“Footy fever” is truly an Aussie term, and in the weeks leading up to that ‘one day in September’, a vast majority of us, even if we aren’t typically football fans, really get into the spirit of the game.

Are you one of the lucky ticket-holders heading to the home of footy, Melbourne, to get involved in the action of the 2017 AFL finals? The official series for this year kicks off on the 7th of September and wraps up on the 30th of the month with the premiere event – AFL Grand Final Day.

Thrifty has the expert lowdown on how best to get to the Victorian capital for this season’s AFL Finals Series, as well as some memorable footy-related events and activities to partake in to truly get the most out of your visit.

Melbourne: How best to journey to the sporting capital

For so many die-hard footy fanatics, one of the best parts of finals week involves the anticipation of a fun-filled trip to Melbourne. It really is a dream destination for those mad for all sports, but AFL truly is the big one!

Depending on where you call home, the logistics of getting down to Melbourne for a short visit will, of course, be varied. Airfares towards the city skyrocket during the final weeks of September, so if you’re up for the antics of a footy-fuelled road trip, why not opt for automobiles?

Driving down from the north? Why not stop off for the day at serene Lakes Entrance, just a few hours’ drive from the capital? This seaside town has a myriad of outdoor activities to sample (perfect for early spring weather), including a meander along Ninety Mile Beach or a drive out to Lake Tyers State Park. Some time out in nature could be the refreshing recharge you need to prepare yourself for the onslaught of AFL fun once you hit the city!

Heading to the heart of the footy finals action via inland avenues? The ever-growing regional city of Geelong, an important element of the Bellarine region, is a mere hour’s drive southwest from Melbourne.  Geelong has experienced a reinvention in recent years and is now an exploration hotspot set up perfectly for visitors. It serves as a gateway to the world-famous Great Ocean Road, but the city itself offers an endless amount of attractions. From galleries to beaches, bike trails to museums, it is also home to the Geelong Cats AFL team, so the town has strong ties to the footy world!

Thrifty has so many convenient car rental locations all over Australia that if you choose to ride in style, we’ve got your back – no matter who’s coming along for the ride!

If you are in need of a snazzy city ride to navigate the streets of Melbourne upon arrival – or you’re planning a day trip from the Victorian capital – our Melbourne City car hire location is a stone’s throw away from all the footy action.

Kick road trip goals while you’re there

No matter who your team is, or whether they are in the finals this year, you can still enjoy a memorable mini-break to Melbourne and soak up a litany of footy-related events, activities, and tours while you’re there.

No trip to Melbourne is complete without a visit to the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Immerse yourself in the heritage of the world-famous landmark, or take a behind-the-scenes tour. There are even some tours available that last a half-day, taking you to all the major spots in footy history.

For insight into your favourite team, why not head to their home ground for a squiz? Many teams have their own museums within their clubhouses, taking you through the history of their proud colours and what makes them a sporting institution.

On the 29th of September, the day before AFL’s big day, the Grand Final, make sure to get a prime spectator spot as the 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final Parade makes its way through Melbourne’s CBD. It’s also a public holiday in Victoria these days, so Melbournians will be out in droves. Take advantage of the free inner-city tram service the city operates.

Melbourne is the place to be in September, so don your team colours and get caught up in the contagious atmosphere that is ‘footy fever’.