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RACE READY: Where to catch all the Melbourne Cup excitement

By Ray White Whitsunday

The Melbourne Cup is almost upon us, so we’ve sussed out the best places in the Whitsundays where you can frock up, enjoy a good day out and try your luck picking the winning horses.

The Airlie Beach Hotel will have world-class magician and entertainer Matt Hollywood as MC for The Pub’s Melbourne Cup Garden Party.

The Pub offers the perfect venue for Cup celebrations where you can kick up your heels and enter the Fashions of the Field competition.

To be snapped in all your race-day glam, head to the Jubilee Tavern where you’ll receive a complimentary photo and drink on arrival.

A three-course lunch, live music, sweeps and live auction for CQ Rescue round out the package, which costs less than $60 per person.

Carnie-Lee Barton, Mandy Hall, Sam Richardson and Shannon Murphy at Sorrento’s for Melbourne Cup.Jacob Wilson

Another option is to leave your car at home and settle in for an afternoon of Cup Day fun at Northerlies, which will be running extra shuttle buses on the day.

Prizes for best-dressed men and women will ensure the crowd looks as spectacular as Northerlies’ seaside location.

There will also be plenty of chances to win at Mantra Club Croc’s three-course lunch with sweepstakes, best-dressed, lucky door prizes, auctions and a raffle set to create a buzz on the day.

Club Croc will also be supporting Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network by donating some of the proceeds from the to the organisation.

Who could say no to Veuve Cliquot on arrival at the Reef Gateway Hotel’s Melbourne Cup Garden Party?

About 200 people gathered at the Reef Gateway Hotel to celebrate the Melbourne Cup last year.Georgia Simpson

A seafood buffet and champagne will be paired with a good laugh from comedian and party host Mike Bennette, along with live music, sweeps and prizes.

Overlooking the beautiful Coral Sea Marina, Sorrento’s is looking for people to dress to impress at their three-course Melbourne Cup Lunch.

Some huge prizes are on offer including a jet ski, segway, and dinner package worth more than $300 and a cruise and dine package for two worth more than $270.

Catch all the race action on TV while feasting on some of Airlie Beach’s finest Italian food at La Tabella, which will have their full a la carte menu on offer.

Set right on Airlie Esplanade, enjoy a fine drop of wine while soaking up all the racing atmosphere.


– Northerlies: From 10am, restaurant and That Smokin’ Joint open, shuttle bus, live entertainment, sweeps and best dressed prizes

– La Tabella: Chef’s a la carte menu, TV, TAB next door

– Sorrento’s: From 11am, $109 per person, three-course meals plus champagne on arrival, big screen, and prizes

– Reef Gateway Hotel: From 10am, seafood buffet, five-hour drinks package, live entertainment, TAB facilities

– Mantra Club Croc: From 11am, $60 per person, three-course lunch, live entertainment, sweepstakes, prizes

– Jubilee Tavern: From 11.30am, $59.90 per person, three-course lunch, photo and drink on arrival, best dressed, sweeps and full TAB facilities

– Airlie Beach Hotel: From 10am, $119 per person, three-hour drinks package, live racing action, TAB and Fashions of the Field

Source: Whitsunday Times.

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