The 2006 Commonwealth Games, officially the XVIII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Melbourne 2006, was an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia between 15 and 26 March 2006. It was the fourth time Australia had hosted the Commonwealth Games. It was also the largest sporting event to be staged in Melbourne, eclipsing the 1956 Summer Olympics in terms of the number of teams competing, athletes competing, and events being held.
More than 4,000 athletes from 71 Commonwealth Games Associations took part in the event. Zimbabwe withdrew its membership from the Commonwealth of Nations and Commonwealth Games Federation on 8 December 2003 and so did not participate in the event. With 245 sets of medals, the games featured 17 Commonwealth sports. These sporting events took place at 13 venues in the host city, two venues in Bendigo and one venue each in Ballarat, Geelong, Lysterfield Park and Traralgon.
The site for the opening and closing ceremonies was the Melbourne Cricket Ground which was also used during 1956 Summer Olympics. The mascot for the games was Karak, a red-tailed black cockatoo.