7 Places Where You Can Relive Australia's Great Sporting Moments

22 October 2015

After a tough quarter final victory against Scotland in the Rugby World Cup, Australia is two more wins away from hoisting the Webb Ellis Cup.

Topping their pool with consistent attack and dominating defence, the Wallabies looked unprepared last Sunday and will need to improve when they face a talented Pumas squad in the semis.

At this point nothing less than victory in the final will bring Australia the rugby success we've been craving since our last RWC championship in 1999.

It's this history of success, in rugby and on other sporting stages, that has given our nation an overpowering drive for international dominance in all competitive sports.

Whether or not that continues at the end of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, we will still have those moments in history to relive at some of the world's most famous sporting arenas and cities.

Olympics - Sydney, Australia

Cathy Freeman winning the 400-metre final in front of 112,524 people at Olympic Stadium; the women's water polo team knocking off tournament favourites USA to secure the gold; Ian Thorpe chasing down Gary Hall Jr to claim the gold medal for our men's 4x100 metre freestyle relay team  – all of these triumphs on can be relived while in Sydney.

Olympic Stadium, now called ANZ Stadium, runs two insider tours that highlight our famous sporting history. Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, where our athletes collected numerous medals, is open to the public, letting you swim down the same lane as Thorpie and the boys.

 Cathy Freeman prepares for the final (Image: Ian @ ThePaperboy.com)

Winter Olympics - Salt Lake City

Australia witnessed its greatest Winter Olympics success in Vancouver (2010), but we will most fondly remember Salt Lake City in 2002, when we won our first ever gold medals.

Head to EnergySolutions Arena (known as 'Salt Lake Ice Center' during the Olympics) where Steven Bradbury stunned the world by winning the most unlikely of gold medals (and Australia's first) when the four leading skaters crashed on the final turn.

You can still ski at the same resort (Park City) where aerial skier Alisa Camplin won Australia's second gold in the Women's Aerials after disregarding her doctor's advice to sit out with injured ankles.

 Steven Bradbury left stunned after an unexpected gold medal victory (Image: Olympics via YouTube)

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Rugby - Cardiff, Wales

There's no denying the feeling of pride and elation that comes with watching John Eales raise the Webb Ellis Cup after the Wallabies defeated France 35-12 on rugby's biggest stage.

The tightly contested match, won by penalties and two key tries, took place at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, which also hosted some of the games during this year's World Cup.

Stadium tours are run most days during the year, but expect a more Wales-dominant theme. Still, you'll get to walk down the same tunnel Eales, Tune, Lynagh and the other victorious Wallabies passed under that November afternoon 16 years ago.

 Where the Wallabies proved themselves the greatest in the world (Image: al_green / Alan)

Football - Kaiserslautern, Germany

A small city in Germany called Kaiserslautern. You probably haven't heard of it unless you were watching the 2006 FIFA World Cup match that pitted Australia against Japan.

The relative nobodies of the tournament, the Socceroos came back from a 1-0 deficit in the final 10 minutes with two sensational goals from Tim Cahill to take the lead, followed by another for good measure from John Aloisi. This marked Australia's first ever World Cup goal and victory.

Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern still hosts regular football matches throughout the year. It will be a long time before Australia plays there again, but just sitting at the ground that made Australian football history might be enough.

 A modest stadium contains sporting greatness (Image: Kandschwar)

Golf - Augusta, Georgia, USA

By 2013, Australia had started to fade into the background of major golf tournaments – never the worst, never the best; always stuck in the middle.

The 77th edition of the Masters Tournament saw Adam Scott break that trend and Australia re-emerge onto golf's world stage with a sudden death-clinching birdie from 12 feet (3.6 metres) out.

Unfortunately, Augusta National Golf Club, where Scott became the first Aussie to win a Masters, is a member-only course by invitation only. However, you can still enter as a spectator, and there are other golf clubs, such as Forest Hills, Bartram Trail and Jones Creek, that provide quality and challenging holes for you to recreate that famous last putt.

 The 10th fairway and green at Augusta National Golf Club where Scott made golf history (Image: Wikipedia)

Tennis - New York, USA

Despite winning his first US Open championship in 1997, Pat Rafter's defence of the title in 1998 might be an even sweeter moment in Australian tennis.

After being called a "one-slam wonder" by four-time US Open champion John McEnroe, Rafter faced fellow Australian Mark Philippoussis in the final, defeating him in four sets and cementing his place as one of our country's greats.

You can watch the world's current tennis players perform on the same court as Rafter at the USTA National Tennis Center (aka USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center) in New York during the annual US Open and other major events.

 Sit within the arena where Pat Rafter proved his place amongst the world's greatest (Image: David W Boswell)

Cricket - London, England

Few Australians alive today would be able to recall Donald Bradman's unbeaten 309 runs at The Oval in London in 1930, but it remains one of Australia's most talked about and highest regarded innings in test cricket.

The then 21-year-old Bradman had just polished England for 254 in the second test at Lord's and came in at the 11th ball of the third test to embark on a master class that stunned spectators, players, coaches and reporters.

Now called Kia Oval, this modest cricket ground in Kennington, South London will always be known in Australia for that day. The Oval hosts cricket, football, rugby and the occasional AFL game.

 A hallowed ground where Donald Bradman put on a spectacular display of batting

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Ben Stower

I love the kind of travelling that is one part strategic planning and two parts spontaneous adventure. Whether I'm exploring my local city or a small town in the middle of nowhere, I'm always hoping to find something no one else has discovered.