Canberra is at times criticized for its lack of entertainment options, but come Melbourne Cup Day there are plenty of quality venues putting on a show. Below, we have taken a look at some of the best of them.
- Thoroughbred Park
The name of this venue speaks for itself. The home of Canberra racing, Thoroughbred Park plays host to plenty of local racing of its own on Melbourne Cup Day, and also screens the action from Flemington on the big screen so you don’t miss out on the biggest races. You can opt-in to two or three-course meals and have access to all the drinks you could ask for, while Canberra’s own version of Fashions on the Field adds further to the racing carnival atmosphere.
- The Yacht Club
Feeling fancy? It is racing season, after all, and if you want to get dressed to the nines and enjoy a day of glamour then the Yacht Club is one of the best ways to spend Melbourne Cup Day in Canberra. For a reasonably generous fee, you can enjoy an enormous five-course meal on the biggest day in Australian racing, all the while enjoying spectacular views of Lake Burley Griffin. In keeping with the ambience of luxury, there’s also plenty of sparkling being passed around the room, and of course, the big race will be broadcast for those who want to tune in.
- Hotel Realm
Hotel Realm provides punters with a couple of different venues at which residents of the Australian capital can enjoy their Melbourne Cup Day. Both Ostani Bar as well as Buvette’s offer up four-hour food packages and all the drinks you can get through, with the former of the two the better option for those looking to continue after the last race is run and won. Even if you head to Buvette’s, however, you’ll be able to join in the fun at Ostani once your package is completed. Both venues will be broadcasting the Melbourne Cup, and the rest of the racing from throughout the day, on big screens, while a best dressed competition provides attendees with a little extra motivation to get dressed up.
- Magoo’s Cafe and Bar
Glamour is the name of the game on Melbourne Cup Day and more broadly the Spring Racing Carnival, but if that’s not your thing then Magoo’s Cafe and Bar can help you out with a more relaxed offering. The friendly atmosphere at this local bar is in stark contrast to what you’ll find at many venues on Melbourne Cup Day, but is a welcome change for many who prefer to take it easy on their day off. They do still offer chilled sparkling – among plenty of other drinks options – and serve up lots of fresh seafood, while you can catch all the action on the multiple screens at the venue.
Canberra might not be renowned for its nightlife, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do on Melbourne Cup Day. There are a host of great bars and restaurants hosting events of some kind on Australia’s biggest day of racing, while there is also good local racing action to catch at Thoroughbred Park. The above four options all promise a great day, and there are plenty of other options littered around the nation’s capital, too.
PC: Canberra Parliament House, Patty Jansen from Pixabay