Witches riding watercraft on Sydney Harbour and horses raring to go in the race that stops a nation – spring has come to Australia and the travel industry is having a field day.
Today is Melbourne Cup Day – one of the few times it falls on the first day in November. The waterborne witches missed November and will miss the Melbourne Cup, but on Sunday morning the witches were out in force to greet the superliner Carnival Spirit as the ship arrived in Sydney Harbour – in the spirit of Halloween.
Sporting black hats, flowing capes and flying brooms, the witches swooped on the 88,500-tonne Carnival Cruise Line ship by sea and by air, creating a spectacular sight for the 2600 guests aboard as well as onlookers.
You can see it all here, courtesy of producer and director James Morgan.
Paragliding, water-skiing and wakeboarding around Carnival Spirit, the witches’ parade provided the perfect prelude to the haunted holiday which fell on 31 October.
In the spirit of Halloween, the ship was also home to its annual eight-legged guest ‘Fangelica’, a two-storey high redback spider, which rode into town on the superliner’s bow.
Today, All Saints Day on the Christian calendar, the broomsticks have vanished and the focus has shifted to the Emirates Melbourne Cup, which carries AUD 6.2 million in prize money, making it Australia’s richest race.
The Melbourne Cup will be one of the most-watched sporting events of the year, with 5.6 million Australians aged over 14 (that’s 29% of that demographic) expected to tune in to watch the race on TV, new research from Roy Morgan shows. But the audience has flipped over the past decade from being mostly aged under 50 to being mostly aged over 50.
Anyone looking for a horse with a travel-related name for an omen bet probably can’t go past Bondi Beach. Hartnell is favourite to win the race, but Bondi Beach is also favoured, along with Caulfield Cup winner Jameka and German gelding Almandin. Then there’s Who Shot Thebarman, a Kiwi stayer and a personal favourite. Good luck!
Written by Peter Needham