Sport is part of the Australian DNA. It doesn’t matter what the sport is, who the opposition are or whether there is a title on the line, Australians have a love of sport and winning.

This means that as you complete your road trip around Australia over the coming summer months, there are more than one or two sporting contests that you need to check out. Don’t worry if you don’t know the rules or even the teams; the energy of the crowd and general atmosphere will be enough for you to start chanting “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi”.

Here are the top four sporting events of summer 2017/18!

Magellan Ashes 2017-18

There is certainly no going past the 2017-18 Ashes series as the top sporting event on the summer calendar. Since 1882, Australia and England have battled each other in the test cricket arena, with countless examples of drama and highlights over its history. 

This summer is set to write another chapter, with England coming Down Under having won the 2015 Ashes series 3-2. The first test is set for The Gabba in Brisbane (November 23-27) followed by the second test in Adelaide (December 2-6), Perth (December 14-18), Melbourne (December 26-30) and Sydney (January 4-8).

If you’re not familiar with the rules of cricket, you might want to watch a quick YouTube video before your five-day experience. However, both the Barmy Army and Australian crowds will be happy to explain what’s going on!

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

It might be more scenic to drive down the east coast of Australia, but every Boxing Day, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race takes place – testing some of the world’s best sailors.

Launching just after midday on Boxing Day, the yachts exit south of Sydney Harbour, ready to take on the 630-nautical mile voyage to Hobart, Tasmania. In 2016, Perpetual Loyal broke the race record, arriving in a time of 1 day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds.

The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is considered one of the toughest races in the world, with rough seas, strong winds and exhaustion taking its toll every year. Of course, the open waters of Bass Strait cause the most drama – breaking the spirits (and masts) of many teams. 

Set up camp high on the Sydney Harbour headland for the best spots for photos as the fleet set sail for Hobart!

Australian Open

Melbourne is the so-called “sporting capital of Australia” and while the rest of the country might not agree, summer is one season where there’s no argument.

Over two weeks, Melbourne welcomes the best tennis players Down Under for the Australian Open – the first Grand Slam event of the year. Held at Melbourne Park, choose between watching matches out on the 35 show courts where the next generation of tennis stars play or opt for one of the three arenas (Rod Laver, Hisense and Margaret Court) where the top seeds play.

No matter where you watch, you’re bound to see some great tennis action – action that’s often held in temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius, so remember to bring your hat, water and some sunscreen.

Will Roger Federer be able to defend his 2017 crown or will Novak and Rafa have something to say about it? Also of note, 2017 Women’s Singles champion Serena Williams will be back after having her first child!

Hyundai A-League

If you’re more a fan of football than cricket, then you’re in luck when taking a road trip down the Australian east coast. While most countries have a summer break for football, the Hyundai A-League actually plays in the opposite seasons, meaning there are plenty of games to catch after a day at the beach.

The 10-team league includes eight teams that you can watch live including Brisbane, Newcastle, Central Coast and Adelaide. As well as this, Sydney and Melbourne have two teams so there is double the fun in these main centres.

Sydney FC are the defending champions and play their matches at Allianz Stadium, just outside the Sydney CBD. It might be a good idea to book tickets for the January 20 derby match against Central Coast or the February 25 clash with Western Sydney – always a good match for the neutral! 

Fancy a little sporting action during your summer road trip? Book your rental with East Coast Car Rentals and then get planning with your friends and family – tickets will sell out quickly and you don’t want to miss out!