Australian swimmer and singer Cody Simpson and Olympic swimming champion Emma McKeon are coming to Melbourne for the 16th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m). From 13 to 18 December, swimming enthusiasts can lap up all the action at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC), when Australia hosts this prestigious swimming event for the first time.

While they’re in town, Cody and Emma dive into why Melbourne makes such a splash as a sporting capital and cultural city, featuring coffee, galleries and much more.

16th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m)

Elite swimming athletes Emma McKeon and Cody Simpson tell us what they love about Melbourne, while they're in town to compete in the 16th FINA short course World Swim Championships.

Cultural city

"I always found Melbourne is the richest Australian city for culture, music and art," says Cody. He lived here as a kid and has been back at least once a year ever since. Cody’s music career has led him to play at major event venues including Rod Laver Arena – home to Australia’s annual grand slam tennis open in January. This year, he took to the stage at Flemington Racecourse to sing the national anthem at the Melbourne Cup, combining his passion for music and sport.

Sporting capital

With stadiums holding over 100,000 people, Melburnians are all about their sport, says Emma, remembering an electrifying AFL Grand Final at the MCG.

Melbourne playing host to FINA WSC 2023 is a great sporting opportunity for Emma. "It's going to be cool to be able to do my sport down here and get a huge crowd," she says. Emma has fond memories of time spent at Mornington Peninsula beaches as a kid and racing at MSAC when she was 11 or 12. This time she returns to MSAC as Australia’s most decorated Olympian.

Cafes, coffee and hidden gems

Plunge into beautiful Melbourne and let this city surprise you, say Cody and Emma. You’ll always stumble across a hidden gem, down laneways and along Southbank by the Yarra River, and around every corner is a great cafe. Emma and Cody are big on their coffee and love Melbourne’s winning brews and restaurant scene. "You always know you're going to get a good coffee," they say.

Australian Open 2023

Getting to see Australian Grand Slam champion Ash Barty play at this year’s Australian Open was a highlight, says Emma. For Melbourne, it will also be a highlight to host these sporting champions at MSAC this December. The six-day event will attract more than 700 athletes from over 180 countries around the world to Australia’s sporting epicentre.

Recalling watching the Commonwealth Games at MSAC on TV in 2006, Emma says: "Now that I get my chance to race there at World Championships, it's going to be pretty special."