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Where are the Best Places to Celebrate the Melbourne Cup in Canberra?

Home > Canberra > Community Events | Girls' Day Out | Lunch | Melbourne Cup | Questions
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by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Published August 31st 2018
The Melbourne Cup has been described as the "race that stops the nation" and it is certainly true here in the Capital City. For horse-racing fans, it is a long-awaited day where they can pick their winners, according to past performance or just because they like the silk colours of the jockey! For others, this day is just a good excuse to get the workmates or friends together and have a nice meal, some drinks and a get-together - whilst perhaps winning some money in the office sweep. Where do you like to celebrate the Melbourne Cup? Do you stay at work and have some nibbles and watch it on a big screen? Or splash out and go somewhere fancy so you can glam up in your best frock and fascinator, or waistcoat and tie?

These are the popular places that hold events each year, however, if you have a favourite café, restaurant or venue you enjoy going to every year, please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your local tip (and a tip for the race if you have one!)

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Enjoy a day of local racing (and the Cup on the big screen!) at Thoroughbred Park. Image: Original photos from Thoroughbred Park Facebook


The TAB.com.au Melbourne Cup Race Day is the most popular event in Canberra, held at Thoroughbred Park in Lyneham. This is one of the biggest social events of the year for horse-racing fans, corporate groups and fashionistas, who will view the Melbourne Cup on the big screen in Flemington whilst enjoying more local racing on the day. If you would like to participate on Fashions on the Field, see the details and criteria here - with great prizes to be won! See here for details and to buy your tickets online.

Hotel Realm in Barton has a range of popular events each Melbourne Cup, with options at their Ostani Bar or Buvette restaurant, depending on what you are after (and how long you want to party!). Enjoy live music, canapes, entertainment, cooking stations, huge TV screens to watch the action from Flemington and prizes for best dressed. Celebrate the Melbourne Cup in style at Hotel Realm! See here for details.

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Glam up for the Melbourne Cup celebrations at Hotel Realm. Image: Original photos from Doma Hotels Facebook


Public Bar is located in Manuka and is a favourite bar and restaurant for locals in the area (and those of us who wish we had it close-by!). It is one of those venues where you walk in and instantly feel comfortable - it has interesting architecture, funky furniture, greenery hanging from the ceiling and an abundance of style. It is the ideal place for lunch, after-work drinks and dinner - which makes it a popular venue to go for their Melbourne Cup event and then linger all afternoon. Each Melbourne Cup they offer a party with prizes for best dressed, a sweep, canapes, drinks packages and live music. See here for details.

Other restaurants, hotels and cafes which hold events each year include the Hyatt Hotel Canberra (Yarralumla), EQ Café and Lounge (Deakin), Pialligo Estate (near Canberra Airport), Helix Bar and Dining (Canberra Airport), Kokomo's (City), The Duxton (O'Connor), Canberra Southern Cross Clubs, Gungahlin Lakes Club and most of Canberra's clubs around the city.

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Relax and enjoy the afternoon at Public Bar, Manuka. Image: Public Manuka Facebook


DIY Melbourne Cup is always a fun way to celebrate the race, where you can get a group of friends together (at work, uni or at home) and cut up the names of each horse and make your own sweep. Make sure the rules are clear before you begin for the jackpot for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, so there are no protests after the race! Glam up in your best hat, put some bubbly on ice, ask everyone bring a plate and wheel in your biggest TV - twice the fun for half the price!

Do you have a favourite pub, club, restaurant, café (or a fun idea for the DIY party!) that you would like to share? If so, please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your local tips. Good luck!

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This fabulous hat was spotted at Public Bar on Melbourne Cup Day (2017). You could make your own DIY version with a plain hat and thread flowers through it from your garden. Image: Public Manuka Facebook

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