Melbourne is almost laughably fond of her specific events and festivals. There seems to be one every day and there is certainly one each weekend. You will find a festival, competition, race, or event for every taste and budget.

Here are some of the best (dates given are for 2010 and 2011, although the individual websites will give you accurate information for coming years as they are updated):

Australian Open Tennis Championships
The cream of international tennis and their legion of fans congregate at Melbourne Park for the first Grand Slam of the year.
Where: Melbourne Park
When: 17 – 30 January 2011

Australian International Airshow
Hundreds of planes from air forces and industry across the world gather to celebrate man’s triumph over gravity.
Where: Avalon Airport
When: 1 – 6 March 2011

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Dazzle your taste buds at more than 140 events held across the state as the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival returns in 2009.
Where: Various venues
When: 4 – 14 March 2011

FORMULA 1 Australian Grand Prix
Each year Melbourne comes alive to the roar of engines, hosting the first round of the FIA World Championship.
Where: Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit
When: 25 – 28 March 2010 (2011 TBA)

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
Boasts more than 10,000 cut flowers and 300 exhibitors.
Where: Carlton Gardens
When: 30 March – 3 April 2011

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Making Melbourne the funniest place on earth.
Where: Various venues
When: 30 March – 24 April 2011

Rip Curl Pro
Each year the world’s top ranked surfers carve up the waves at Victoria’s world famous Bells Beach break.
Where: Bells Beach
When: 30 March – 10 April 2010 (2011 TBA)

AFL Finals Series
See this spectacular crescendo of 22 weeks of fiery competition in the 2009 Australian Football League Finals Series.
Where: Various venues
When: September 2010 (TBA following current season)

Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix
The world’s best bike riders in three Grand Prix classes compete in this exciting three-day event on Phillip Island.
Where: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
When: 15 – 17 October 2010

Melbourne International Arts Festival
The cream of Australian and international theatre, dance, visual arts, opera and music over 17 days.
Where: Various venues
When: TBA July 2010

Spring Racing Carnival and Melbourne Cup Carnival
Frock up for six weeks of Spring Carnival action as world champion thoroughbreds descend on Melbourne for a first-class racing season. Culminates in the ´Race that stops a nation´ – The Melbourne Cup
Where: Various venues
When: 29 September – 17 November 2010

Queenscliff Music Festival
Head to this picturesque coastal town for a fun festival featuring more than 200 performances over three days. Great for families as there is plenty going on in the daytime as well as catering for the party-goers at night.
Where: Various venues, Queenscliff
When: 26 – 28 November 2010

Melbourne Boxing Day Test
More than 160,000 passionate cricket fans attend the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground to support Australia in the biggest Test Match in the world.
Where: MCG
When: 26–30 December 2010