The best trivia nights in Canberra

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Magoo's Cafe & Bar

Magoo’s Cafe & Bar in Kingston, host of one of Canberra’s best trivia nights. Photo: Michelle Taylor.

If you have a competitive streak and a trove of knowledge of niche general, a trivia night may just be the perfect way for you to spend an evening. Everyone already loves getting together with a group of friends for a pub feed and a cold drink, so who wouldn’t be up for the chance to do all of that and win some great prizes at the same time?

Whether your an expert in pop culture music, a pro at solving maths problems on the fly, have an encyclopedic knowledge of sports history, or you’re simply out for a fun time, get a team of your friends together and find a local venue that hosts a trivia night.

There are plenty of venues all around Canberra that regularly host trivia nights, so we’ve put together this article to help you find the perfect destination for you and your team.

What makes a great night of trivia?

Never been to a trivia night before? Here’s what you should look out for when picking a venue:

  • Variety of topics. A game of trivia is only as good as the questions, and it’s no fun if they only cover a couple of topics that you and your friends might not know anything about. A good trivia night will have questions on anything from history, to music, science, fashion, and so much more.
  • Good prizes. For some it might be enough to simply have a fun time with their friends, but for the more competitive folks out there, part of the appeal of trivia is the chance to win prizes, from bar tabs to beer jugs.
  • Tasty menu. Trivia games can often last a few hours in the evening, so you want to make sure that the hosting venue offers delicious food and drinks to keep you and your team going.
  • Fun atmosphere. As with any venue, a good crowd and setting can make all the difference between a great night and an average one. Look for a trivia night that draws big crowds, and is hosted in a comfortable venue.

The best trivia nights in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Magoo's Cafe & Bar

Magoo's Cafe & Bar

Magoo’s has quickly become a favourite destination on the Kingston Foreshore since it opened a year ago, not only for its stunning lakeside location but for its delicious food, great drinks, and energetic atmosphere. They support local with a fantastic selection of Canberran beers and wines, and their pub-style menu is regularly updated and able to cater to all dietary needs.

Along with regular live music nights and menu specials, Magoo’s also runs Trivia nights every Tuesday evening. There’s also a $50 bar tab up for grabs each week, with tables available for booking and no entrance fee.

As happy customer Karen Kemp writes in their Facebook review, Amazing!!! Loved the service, food & wine & beer. Would definitely recommend and we will return. Best bar along the Kingston foreshore!!!!”

Eastlake Parade
Kingston ACT 2604

The Lighthouse Pub

The Lighthouse has been around since the 1990s, and after a few leadership changes and a recent renovation of the interior has become a popular destination for students and families alike. The Lighthouse hosts their trivia night every Tuesday evening, with the chance to win cash prizes and bar tabs. Plus, all players are entitled to a $25 schnitzel and schooner combo to kick off the night.

As Google reviewer and ‘Local Guide’ Phil Ebbott writes, Beers are cold, view is great. (…) Great schnitzels and pizzas.”

The Durham Castle Arms

The Durham Castle Arms is one of the last truly English-style pubs in Canberra and is beloved not only for its regular rotation of delicious beers and hearty pub food, but for its great weekly trivia nights. With numerous prizes up for grabs, from free beer jugs to $50 drinks vouchers, plus the occasional theme for the trivia from Star Wars to the Simpsons, the Durham knows how to do trivia right.

As Google reviewer and ‘Local Guide’ Tara Crowley wrote recently, Such a great vibe, awesome beers on tap and the evening trivia is fantastic!”

Old Canberra Inn

The Old Canberra in is an iconic Canberra institution that even predates the city itself. This old-fashioned homestead-style pub has one of the most unique interiors of any pub in Canberra, with dark wooden finishes, chesterfield sofas and warm fireplaces, plus historical photos and agricultural paraphernalia to add to the farmhouse atmosphere. The Old Canberra Inn hosts their trivia night every Tuesday, and their cosy venue means limited space so get your bookings in quick!

Facebook user Kris Galbraith writes, Excellent venue and atmosphere! Food delicious, and drinks served by great staff!”

Are you looking for more destinations for a fun night out with your friends? Check out our articles on the best pubs and the best karaoke bars in Canberra for some helpful guides.

