling your water bottle every time you pass a water station.   

Tiley says you can also BYO food and drinks, but note that eskies, hampers and containers bigger than 1.5 litres are not allowed. "Food and drinks in glass, cans or ceramic containers are also not permitted," he says. 

Are there shaded areas at the Australian Open?  

Most seats in Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and Melbourne Arena are shaded. Those three stadiums also have roofs, so if the heat rule (made at the match referee’s discretion) comes into play, they’ll be closed to cool things down. “In between watching matches, go for a walk outside. The outside courts have lots of shade to create a very fan-friendly experience,” Tiley says. "There are also lots of shade structures that we construct all over Melbourne Park to make it comfortable."


Aerial view of Melbourne Park precinct at night, with blue tennis courts

Buy a Stadium ticket if you want to see a game at John Cain, Margaret Court or Rod Laver arenas.

Is the Australian Open good for kids? 

The Open is a great day out for the whole family. Families with younger kids will love the AO Ballpark – where they’ll get their serve of rock climbing, water slides, giant sandcastles, stage shows and a seven-metre high aerial adventure with 12 obstacles. If your kids are over 10, there’s the AO Hilltop, which boasts tween-friendly activities including karaoke, movies, a splash park and the Skyflyer Ride. Parents can also book kids into the AO Kids Club for a full day, half day or date night, and let them have a Grand Slam experience while you enjoy all the Grand Slam action. "It’s like an amusement park for kids at Birrarung Marr," Tiley says. “We also offer childcare services, which we think are a first for a major sporting event.” 

New this year is the AO Tennis Club, a brand-new precinct where young tennis enthusiasts can play the sport in all its forms. Located north of Garden Square, fans can hone their skills at Tennis Hot Shots, Padel,  Pop, Totem and Table Tennis. There will also be a new pavilion, standing 11m tall and 36m wide, that will offer a shaded oasis from the sun, as well as plenty of screens for taking in all the action, during the hot Australian summer.

And if you’re looking for ways to keep the kids entertained during the school holidays, don’t forget about the Kids Tennis Day on 14 January.

There are also change facilities, parents’ rooms (with microwaves, change tables and comfy chairs for feeding) and pram parking around the grounds to help make your day out as seamless as possible.

What about live entertainment? 

Dance the day (or night) away to some of the country’s hottest musicians when you upgrade your ground pass during the Grand Slam finals. For three days, from 27-29 January, the inaugural Australian Open Finals Festival will play host to big-name artists including Vanessa Amorosi, Montaigne, Benee, Thelma Plum and Flight Facilities.

What food and drink will be available at the AO? 

The food and drink offering at the Australian Open just keeps getting better with fine fare from some of the city’s culinary standouts, including Andrew McConnell (Supernormal), Jacqui Challinor (NOMAD), Jason Staudt (Stokehouse) and Josh Niland (Charcoal Fish) just some of the new names bringing their mouth-watering menus to the Australian Open (AO) this summer. Shane Delia’s Maha, Rockpool Bar & Grill and Penfolds’ Restaurant will make a comeback, while 2023 will also welcome the brand new Spritz Bar, with cocktails curated by much-loved Melbourne bar, The Everleigh. 

Tiley says many food venues at the Open are focusing on fresh, healthy options. “The days are gone when all you could get at the tennis was a hotdog, pie or chips,” he says. “Grand Slam Oval has some great fresh food and Rod Laver Arena also has lots of healthy options.” 

Those wanting a more intimate gourmet experience can book a Rod Laver Superbox. After a sellout season in 2022, the curated micro-restaurant experience offers fans both a visual and literal feast, with Shane Delia's incredibly popular Middle Eastern-inspired menu returning for a second year. 

The Australian Open also offers a range of premium hospitality experiences, including dining on court and exclusive finals dinners at some of Melbourne’s premier restaurants. 


Get ready for a day of fun at the Australian Open. Whether you plan on driving, catching public transport or using rideshare, RACV’s arevo app can simplify your trip. 
Plan your journey →