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Canberra, Australia Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 52
Total Sleeping Rooms 5,847
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 296
Committable Meeting Rooms* 15
Convention Center Space 7,392 Sq. Mtr.
Largest Exhibit Space 2,000 Sq. Mtr.
Largest Ballroom 762 Sq. Mtr.
Average Hotel Room Rate AUD $214
Average Daily Meal Cost AUD $169
Average Weekly Car Rental AUD $208
*Maximum for a single hotel

Canberra, Australia Meeting Planning Overview

Canberra is the capital of Australia, in an area called the Australian Capital Territory, a purpose-made administrational and government enclave. (Canberra MICE venues are kept busy accommodating this industry.) More than 2,000 feet above sea level, Canberra is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth largest city in the country. Many institutions have their headquarters in the city, including the Australian National University and the National Library. Dividing the two districts of North Canberra and South Canberra is Lake Burley Griffin.

Canberra Airport (CBR), five miles southeast of Capital Hill, is connected to all the other main Australian cities but to nowhere outside of the country. Train service is through the suburb of Kingston, just southeast of parliament. Journey time to Sydney is more than four hours.

Chief among MICE venues in Canberra is the National Convention Centre, which has 20 spaces for events, including an exhibition centre able to host 2,000 persons and the Royal Theatre with 2,460 seats.

Due to all those government and institutional worker bees, Canberra MICE hotels are fine, with most lining Northbourne and Commonwealth avenues, which lead to Capital Hill, the site of parliament. Good choices include the 296-room Crowne Plaza Canberra, which has six meeting rooms, the largest two both able to host 100 persons; the 286-room Novotel Canberra, which has seven meeting rooms; the 252-room Hyatt Canberra, a Park Hyatt Hotel, which has eight meeting rooms and ballrooms including the Federation Ballroom for up to 800 persons; the 205-room QT Canberra, which has eight meeting rooms, including a ballroom able to cater to 1,500 persons; and the 186-room Rydges Capital Hill, which has 14 meeting rooms for up to 200 persons.

Unique MICE venues in Canberra include the Belconnen Arts Centre, an arts and cultural centre opened in 2009 that has three studios, a larger dance studio, indoor and outdoor galleries, and a large lobby for up to 250 persons, among other spaces; Canberra Museum & Gallery, which has five meeting spaces for up to 200 persons; Thoroughbred Park, where the city gets its fix of Australia's obsession with horse racing and which has space for up to 2,000 persons; Hellenic Club, which celebrates all things Greek–Australia has a very large population of those with Greek heritage–and has the Atlas and Poseidon rooms for 122 and 266 persons, respectively; and The Deck at Regatta Point, which faces parliament on Lake Burley Griffin and has seating room for 140 persons and cocktail space for 350.

Excellent restaurants in Canberra that cater to groups include Water's Edge, which is beside Lake Burley Griffin and has room for groups of up to 100 persons; sister restaurant Courgette, which has a main dining room, a boardroom, and a cellar; Legends Spanish Restaurant, which has an Andalusian menu and has group space for up to 150 persons; Sculpture Garden Restaurant, which is part of the stunning National Gallery of Australia, finished a renovation in summer 2013, and has regularly changing menus based on the cuisines of the world; and Italian restaurant Bicicletta, which has a main dining room complementing a courtyard and The Library Bar.

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