Your experience with trivia nights in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you been to any of the trivia nights listed above? Did we miss your favourite? Share your thoughts and feedback below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I play trivia games?
Trivia games are very simple. Over the course of a handful of rounds, you and your team will be asked a series of general knowledge questions on a variety of topics. Answer to the best of your ability, and then at the end of the game whichever team has racked up the most points, wins the game.
Where can I find trivia nights?
Trivia nights are usually hosted by pubs, and they will advertise regularly to let people know ahead of time. Ask your local if they host trivia games!
How many people do I need for a trivia group?
A team can be as small as two people, but the more the merrier – plus, having a bigger group the more knowledge your team can draw from to answer as many questions as possible.
What can I win at pub trivia?
Pub trivia usually has prizes available for the top-scoring teams at the end of the night. The prizes will usually be something along the lines of a round of free drinks, or a voucher for the venue.
What topics are included in trivia?
Trivia games cover a wide range of topics in order to challenge the players’ general knowledge skills. Topics can include sports, literature, fashion, music, history, and even maths questions!

What's Your Opinion?


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21 Responses to The best trivia nights in Canberra
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Overheard Overheard 1:43 pm 06 Aug 08

Weekends can be dodgy for trivia. Too many clashes with sports, other events, people out of town (i.e. the host). Earlier in the week seems to be common, and Monday is as good a night as any, intrusion of occasional public holidays notwithstanding.

Trivia. Knowledge. Randomly remembered stuff. I write my own questions so it’s always a mix of topical and general knowledge.

ant ant 10:34 pm 05 Aug 08

Oh poop, a monday. I am more in the mood to totter home and collapse, not drive into Canberra. Weekends would be better but I guess they’ve done their market research. Pity, I used to love “trivia” nights (it’s not trivia, it’s knowledge!).

qwerky qwerky 9:59 pm 05 Aug 08

Overheard said :

Beat me now with fence pailings for pulling up an old post, but it seems like I’m not Robinson Crusoe in that regard.

On topic from a few months back, I’m starting to do regular trivia nights from Monday 18 August (7.30pm to 9.30pm). The club, I mean, client is asking for a 4-6 week trial period to see how it goes before they advertise more widely than their internal comms (for which they need extra red tape-rwork).

My quizzes are less about the earnest pursuit of trivialities and more about having fun.

The club in question might be in Dickson and you might get to sit in a tram for the duration. Or not.

I’ll post a reminder in the DIY Wotz On Guide on the relevant weekend, but for now, if you’d like more information, flick me an email by slapping my RA username on the front of “at optusnet d0t c0m d0t au”.

Only with fence pailings, Overheard? This could be an opportunity for another RA social gathering. Come along and be a support for one of the fold, so he doesn’t fold. Or something like that. I’m planning to go on Mon 18 Aug, and am happy to get up a group of roudy carousers. I don’t think knowing much about anything, least of all trivia, has any bearing on enjoyment of the evening. Get in touch at ACTGadabouts at gmail dot com if interested.

Overheard Overheard 6:51 pm 05 Aug 08

Beat me now with fence pailings for pulling up an old post, but it seems like I’m not Robinson Crusoe in that regard.

On topic from a few months back, I’m starting to do regular trivia nights from Monday 18 August (7.30pm to 9.30pm). The club, I mean, client is asking for a 4-6 week trial period to see how it goes before they advertise more widely than their internal comms (for which they need extra red tape-rwork).

My quizzes are less about the earnest pursuit of trivialities and more about having fun.

The club in question might be in Dickson and you might get to sit in a tram for the duration. Or not.

I’ll post a reminder in the DIY Wotz On Guide on the relevant weekend, but for now, if you’d like more information, flick me an email by slapping my RA username on the front of “at optusnet d0t c0m d0t au”.

qwerky qwerky 12:36 pm 24 May 08

fabforty said :

RuffnReady said :

Anyone want an addition to their trivia team?

Me too ! All my “married with children” mates have (understandably) other priorities than trivia and drinking.

Anyone interested in forming a RiotACT Grumpy Old Men/Women type trivia team ?

Cross post (I’m not cross, but I mean it’s connected to another one!) I’d be interested in forming such a group – it could be part of the as yet nameless and unformed Childfree social group (see other apparently contentious post from me – helpful comments appreciated You can bet that this group will NOT have ‘childfree’ in the title though, as could be offputting and inflammatory to some)

Please contact me at ACTGadabouts at gmail dot com for more info, or phone/text 0411 952 598 and I’ll get back to you, Virginia/qwerky

Genie Genie 3:09 pm 20 May 08

Tuesday night Trivia at the Lighty (Lighthouse Belconnen) every Tuesday @ 8pm. Free to enter..

