Australians love sports, so if you are a sports enthusiast and immigrate to Australia, you will find endless activities to enjoy throughout the year.
The most popular spectator sport in Australia is known as “Australian Rules Football” (sometimes called “Aussie Rules” or “Footy”) which started in 1859 and could be described as a blending of soccer/football, rugby and American-style football. The eight leading teams at the end of the season battle for the national championship at the AFL Finals which are held in September at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Other team sports that are popular in Australia include baseball, basketball, cricket, football/soccer, netball and rugby. The National Rugby League (NRL) has a Grand Final between the top two NRL rugby teams which is watched by millions and will be held at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on October 6, 2013.
Of course, many Australians also enjoy bicycling, diving, golfing, running, sailing, swimming and tennis, among other sporting activities. With its vast and diverse natural wilderness areas, millions of Australians and tourists from around the globe go backpacking, camping, hiking and rock climbing as well.
When Australians aren’t playing sports, oftentimes they are watching the major sporting events held across Australia throughout the year. This begins with the Tour Down Under bicycle race in South Australia and the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne in January, which are followed by the Australian Open of Surfing in Sydney in February and the exciting Australian Grand Prix held in Melbourne each March. Approximately 25,000 runners and thousands of spectators converge on Gold Coast in July for the annual Gold Coast Marathon which also includes other festivities during the two-day event. This is followed in August by the 14-kilometer City2Surf Marathon in Sydney where some 75,000 participants run throughout Sydney neighborhoods to the finish line at famous Bondi Beach. In addition to the AFL and NRL national championships, springtime in Australia also brings the Gold Coast 600 car race and the Perth International Golf Championship in October, as well as the Melbourne Cup Carnival horseraces in November. The sports-filled year ends with the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and The Ashes cricket competition, both held in December.
Thus, whether you like to participate in sports activities or are more of an armchair athlete, you will have a range of sports-related options available if you immigrate to Australia!