Image by SAEED KHAN AFP
With a capacity of 100,000 people, the 'G' is one of the world’s great sporting venues, hosting cricket in summer and AFL (Australian Football League, Aussie rules or 'footy') in winter – for many Australians it's hallowed ground. Make it to a game if you can, otherwise there are non-match-day tours that take you through the stands, media and coaches’ areas, change rooms and members' lounges. The MCG houses the National Sports Museum. A two-night outdoor cinema on the field happens in February.
In 1858 the first game of Aussie Rules football was played where the MCG and its car parks now stand, and in 1877 it was the venue for the first Test cricket match between Australia and England. The MCG was the central stadium for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, two Cricket World Cups and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. It was also used as an army barracks during WWII. Despite this venerable history, the oldest parts of the existing structure are the light towers, dating from the 1980s.
The stadium is ringed by gigantic sporting sculptures facing the tidy lawns of Yarra Park. Also look out for the scar tree, whose bark was removed in pre-colonial times by the local Wurundjeri people for artisanal purposes.