Chances to win jugs of beer with randomly selected questions, and now they have “the wheel” Spin it when you get certain questions correct…. Win anything from stealing points, jugs of beer to a $100 bar tab voucher.

There is also an Eating Contest round.

1st place is a $100 bar tab, 2nd is $50, 3rd is $25.

$7 schnitzels and steaks.

sirocco sirocco 1:58 pm 20 May 08

The Calwell Club on Wednesday nights from 730pm is pretty cool, cash prizes – $100 for 1st place and a weekly jackpot round too. Good range of questions, pretty mellow night, friendly crowd and Nicky, the host, is nice.

deezagood deezagood 9:16 pm 19 May 08

Tuesday night at the Durham; small, friendly, great atmosphere, mixed crowd and a good range of interesting (and challenging) questions. Best to book though.

eatthatfrog eatthatfrog 8:50 pm 19 May 08

Hey, I’d be happy to join in with another lot on another trivia night as well if it doesn’t conflict. I don’t think my crowd would be up for the National Sports Club ones, but it does sound fun. Would fabforty, RuffnReady and anyone else like to get one together for that one? I like my entertainment trivia, but suck at geography and sports.

fabforty fabforty 6:32 pm 19 May 08

RuffnReady said :

Anyone want an addition to their trivia team?

Me too ! All my “married with children” mates have (understandably) other priorities than trivia and drinking.

Anyone interested in forming a RiotACT Grumpy Old Men/Women type trivia team ?

cazjs cazjs 5:59 pm 19 May 08

Mawson trivia might not be all that “comical”, but Anthony Ackroyd is charming and the number of groups of people that have been showing up regularly over the two-and-half years i’ve been going attest to that.

Some questions in Round 1 are laughably easy, but get harder as the night wears on. You have to get in early though – trivia starts at 8 but by 7.30 there are very few seats left most weeks.

Nemo Nemo 5:49 pm 19 May 08

Belconnen Soccer Club at McKellar has trivia Thursday nights. The restaurant has quite nice meals too.

Pot Belly has a sign up saying trivia Tuesdays

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 5:05 pm 19 May 08

I haven’t lived in Gungahlin for a few years now, but if the Green Herring is still going they have a pretty good trivia night once a month (or maybe it’s once a quarter). No prizes, from memory, but bloody good food and a pretty light hearted quiz, the music round at the end usually sorts a few pretenders out, haha.

Albigeois Albigeois 4:35 pm 19 May 08

The so-called “comedy” trivia at Mawson is a farce. Anthony Ackroyed is passed it and the questions are too easy. Oh, and nothing about it is actually funny except in that “so bad it’s funny” way.

Wednesday nights at PJ’s in Civic (6-8pm) with Larry (brekky show on 2CN I think the station is) has good questions, good vibe, and more comedy than Mawson. Oh and food/beer is cheap and good!

fnaah fnaah 2:13 pm 19 May 08

Comedy trivia with Anthony Ackroyd at the Mawson Club on thursdays.

RuffnReady RuffnReady 1:09 pm 19 May 08

Anyone want an addition to their trivia team?

Aurelius Aurelius 10:53 am 19 May 08

The Wig & Pen used to have a Monday night one
But I haven’t been to it in a few years, so data may be out of date

You cant be nonconformist if you dont drink coffee You cant be nonconformist if you dont drink coffee 10:45 am 19 May 08

The Durham!!!!
Tuesday nights from 7pm, the very friendly Dan (archeologist and local brewing hero in addition to his duties as a trivia host) presides over an awesome night of questions for the more discerning trivia buff – i.e. no stupid questions about Neighbours characters

You probably need to book in advance for this one though, as they’ve got a full house most weeks…

blueberry blueberry 10:04 am 19 May 08

The pot belly has a good one. I think it is on tuesday nights but sombody may need to confirm this.

lumnock lumnock 9:22 am 19 May 08

There is a trivia night every Tuesday starting at 7:30 at the Belconnen Labor Club (above the bus interchange). Not sure about prizes since our team always gets flogged, but there’s a jackpot at the end of it that involves 3 hard questions and if you get that right, you can win a few hundred. Good luck winning though, there is this scum bag team called ‘Team Discovery’ who usually win. Smug bastards…

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