Australia’s wide, open spaces and generally mild weather makes it the perfect venue for large, sporting events. Add this to the fact that locals are fiercely loyal to their favorite teams, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a spectacular sporting event. It’s no wonder you have plenty of exciting games to fill your sports calendar with. Whether you’re a local or a tourist itching to see the Land Down Under’s sporty side, make sure to get a ticket for any of these events:

 Australian Open

australian openIf you want to see big names such as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Venus and Serena Williams battle it out in the open court, make sure to get a ticket for the next game. Held every year in January at Melbourne Park, the Australian Open is a two-week extravaganza that includes live entertainment and performances from your favorite Aussie acts. For the recently held 2015 event, the lineup included Jon Stevens, Daryl Braithwaite, and Gossling. Missed this year’s adrenaline-filled Australian Open title match between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray? Don’t worry, there’s always next year.

National Rugby League’s State of Origin

national rugby league’s state of origin

It’s a fact that many Aussies love rugby. Just ask any local from the East Coast, and they’re probably rooting either for the Blues (New South Wales) or the Maroons (Queensland). This yearly event held in June hosts one of the hottest rugby rivalries in the country, so don’t be surprised if the tickets get sold out fast. If you’re lucky enough to get passes for this best-of-three series, you’ll get to experience the epic rivalry that has churned out some of the world’s toughest rugby players. Ever since the start of the NSW-vs-Queensland rivalry in 1980, the results have always been even, further fueling the competition into greater heights.

Australian Football League’s Grand Final

australian football league

The AFL’s Grand Final is proof of the Aussies’ national obsession with football. As a premiere sporting event, thousands of fans either flock to Melbourne Cricket Ground or stay glued to the telly during the last Saturday of September. Before the match begins, you’ll get to enjoy performances from a variety of entertainment and musical acts. Aussies love watching their favorite teams play footy so much that the Friday before the 2015 AFL Grand Final was declared a public holiday in Victoria. So mark your calendars and enjoy a three-day weekend to celebrate one of the most exciting sporting events in Australia.

The Ashes

the ashes

Another sport that Aussies have a love affair with is cricket. Considered as the ultimate cricket rivalry between Australia and England, The Ashes symbolizes Australia’s historic win against England in 1882. At least once in four years, the game is held either in Australia or England depending on which team wins the series. If you’re lucky enough to catch the match in Australia, you’ll get to show your love for the national team right from the stands. Currently, the Australian team holds the most series wins and has an impressive set of players who continue to push the bar. Past games in Australia were held in various locations such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Sydney Cricket Ground, The Gabba (Brisbane), and the Adelaide Oval.

Australian Grand Prix

australian grand prix

If you want something that’ll satisfy your need for speed, the Australian Grand Prix should be included in your itinerary. Every March, Melbourne’s Albert Park becomes home to the opening round of the FIA Formula One World Championship. On this day, expect plenty of action on and off the track. Aside from F1 drivers putting the pedal to the metal along the 5.3-km track, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) puts on a spectacular aerobatic display. A local band keeps the crowd entertained to cap off this amazing event. A heart-stopping race that attracts crowds from all over the world, don’t be surprised if you get to rub elbows with celebrities and other famous fans.

The crowds for these events are some of the biggest in the country, so be sure to get your tickets early. Book a car hire if you don’t have your own ride to and from these venues. This way, it’ll be easier to bring a bag packed with snacks and drinks and an extra shirt or two if the weather is really hot.